Archive for the 'Fine Literature' Category

I’d Take Up To Three Bullets For You, Bro

July 29th, 2011

Would I take a bullet for you? Hell yeah, I would. You know I would, man! You know I would.

I would definitely take a bullet for you. It would be like in the movies, we’d be walking down the street, it’s late at night, probably after having a typical awesome time together, and suddenly a shadowy assassin would leap out of the darkness. I see the glint of the hammer in the darkness and I don’t think, I react: “Nooooooooooo”.

BLAM! First bullet hits me square, caving in my chest cavity. That’s no big deal. I’m all like, it’s worth it, it’s totally worth it for my best bud. I immediately flash to the montage: I’m in the hospital, there’s ER confusion, a clatter of gurney and machines, beeping and yelling; but I get better, and slowly over time you help me walk again. Green Day’s “Time Of Your Life” plays in the background. Teddy bears, balloons, best wishes via tons of Facebook updates. Big thumbs up all around.

But then: BLAM! Second shot rings out, taking a grapefruit-sized chunk of meat out of my shoulder section. Still feeling like a hero, but this is where I get a little skeptical. I’m wondering: Who is this shadowy assassin? Is this his wife? Am I standing in the middle of a private, domestic dispute? You know that’s one of my pet peeves, I don’t like to get in the middle of that sort of thing. So while I would take the second bullet, no problem, you might see a shadow of doubt flicker across my face while the high-pressure blood fountain erupts out of my clavicle.

There’s a beat, a moment of complete silence.

BLAM! Third shot rings out. Proud to do it. When we tell people about this later on, this is going to be the greatest of great stories. This shot hits the side of my head and shears off some of my face and most of my ear. This is where I start to think, Yes, this is almost certainly his wife. Also, due to massive blood loss and severe brain damage, I start to think: Garry Shandling, Popeye’s chicken, underwater level in Super Mario Bros. My eyes go funny and I wonder if I have enough oxygen or if I should swim towards a bubble.

So, to step back, after the third bullet I take for you, I have to wonder: Who wants you dead so bad? What have you done to piss someone off this severely? You know I love you, man, but now I’m sort of questioning motivation, and I’m thinking back to Postal Service Song also, where did you even go? World of Warcraft is a decent game but Things are getting dark, Blood is actually blue until it hits the air and then it turns red, that’s why your veins are blue, Not so much a concern for me, as I spit a wad of something wet out on the sidewalk which is very close by and detailed and interesting and grin with red-rimmed teeth, and I’m smiling wide because I took three bullets for you, bro.

dust mites

March 22nd, 2008

I know one of the most horrific moments of my childhood was when I was informed that no matter how often I bathed, and no matter how hard I cleaned, there would be dust mites all over myself and everything I held dear. They are, apparently, all over everything.

Quite frankly, it still freaks me out.

I was just thinking about the first scientists who developed electron microscopes powerful enough to look at the surface of a dust mite. I wonder if, just for a second, the first scientist to put his eye up to the eyepiece might have wondered: “On the surface of this dust mite, am I going to see little cars and little cities, with little tiny people, wearing little tiny hats and little tiny sweaters, walking around on their dust mite, completely unaware?”

Because I would.



February 16th, 2008


MUSIC: dramatic string section

V/O: “The Oceanic 6… are off the island.”

FLASH: Picture of island from “Lost”

V/O: “Faced with a challenge… they never expected.”

FLASH: Downtown Soho loft apartment, exterior shot

V/O (wacky voice): “Living together, in a downtown New York apartment!”

MUSIC: “I’ll Be There For You (Theme from ‘Friends’)”

FLASH: Photoshopped cast of ‘Friends’ with faces from cast of “Lost” (Jack, Kate, Locke, Sawyer, Desmond & Ben) with title “LOFT” (all caps)

V/O: From the producers of “Lost” comes the new sitcom: “Loft”!

