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...at the social security office... [Jun. 11th, 2014|11:56 am]

Author's Introduction:

This is a cross-post from the linebyline community here on LJ. Line by line is a community that challenges it's members to write a poem, story or some sort of creative writing thingy using a line the moderator(s) give you. This line was "...at the social security office..." I threw this together completely on the fly. Hope you guys like it. The story sort of got away from me.

It was a Monday. A particularly hot Monday as a matter of fact. By nine-thirty in the morning it was already eighty five degrees Fahrenheit and most weather reports had reported that it was likely to get even hotter before noon. It was an unpleasant day most places.

At the social security office on Melvil Dewey Avenue it was the kind of miserable day that could have inspired horror movies if it weren't too hot to think. By the time the doors had opened there was already a group of at least twenty people waiting to be helped. By eight-thirty seven it was standing room only. It was when someone pointed out that the air conditioning had shut down that Lydia began wondering if perhaps that God was sending a sign to her that he did, in fact, exist and was upset that she hadn't been to church in eight years.

At eleven fifty-seven AM, three minutes before her lunchtime, she was wrapped in a sauna-like humidity that clung to her like a sleeping bag she couldn't unzip herself from. She sat with her hand rested against her cheek, partially listening to the angry triad from a man wearing a red, green and yellow Hawaiian shirt. She occasionally sipped soda from an aluminum can that had stopped being cold ten minutes ago.

"Would you like to speak to my manager?" she asked in a forced sing-song voice and a pleasant smile that she hopped wasn't revealing how tightly her teeth were clenched.

"No, I want you to help me..." the man said and was off again. When he paused again she put on as sympathetic a face as she could manage and reached for a pamphlet and a business card, handing it to the man.

"I'm sorry, sir, I really can't help you with that, but if you call this number during standard business hours they may be able to answers any questions you have." she said. The man snatched the pamphlet and business card and stormed away. Lydia closed her eyes and pinched the root and bridge of her nose with her right hand as a man approached next.

This is going to be trouble, she thought to herself. The man's hair was black and slicked back and he wore a dramatic black cape over a batman t-shirt. "Hi, my social security information is under the wrong name. It's being delivered to Vladimir D. Impaler." he said as he approached.

"As opposed to...?" she asked without looking up.

"Vlad D. Impala." he said and gave a pleasant smile "My dad was a Chevy."

"Of course. Very funny, sir, but if you don't have an actual problem-" she began

"You care nothing for vampire automobiles!" he screamed and stormed out.

What happened next was a bit of a blur. She remembered standing up at her work space and swinging her can of cola in a circle over her head and screaming "I'm making it rain". After that she grabbed the small black, metal mesh container by her desk and rushing out into the waiting area and shouting that everyone was now getting paid in paperclips, tossing them about as she did so. She closed her eyes and leaned back in back of the police car and basking in its AC with a sigh and an pleasant smile until a knock on her desk caught her attention.

Her eyes snapped back open. The police car was gone, the air condition was gone, the angry man in the Hawaiian shirt was still there looking at Terry, whose knock had yanked Lydia out of her daydream.

"Go on lunch, Lyds." Terry said to her.

"Thank you." she said to Terry and stood up.

"She wasn't even listening to me!" the man said to Terry and pointed accusingly at Lydia. By then Lydia was halfway to the door. Minutes later she sat in the ugly plastic chair of a near-by burger joint, enjoying the breeze from it's constantly humming air-conditioning. A young man in a white short-sleeved, loosened black neck-tie and Geek Squad name badge at the table next to her.

"Crazy day, eh?" he said to her.

"You have no idea." she said to him and sipped from a vanilla milkshake.
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Zombies [Dec. 13th, 2013|03:00 pm]

The dead have risen from the grave, but they do not walk the Earth. They have roller skates.
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My Dumb Opinion: Toys of the Past [May. 22nd, 2013|06:10 pm]
[Tags|, ]

Someone on facebook posted a link to "Things only 80's kids understand" or words to that effect. Inevitably the subject of the infamous Cabbage Patch Kids came up somewhere. This got me thinking about the toys I used to care about when I was a kid, because it sure as hell wasn't the Cabbage Patch Kids, (a) they were for girls. If you were a boy and had one of these you either had a relative that didn't understand they were a girls toy or you were one of those boys that played with girls toys and most likely kept that secret from the world at all costs. But I digress (which I'll probably do often). Anyway I remember when I was a kid in the mid 80's the big three toy lines my and my friends gave a damn about was Transformers, G.I. Joe and He-Man. Let's discuss them now.

