Thursday, October 30, 2008

Nathan's Tips For Enjoying Halloween

Halloween is right around the corner (and by “around the corner,” I mean “tomorrow.”) Thank goodness there’s a day on the calendar where we get to listen to “Monster Mash” over and over again.

Because Halloween can be such a stressful time I thought it might be helpful to provide a few tips for enjoying the world’s most important holiday:

-Explain your absence from Halloween parties by saying that you did show up, it’s just that your costume was a ghost.

-Remember, safety may be first, but dressing in all black and carrying a sharp pointed weapon as a prop is a lot more fun.

-If you’re a psychotic killer, now is the perfect opportunity to escape from the mental institution and go on that killing spree you’ve been thinking about. If you’re a babysitter, you may want to pass up that job tonight.

-The best Halloween costumes are the ones that are made using wit, creativity, and materials that can be found in the home, you cheap piece of shit.

-You know what would be hilarious? Dressing up your dog in a costume.

-Save money by going around your neighborhood and trick or treating a few days before Halloween. Then on Halloween hand out that candy to the kids. Also, use real spider webs and actual human bones to decorate.

- Remember, nothing improves self-esteem more than dressing up like a slutty nurse, drinking until you vomit and passing out on a park bench.

-Haunted Houses can be expensive and have long lines. If you want some real scares, take the kids to Sizzler instead.

-Pray that a zombie virus doesn’t break out, because how would you know?

-Here’s a fun party game for the kids. Blindfold them and have them touch different objects. Have them feel cold spaghetti and tell them they are touching intestines. Tell them that peeled grapes are eyeballs. And stick their hands down the garbage disposal to replicate a school of piranhas.

-Be sure to check your kids’ candy for razors, poison, and safety pins by eating it all yourself.

-Remember, Halloween has nothing to do with witchcraft or Satan worship. And just keep telling yourself that while buzzards feast off your burning soul in hell, heathen.

-And finally, when all the Halloween festivities become a bit too much, just think ahead to what a wonderful fucking time Christmas is going to be.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Take Sip Of Coffee. Open Credit Card Bill. Spit Take!

You know the economy is bad when the credit card companies need more money.

I was paying my credit card bills this week when I noticed that one of my minimum payments had shot up considerably, and by considerably I mean by a time-to-sell-my-bodily-fluids amount.

This was a card I had since college. I had never missed a payment, hadn’t used the card in months, and was paying over the minimum every month in my attempt to pay down my overall credit debt. I’d even paid the card off completely a few years ago. My history was fine, although it was a Cubs Visa, so I should have figured that something would go wrong.

Closer inspection of my statement revealed that MBNA was raising my interest rate from 12% to 29%. I called customer service immediately, and was placed on hold giving me plenty of time to entertain the idea of trading in the Daewoo for a Ford Tempo.

Finally a cheerful-sounding man (they’re always in a good mood, the bastards) answered, and I explained the problem. “Ouch,” he said obviously looking over my statement. It’s bad when even the credit people feel sorry for you. It’s kind of like a homeless person making fun of your outfit.

Mr. Happy Pants explained that I should have received some mail from MBNA explaining the changes in terms of service and offering an option to opt out of the new agreement. Sure, I get change-of-service notices from the credit card companies every month. I don’t read them because usually it isn’t a warning that I’m about to get raped. But now I realized they send you all that meaningless shit so they can sneak this kind of thing through. I decided to play dumb.

“Oh. I didn’t get that warning.”

They guy transferred me to another woman whose job it was to sound more authoritative and decidedly less happy than her co-workers. “Well, you’ve had a balance for some time now,” she told me. “Credit cards aren’t meant to be loans.”

“Well if you want me to pay it off, how is raising my interest rate going to help?” I asked.

I honestly didn’t mind if they raised my minimum payment, but with the new interest rate, all I would be able to do would be to pay interest each month, and I’d have to buy all my gold chains from that guy on the street corner.

Of course her little lecture about responsible credit use was completely hypocritical in the first place. My high balance was keeping her employed. Luckily, before I got a chance to get really angry, she let me opt out of the new interest rate as long as I didn’t use the card anymore.

In these times I’m glad I only contribute $10 a paycheck to my 401K. (Yes, receptionists get those.) This weekend I’m investing my money in something a little safer than the stock market-- I'll be at the Breeder’s Cup.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Barknotes and Musings by Henry Bean

(Ed. Note: Since I'm still working on a few more projects, I thought I would give this week's posting to my dog, Henry Bean. I'll be back next week.)

-Look, people, I’m going to bark whether you like it or not. Deal with it. I’m a dog. That’s what we do, we bark. We also pee on things we're not supposed to, but I've been working on that lately.

-I’m holding open auditions for mouth squirrels this weekend. If you’re a local squirrel, and you’d like to be in my mouth, show up at my place anytime Saturday or Sunday, and we’ll see how it works out. No pay, but I’m willing to offer college credit.

-Do they make car freshener that smells like steak? And where do I get it?

-My penis tastes fantastic.

-I’m fascinated by the theory of relativity, wormholes, and time/space continuum, and how these concepts relate to keeping my tennis ball from rolling under the couch.

-I come from a long line of butt sniffers. Seriously, give me a few moments alone with your anus, and I can tell you what you’re going to have for dinner tomorrow.

-When I’m licking you, it’s not a kiss. It’s me using my tongue to clean the dried taco grease off your arm. And that’s because I’m a fat man trapped inside a dog’s body.

-Hey, neighborhood dogs. Can’t keep your dinner down? Leave it on the sidewalk. I’ll eat it.

-I hate AIDS. Please vote against AIDS in your next election.

-Yeah, I was the one who bit the local retard. So what?

-Let me just say that with black and white vision, it’s hard to tell the difference between a giant, dog-eating monster and a homeless guy’s shopping cart.

-If I've learned anything in my 10 months on this planet, it's this-- stay away from China.

-A dog's life can be summarized by one question. "Should I roll in that or should I eat it?"

Henry Bean lives in West Hollywood and is published in over 40 countries and 37 languages. His book, Method and Theory in Industrial Archaeology, will be published in the Spring of '09.