MUSIC: fade down, back to dramatic string section

FLASH: Back to exterior of loft apartment

V/O (deep voice): Previously, on ‘Loft’…

LOFT GANG sits on couch.

DESMOND and JACK in the kitchen.

DESMOND to JACK: Sorry, brudda, but… some one’s gonna eat your peanut butter.

JACK (holding jar of peanut butter): Great.

SFX: (laugh track)

FLASH (white)

LOFT GANG sits on couch.

KATE to SAWYER (holding pice of paper): What are these mysterious numbers?

SAWYER: Freckles… those aren’t that mysterious — those numbers are your share of the phone bill.

SFX: (laugh track)

FLASH (white)

LOCKE to JACK: Why do you find it so hard to believe!… I didn’t eat your peanut butter?!

JACK to LOCKE: Why do you find it so easy!… to eat peanut butter?!

SFX: (crowd “oooooOOOoooooh!” sound)

FLASH (white)

MUSIC: wacky sitcom entry music (ala “Bosom Buddies”):

V/O: This week, on “‘Loft”…

MUSIC: silent

LOFT GANG sits on couch.

MAN IN POLAR BEAR SUIT enters stage right and attacks KATE on couch.

KATE (close up, scared): Ahhhh!

SFX: (laugh track)


FLASH (white)

V/O: Next week on “‘Loft”…

MUSIC: “I’ll Be There For You (Theme from ‘Friends’) credits”

JACK to LOFT GANG: If you didn’t steal the rent check, and *you* didn’t steal the rent check, and *you* didn’t steal the rent check, then *who* stole the rent check?

BEN: (giggles)

LOFT GANG (in unison): Oh, BEN!

SFX: (laugh track)

V/O: Thursdays at 9 on ABC.

this i believe

January 27th, 2007

That is who you think it is

People who I’d like to hear on NPR’s “This I Believe” segment:

Amy Goodman
Paolo Freire
O Sensei Morihei Ueshiba (unlikely, since he’s dead)
Mumia Abu-Jamal
Walter Cronkite (due to his one line in this trailer)
Studs Terkel

a brief sampling of people who might make my ears bleed:
Bill O’Reilly
Cory Doctorow
Samuel P. Huntington
Tom Cruise
Ann Coulter

Seriously, anyone can write one. L-Dopa might should write a group manifesto and have a computer voice read it. When it inevitably gets on. Because we could ever agree on anything. And essays written by committees always go well. Especially when concerning core beliefs.

my favorite trick to play on my cat

January 2nd, 2007



won’t someone think of the children?

December 26th, 2006


[TIMMY, a 15-year-old boy with green hair wearing headphones and carrying a skateboard rocks and bops his way down the hallway of his house, a Billy Idol sneer on his face. He arrives at the door of his room, which has a large DO NOT ENTER sign on it. He opens the door and sees his MOM sitting on the bed, a worried expression on her face.]

TIMMY: MO-OM! Can’t I have any privacy around this house? What are you doing in here?

MOM: Timmy, we have to talk.

TIMMY: About wha— (He notices the small, white, paper-wrapped stick in his mother’s hands) That’s not mine!

MOM: Timmy, this is serious business. Who got you into this — this thing?

TIMMY: No one! I’m not gonna fink on my friends! I’m no stoolie!

MOM: [Stands and walks over to Timmy] Timmy, you just said “Fink”. I know what you’ve been doing. What is this, Timmy? [She holds up the stick in front of Timmy’s face]

TIMMY: It’s… it’s a marijuana cigarette!

MOM: Timmy, this isn’t just a harmless marijuana cigarette. This is greasepaint. You’ve been Vaudevilling with your friends, haven’t you?

TIMMY: No, I….

MOM: You just said “fink”, Timmy.


MOM: I know how it is with you kids. It starts with a baudy rhyme, then it’s a little softshoe number, and before you know it, you’re seduced by all the glamour — the hot lights, the cool juleps, the fancy ladies.