He-Man: Let's get these guys over with first, shall we? The He-Man franchise was always sort of a distant third place in the hearts and minds of me and my friends and probably only because they were mass-produced enough to trick parents into thinking you really wanted them. I don't think any of us really wanted or asked for He-Man action figures, we just sort of wound up with them after Christmas and birthdays.

The problem is that taking the He-Man characters seriously was something of a challenge. It was difficult to take He-Man, Man-At-Arms, Skeletor and Beast Man seriously. Taking Fisto, Buzz-Off, Moss Man and Stinkor seriously was impossible. And forget Ram Man. No one could take Ram Man seriously. It took you most of the day to be able to say his name out loud without laughing. Who in my neighborhood wanted to be Ram Man? Go ahead, guess. If you guessed "no one" then you're correct. And yet everyone seemed to have a Ram Man action figure. Maybe he cost less then all the other He-Man action figures. I certainly can't see someone paying full price for it.

The main problem with about 90% - 95% of them, however is the way they were built. Their arms were bent and could only go up and down, not side-to-side. Thus is was difficult to imagine them being any kind of threat to another action figure even with a sword of power. Their waists turned back and forth, so that helped a little, but it still seemed kinda dumb. It was fun switching the arms for one character with another, though.

He-Man: Oh no! My arms have suddenly turned all blue and Skeletor-like....and the Prom's tomorrow!

The real problem with the design though was the legs. the were bent as well so the characters were all trapped in an eternal squatting position. This lead at least 32 1/2 minutes of diarrhea jokes to every single afternoon the Masters of the Universe toys were brought out. Another reason to avoid having to play Ram Man...you were left out.

G.I. Joe: What else can be said. G.I. Joe was always sort of competing with Transformers for 1st place. First they were a lot more available. Every one of my friends had maybe one or two transformers, but had half a dozen G.I. Joe action figures at least. Plus they started putting ninja and ninja-like action figures into their repertoire. Remember Storm Shadow? He was the Anti-Ram Man. EVERYONE wanted to be Storm Shadow. Storm Shadow was the only reason ANYONE wanted to be a character from Cobra. Well him and Zartan.

The problem with G.I. Joe, though, was also the design. Owning a G.I. Joe action figure was a lot like owning a pet with a particularly short life-expectancy. It was going to be awesome right out of the box but they'd slowly fall apart until they were mere shadows of their former plastic glory. The thumbs were usually the first thing to go. Years of pushing them in a vain attempt to get them to hold the weapons correctly would eventually take their toll and sooner or later they'd just drop off leaving you with an eternally left-handed Quick Kick, at least until the left thumbs dropped off. Then it was the codpiece. By the then your Joe was looking like a 4F to used World War II terminology. Then the rubber band would break and you'd have to either retire the action figure or take the rubber band from one of your less-beloved GI Joe action figures (usually Lifeline).

Notable Joes:

Duke: Duke wins the award for "Action Figure No One Wanted to Be". First of all if you were Duke someone would inevitably call you "Dookie" for the rest of the day, providing endless hilarity for every child but the poor schlub who got stuck playing with him. As if that weren't bad enough then Hasbro had to slap a big stupid grin on his face. The action figure would have at least looked cool if it wasn't for that big dumb look on his face. No one else had that. The expression on everyone else's action figure usually was this passive "I'm at the DMV without a magazine." look. But here was Mr. Conrad "Duke" Hauser with his "I'm a freshly lobotomized Amway salesman" grin on his face and just sort of made you want to go home and watch TV instead.

Silent Weapons: Silent Weapons was the action figure we were all looking forward to. On the back of the box he was referred to as "Silent Weapons" and had this whole "Bruce Lee" look. Finally, we thought, someone who might be able to Kick Storm Shadow's ass! When someone finally did get good ol' SW, though we found out his name was Quick Kick. "Really?" we asked "Really," he replied "Quick Kick." Let this be a lesson. In the cartoon action figure universe you'll never be able to kick a ninja's ass if you have a dumb name. Thank god for Snake Eyes.

Zartan: Zartan was an awesome action figure, and he was even awesomer in the cartoons, but the problem was that you really couldn't play with him outside for more then about 20 minutes at a time. See for those of you who don't know he turned blue when exposed to sunlight. That, for some reason, was the coolest thing an action figure had ever done ever. Ever. But then whatever kid had brought him out would start getting all neurotic about him turning blue forever or somehow screwing up the color-changing aspect of him, or having his thumbs and crotch fall off. So basically Zartan would end up being the action figure equivalent of the good silverware that your family only brings out on special occasions.

The funny thing about Zartan, though, is that he had a mask. A mask that would only work if the hood hadn't been pulled off the action figure yet. Thus it became a minor point of ridicule, especially if he'd was wearing the mask after his skin turned blue.