TIMMY: [Now looking at his feet] Yeah, mom. It’s true. I’m sorry. I’ll throw out the greasepaint.

MOM: Timmy, sorry’s not good enough. Do you have anything else you’d like to tell me about?

TIMMY: [Suddenly a panicked look in his eyes as he glances at the hatbox on top of his boom box] No!

MOM: [Looks where he’s looking] No? [She walks over to the hat box, opens it and looks inside. She takes out…] A porkpie hat, Timmy? Is that what this is?

TIMMY: [Grabs the hat away from MOM, then runs out the door, tears streaming down his face.]

[CUT TO: a street corner. TIMMY, dressed in a striped jacket and wearing his porkpie hat, is doing a shuffling, awkward dance while the rain washes the eyeliner down his face. He has a straw top hat on the ground with a nickel in it in front of him as he sings,] Mmmmy little buttercup! Has the sweetest smiiiiile…


more highest

August 2nd, 2006

NORTHAMPTON, MA — The Research and Development Department of local research group is pleased to announce that experimental researchers with the group have recently discovered a heretofore unknown higher email priority setting than the previously known “Highest” setting. Technicians from the group have already termed this setting “More Highest”, and are actively petitioning to get the newly discovered setting added to future revisions of popular operating systems and email clients.

“Sometimes, ‘Highest Priority’ just isn’t enough to connote the unimaginable importance and sheer, gut-twisting panic you feel an emailed message should convey,” Jeff Hobbs, lead scientician of the research group. “That’s when we knew — there had to be a higher priority.”

If the “More Highest” setting gains popularity, it will need to await approval by companies such as Microsoft, Novell, Lotus, Apple, and AOL. “More Highest” could face competition from Microsoft’s recently announced “Doubleplus Mostest Wicked Important” and AOL’s “three shiny, glowing smiley faces with their toungues sticking out” settings, competing implementations which attempt to give similar functionality to what the “More Highest” setting may provide.

Undaunted by competition, the researchers remain confident in their new discovery. “Often times, without a little red exclamation mark, I’d just chuck unread email from my co-workers right in the fuckin’ trash without even opening it,” Hobbs confides. “Now with the proposed two red and blinking exclamation marks of ‘More Highest’, I’ll know for sure that certain messages from corporate douchebags should undoubtedly command my near-undivided attention.”


(p.s. 1,000th post, bitches)

make money the jennifer way

August 2nd, 2006





  • STEP 2: ??? “THE MYSTERY STEP” ???
  • STEP 3: PROFIT!!!



mid-30’s conversational bingo

July 15th, 2006

mid 30\'s conversational bingo cartoon

cory doctorow visits a radio shack

June 4th, 2006

(SCENE: a strip mall Radio Shack with a single Radio Shack EMPLOYEE standing behind the sales counter. CORY DOCTOROW enters.)SFX: electronic doorbell goes “Dooo-weee!”

CORY DOCTOROW: Hmmph. I certainly hope that doorbell isn’t keeping private records of who enters and exits the store.

EMPLOYEE: Um, I’m fairly sure it doesn’t. What can I help you with today? RCA cables, perhaps?

CORY DOCTOROW: No, thank you, I’m actually here to purchase a cell phone as you see I am the keynote speaker at a vitally important Web 2.0 conference this week and apparently my current cell phone does not get service in this backwater area… most probably due to the total asshats at the MPAA and RIAA.

EMPLOYEE: Yes, well, we have many excellent phones and plans

CORY DOCTOROW: Listen. Before we even get into this, let me ask you something. Will I be able to transfer all my existing cell phone ringtones to my new phone? Because on my cell phone, I have a hilarious mutant hybrid remix of Queen’s “We Are The Champions” and the side-splitting “Peanut Butter Jelly Time” internet meme.

EMPLOYEE: That can depend on the hardware of your existing —

CORY DOCTOROW: I also have a community flash mob created hip-hopera version of the Dr. Who theme and M.I.A.’s “Galang” released under the Creative Commons license.

EMPlOYEE: I can’t say for sure but I doubt —

CORY DOCTOROW: And I have a background wallpaper skin of the Ontario subway system with all the stop names cleverly rearranged to spell out the names of the characters from “Harry Potter”.


CORY DOCTOROW: Let me ask you this: does this phone play quadraphonic Ogg Vorbis music format? Or FLAC encoded video? What about the Bittorrent client on this phone, is it GPL’d?

EMPLOYEE: I’m not entirely certain that the phone actually has a Bittorrent client. This brochure —

CORY DOCTOROW: You’re not certain? I guess you’ve forced me to ask: is the source code available for this phone? Not that I plan to do anything personally right now with the source, but I’d like to see it. Now, if possible, my good man. Chop chop!

EMPLOYEE: Oh look! I have an informational PDF brochure I could print out for you.

CORY DOCTOROW: Ahh, PDFs are DRM-encumbered as per secret instructions contained in the Patriot Act!

EMPLOYEE: But I could still print it out for you. Listen, let me know if you have any more questions; now I have to get back to my other customers.

CORY DOCTOROW: There’s no one else here.

EMPLOYEE: Oh, I thought maybe there was.


CORY DOCTOROW: Google maps 37Signals with Flickr iPod.


CORY DOCTOROW: I didn’t say anything. Now, about this cell phone

EMPLOYEE: Are you sure you wouldn’t be happier with perhaps a remote controlled buggy? This one goes forward and backs up while turning right. I’ll throw in the “D” cells.

CORY DOCTOROW: No, no — intriguing — but I do need a cell phone. Internet sensation and total hottie Xeni Jardin might be calling me right now!

EMPLOYEE: Well, now I understand the urgency. How about a Sprint flip-phone? $99 with three year contract.

CORY DOCTOROW: Does it have a always-on, 802.11g wifi connection to the podcasted RSS reddit digg instapundit blogosphere?

EMPLOYEE: Uhm, sure. It really does.

CORY DOCTOROW: That will do nicely.



EMPLOYEE: Could I please have your phone number, area code first?



(thanks to w for the epilogue)

why’s (poignant) guide to ruby

June 2nd, 2006


An amazing thing is happening: an entertaining and actually understandable programming book is being written, with actually good cartoons. You will like it. It’s not finished though.

Dr. Cham

desire leads to suffering

May 8th, 2006


I’ve been asked literally two billion times, “Why L-Dopa, Joshua? Why a neurotransmitter precursor related to smooth muscle function?”

The answer has always been simple: “Two billion people,” I say, “L-Dopa is a precursor to dopamine, which is not only related to being a smooth operator,” as we here at the L-Dopa main offices deep under Witch Mountain are known, “but it is also related to the sensation of pleasure, notably when your brain laughs.”

I say this because I like to convince myself that L-Dopa is a funny thing to read, both “Ha ha” funny and “smell” funny.

But I’ve just been informed that L-Dopa is now the subject of some controversy. According to this Wikipedia article, dopamine, the product of L-Dopa, may, in fact be related to desire, rather than satisfaction.

This distresses me greatly. Not only have I misinformed over 100 billion people, but I can no longer say with confidence that “L-Dopa brings you…plllleazzure” with the same sleazy voice.

I have nothing to do but apologize to those 500 billion people for misinforming them, and hope that we will make the smooth transition from pleasing our audience to giving them a sense of lack, that they could have so much more.

In the interest furthering acceptance the new spirit of L-Dopa, I am removing from our Secret Underground Headquarters the newly installed PleasureBot 9000 and replacing it with a photograph of Rosario Dawson’s lips — behind eight inches of plexiglass with a sign that says “No kissing the picture!”. Furthermore, I have just installed a device that sautées garlic into the ventilation system while replacing all the food in the L-Dopa Secret Underground Refigerator with WOW potato chips.