Torch: Uhhh...Zartan, I don't think the mask is gonna work.
Zartan: Of course it will work! The mask looks nothing like me.
Buzzer: But boss, you're blue. And dressed in the same weird outfit you always dress in.
Zartan: They've been shooting guns at us for years and haven't hit a single target once, they're not exactly a brain trust.

Firefly and Torpedo: Firefly was some kind of ambush expert for Cobra, Torpedo was a Navy Seal in a wetsuit. In my neighborhood, though they were surrogate ninjas for the kids whose parents hadn't gotten him Storm Shadow yet.

Transfomers: Transformers would have been a consistent #1 if it weren't for the fact that no on ever owned any. When I was growing up most of us had one, maybe two transformers. And if one of those transformers was Bumble Bee then it really only counted as 1 1/3. Their rarity was probably a good thing since it caused us to not notice that the both of the radios were three or four times the size of the Volkswagen Beetles and of comparable size to the 18-Wheeler. The 45 caliber handgun was taller then the F15 jet, and...well you get the idea the proportions are all wrong. There's something unintentionally hilarious about Soundwave's (and Blaster's) respective sizes when you think about the size of the people that would presumably fit into the transformers that were actual vehicles.

"Shall we take the stereo to the beach?"
"Uhhh...I don't think we can?"

"Hey, I want to listen to my Fat Boys cassette tape...someone get me the 50 foot step ladder and the poking stick."

"Well there's yer problem, yer boom box is outta batteries there. Yeah that'll take me about a month and a half to fix. Plus I'll need to rent a crane."

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Alternate Scripts for 80's G.I. Joe PSAs [May. 11th, 2012|10:04 am]

Author's Note: In the 1980's, the GI Joe cartoon had a "knowing is half the battle" segment where members of the G.I. Joe Forces gave children advice on such things as what kinds of foods to eat, why stealing is wrong, how to tread water (badly), etc. The following is, for the most part, a direct transcript of one of these segments, but with minor changes that I think would have improved the whole thing.

(Living Room)

GIRL: Bobby, my stomach hurts.

BOBBY: I'll give you some of Dad's medicine... (Exit Boy and Girl)


(Enter BOBBY and GIRL)

Bobby: ...it's real strong stuff.

(Enter DOC, standing outside bathroom window)

DOC: That...is a perscription for danger.


DOC: Never take a medicine without a grown up present you could do more harm then good.

BOBBY: What are you doing hanging around outside our bathroom window.

DOC: If you can wait for your parents, or if it's serious ask a neighbor for help.

BOBBY: First of all look up Kitty Genovese, second of all what the hell are you doing peeking in our bathroom window?

GIRL: Mom's home.

DOC: Now you'll get some help.

BOBBY: Yeah, we can have her call the cops, you flippin' weirdo.

DOC: ...and knowing is half the battle.

BOBBY: MOM! There's a pervert peeking in our window!
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An Update on my life. [Mar. 7th, 2012|03:31 pm]
I am alive. Further details as the situation developes.
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Writer's Block: Poetry Break [Jan. 10th, 2012|05:02 pm]

Write a poem or share one that you like.

A poem I am told to share
I search my anger...no poem there.

Next I search my lack of joy,
and next my inner little boy.

My happiness, sadness, my imagination too
None of them have poems for you.

My poetry skills are all but naught
I'm well and truly writer-blocked.

My search exhausts and nothing found
I'll stamp my feet upon the ground

I'll rail and yell and curse out loud
This moment shall not be too proud

Once calm my eye will shed a tear.
...naw...I'll just have a beer.

-The Jer
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Faith and Begorrah, it be talk like a pirate day, it is. [Sep. 19th, 2011|04:16 pm]
Aye....it be talk like a pirate day, the day that I Meself celebrate by talkin' like a leprechaun, just so the folks like you and yours know that leprechauns could kick the blarny out of pirates and ninja.

Now I'm going to go have a Guinness.
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If I were the suspicious sort... [Apr. 22nd, 2011|07:50 pm]
If I were the suspicious sort, I would raise an wary eyebrow at the Weird Al Yankovic/Lady Gaga saga. The facts as I've come to understand them are as follows:

Fact One: Weird Al creates/works on a Lady Gaga parody.

Fact Two: Weird Al asks Lady Gaga (presumably through her people or his people or both sets of people) for permission to release it.

Fact Three: Weird Al releases the song on you tube saying that if this song had been approved the proceeds would go to charity.

Fact Four: Lady Gaga says that this disapproval was news to her, that she loved the song, and that it was her manager that made the decision to say no.

Fact Five: Weird Al says (and I'm paraphrasing) "Yay."