こんにちは, bitches

April 25th, 2006

Here goes the oddest and most futile bit of self-promotion I will ever do: Behold my book, The Spam Letters, in Japanese!

Tell all your friends who can and want to read broken English translated into Japanese!

deadly, deadly hippo

April 21st, 2006

It’s a little-known fact that statistically speaking, the world’s deadliest animal is not the bear, or even the shark, but instead: the hippo. Even lesser known are the various methods that a hippo will attempt in order to hunt and kill its human prey. Here are some of the more common ones:

  • Hippos often attempt to get elected to local or state government on a populist platform of financial reform and cost-cutting. Once in office, they will lower the communities’ potable drinking water cleanliness standards until one day you will stand in your kitchen, stare into a cloudy glass of drinking water and say to yourself, “For the amount of taxes I pay, I don’t think it’s too much to expect viable drinking water!”. In your anger and haste you will check the Internet for the local town council meeting and plan to attend the next evening. When you attend, after the meeting is brought to order and the official agenda has been discussed, the hippo will rise from the dais and trample you.
  • Around early April, a hippo will contact you and casually offer to do both your federal and state taxes for a ridiculously low hourly rate. The hippo will also maintain that it will probably only take one hour to do the entire thing, thus sweetening the deal. Several days after the paperwork is mailed off to the hippo, the hippo will get back in touch and mention that it requires a missing W-2 form and an unexpected signature. When you leave your house to fax him the additional paperwork, the hippo will be waiting to trample you.
  • Sometimes a hippo will send you an email that reads “Hello, I am the Hippo Prince of Nigeria” and if you reply, over the next couple of weeks they will strike up an email friendship with you, sending you links and funny pictures every day, but all the while subtly reminding you that they need access to a bank account to transfer their Nigerian Hippo funds into. The hippo will be super-friendly but very persistent, and eventually one day you will write back and say “OK, so I’m going to go down to the bank to set up that account for you”. When you park and get out of your car in the bank parking lot the hippo will be waiting and it will trample you.
  • When you meet a hippo in the supermarket, the first time you meet with the hippo, he will generally be friendly. However, if you are both shopping at the same rate and in the same direction through the store, subsequent interactions will be more and more awkward until eventually the hippo will become enraged and trample you. NOTE: this most often occurs in the frozen foods section.
  • Apartment-dwellers gain a false sense of security regarding hippo attacks due to living on the second or third floor of a walk up apartment. However, even this seemingly foolproof precaution is not always a sure thing; a hippo will arrange for a third party contractor to assess your property and recommend the addition of a external freight elevator connecting the floors (the contractor will often cite confusing handicapped accessibility statues in order to convince you of the necessity). Because the hippo prefers to transfer many of the construction bids through offshore holding companies, it’s often extraordinarily difficult to keep track of who signed for what. Late at night, shortly after construction is completed, the apartment-dweller will hear the hydraulic hum of the fright elevator engaging but by then it will be too late: the hippo will rush into the bedroom and trample you.


bear avoidance tips

April 11th, 2006

As we get closer to the long-awaited Spring season, runners, hikers, and fans of the great outdoors need to be aware of the increased activity and threat as bears awaken from their long winter hibernation. Here are some helpful tips you can follow to keep dangerous exposure to our forest friends to a “bare” minimum:

  • Hang food from a high branch that will not support a bear’s weight, or will at least make the bear feel self-conscious about their weight.
  • Wrap trash and odoriferous foods well in sealed plastic bags. Use “Ziploc Bear Repellent” brand if available.
  • Remove the clothes you’ve worn while cooking, slowly. Slower. Yes.
  • Never store food in your tent, especially if camping with the notoriously untrustworthy Kirstie Alley.
  • You may have a false sense of security resultant from literature which suggests bears are mainly attracted to floppy blue donkeys, small piglets, and large bouncy tigers. This data cannot be confirmed and may no longer be accurate.
  • Keep a clean cooking area and fire pit; bears are shallow and will often judge you on appearances.