Happy ending right? But the problem is that I've seen too many movie adaptations of Tom Clancy novels and I'm ready to be all skeptical about the situation at hand. What if the actual situation played out like this.

Weird Al creates "Born This Way" parody. Lady Gaga hears it and says "no" al by her kooky little self, but tells her manager to break the news to young Alfred so that she doesn't look like she has no sense of humor. Weird Al hears the news from "her people" and gets irked by it. The James Blount thing still fresh in his mind he takes it to the you tube audience for a bit of comment box rebellion. He also adds the sudden new fact that the proceeds for this were going to go to charity. "Gee Wilikers!" says Lady Gaga "Now not only do I look like a humorless twit, but I look like an uncharitable humorless twit." Then she puts on bathrobe knitted from Robin Williams' back hair and trots over to the telegraph machine to say that the "No" was news to her and that she was A-Okay with it being released, especially if it means helping...I don't know the Milk for Martians Campaign or whatever was being benefitted here. Weird Al says "Yay." (again I'm paraphrasing), and hangs up. He then steeples his hands and issues a light maniacal laugh, his evil plan to manipulate Her Over-Hypedness complete.

Okay so the whole thing is a bit "conspiracy theorist-y" but it makes sense, don't it?
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My Dumb Opinion: WWE - WTF [Apr. 18th, 2011|04:50 pm]
[Current Location |My Own Personal Headspace]
[Current Mood |confusedHuh?]
[Current Music |The evil voices in said headspace]

First of all: http://nodq.com/wwe/304712134.shtml

What...the hell... happened to this company? It used to be so badass. There were people world wide wearing "Stonecold F*ck Fear Drink Beer" t-shirts. They pissed off the Parent Television Council...on purpose! They created an entire tag team stable with the world's worst theme music for the express purpose of pissing off a group that they had already pissed off inadvertantly. They may not have been the most extreme group of mat slappers in the world, but still.

Now I understand why their not smacking each other with chairs every week like they used to. There's a reason wrestlers get addicted to pain killers so easily...because they're in pain. A few untimely deaths of wrestlers and a rash of drug addictions is reason enough to maybe kick the attitude era to the curb. But the recent change of phrasology in this company leads me to believe that the company is being run by the same kind of people who wouldn't allow Jim Morrison to say the word "higher" on the Ed Sullivan Show. The following quote (from the above referenced website) is submitted for your disapproval:

* "Sports" is incorrect. "Entertainment or Action Soap Opera" is allowed. For example, "WWE is exciting entertainment" or "WWE is an exciting action soap opera" is allowed...

"WWE is exciting entertainment"? "WWE is an exciting action soap opera"? These are not sentences I would expect from someone who has a working knowledge of English. People who speak the language fluently should know first hand how lame those sentences sound.

Additional they're not supposed to use the word "fight" or "fighting". But what the hell else are you supposed to say when there are people in the ring pretending to hit each other? "Gee Harmoney! Cody Rhodes sure is doing something in the ring with Rey Mysterio. There sure are some activites happening in that ring. Some set up us the bomb!" It just doesn't gel, kids!

Another quote from the above mentioned article:

World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) is a publicly traded entertainment company (NYSE: WWE) that creates and delivers a weekly action soap opera to its passionate fans.

No. No it doesn't. Sorry. Try again. What it creates is "wrestling". Which we, the fans, have known for years was in quotation marks. Real sports stars do not dress like ship captains and make a tugboat-whistle sound. We the wrestling fans have known that "wrestling is fake" for years, most of us are okay with it. We're even okay with being told that it's fake by the occasional detractor whilst awaying ourselves to the local bistro to purchase two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.

So why can't we call it that? Why is it that a company has called it's product "wrestling" since forever ago suddenly backpeddling so much. Why in the name of all that's reasonable can't we get past the technicalities of the language and the P.C.B.S., and try and capture a little bit of the "don't give a damn" spirit of long ago and say "Hey...we're pro wrestling...suck it."?
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Crutchblongomastic News - Broken with Brokencontrollers [Apr. 15th, 2011|08:27 am]
[Current Mood |amusedamused]

Color me amused.

Some of you (if indeed there is anyone really reading this garbage), my have noticed my observation of brokencontrollers.com. A strange little site that my livejournal appears to have appeared on with neither my knowledge nor consent. Last entry involved me stating in no uncertain terms that no one should ever visit that site. Gigantic yellow letters screaming it out for the world to see.

The other day googled the word Crutchblongomastic in google to check on the status of our friends down at BC.c and low and behold all my content was removed. HA! The Jer is free from the curse of brokencontrollers.com!

The down side is I think they may have been the only ones reading this journal.
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