- I am the Lord your God. Thou shall have no other gods before me. Unless it’s Tom Waits.
- Thou shalt not make thyself an idol. Look what happened to poor Taylor Hicks, playing county fairs and weddings at the Elks.
- Do not take the name of the Lord in vain, for chrissakes.
- Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy. Especially Iron Man.
- Honor thy father and thy mother, otherwise they’ll be dicks when you ask them for money.
- Thou shalt not kill or murder, unless it’s a cow, chicken, or other tasty barnyard animal and it represents thy dinner. Free pass if thou art vegetarian. Then you’re just killing plants.
- Thou shalt not commit adultery. Exceptions include extramarital sex with preordained celebrities whose names must appear on a laminated card, notarized by thy spouse and kept in thy purse or wallet at all times.
- Thou shalt not steal. Burning friends’ CDs or downloading from bittorrent sites doesn’t count. That’s called SHARING, a kindly behavior encouraged in kindergartens around the world.
- Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. Also, don’t bear thy soul or thy private parts to thy neighbor. You’ve got to live next door to that person, for chrissakes.
- Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife. This commandment is no problem for me, since my neighbor’s wife is a horror show.
“One of the (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) projects listed on the group’s website Tuesday calls for submissions to ‘develop the next generation of condom’. The foundation is offering $100,000 in grant money to fund any group that can come up with a prototype ‘that significantly preserves or enhances pleasure, in order to improve uptake and regular use.” – CBC News, March 26th, 2013
Smoker King – Incorporates authentic, barbeque-style “ribbing” for greater pleasure and post-coital snacking. Could be a contender. Legal has expressed some concern over liability for soiled sheets.
The TARDIS – This condom appears commonplace when removed from its foil pack, but slip inside and users discover a sprawling, tropical vacation resort complete with Infinity pools, free drink coupons and a lifetime supply of Bain de Soleil. A clear front-runner, though we’re still searching for one research participant who defected during usability testing.
Hoover Dam – Talk about a reservoir tip – this one has room for recreational boating. The extra latex costs alone make this a non-starter.
Lube and Go – Lubricated inside and out, this condom is greasier than fried dough at a carnival. Residual benefits include a free, 10-minute oil change for your motor vehicle. Throw in a complimentary radiator flush and this could be the “dark horse” favorite.
Knotty-by-Nature – Misspelling of “naughty” was apparently deliberate; Steve from R&D now hospitalized with penis tied in sheepshank.
Microsoft – Odd “Windows” –style tip makes glans look like Cyclops pressing face against plastic wrap. “Safe to Remove Hardware” message keeps popping up in the middle of intercourse. Orgasms followed by “blue screen of death”. Disqualified.
Jeeves – This condom also serves as a personal butler, capably handling light housework, meal preparation and general accounting. Patented “White Glove” design is a clever feature, though four extra sheaths make user look like a cow and considerably impede sexual congress.
Red Eye Willy – Designed for hot sauce enthusiasts, this condom substitutes habanero pepper for spermicide. Rockets straight past “warming sensations” all the way up to “penis melting” on the Scoville Heat Units scale. Cool package design, but target market is way too niche-y.
Morning Wood – Strong value proposition – “Enjoy morning sex and still be on time for work!” Product features are very intriguing: prevents STDs and unwanted pregnancy, brews coffee, fixes breakfast, shaves your face and freshens your breath with a minty fluoride rinse. However, baggy fit reminds us of old pajama bottoms, and our English muffin was burnt on the bottom. Pass.
Ten-foot Pole – Potential customer base consists of one guy named Stanislaw living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Investigation confirms he’s been married 22 years, with three teen-aged kids and a vasectomy. Market penetration could be a problem.
Puds n’ Suds – A condom that provides reliable protection while also pressing shirts, Woolite-ing delicates and de-pilling your sweaters? Looks like a winner! Careful to not mix lights with dark colors or your junk will get all streaky.
Yes, Mr. Zuckerberg wears a hoodie – the same hoodie, every day, rarely laundered. Every news story written about the guy mentions the hoodie. It’s a journalistic obligation.
And because the traditionally hidebound Business Journalists of America are sworn by oath to only associate hoodies with shiftless, irresponsible teenagers, Zuckerberg’s hoodie clearly signifies his immaturity and ill-preparedness to run a successful public company. Some even go so far as to blame Facebook’s disastrous I.P.O. on the hoodie.
It’s unfortunate, really, that a simple, sporty cotton garment should be so publicly vilified. I mean, it’s not like Zuckerberg wears a trench coat. That would really be stupid and unsettling. But here we are, left to ponder the fashion accessories that reside in the closets of other wildly successful business leaders. And turn them into a fun and educational matching game. Concerned neo-socialists will print this out and post it on their very expensive refrigerators.
You’ve probably heard of the “Fiscal Cliff,” a popular term used to describe the forthcoming expiration of tax breaks and implementation of spending cuts that could plunge our economy off the proverbial precipice and into another devastating recession.
Catchy phrase, catastrophic implications – it’s nothing new. There’s a grand, old tradition employing features of the landscape as metaphors to describe pivotal turning points in America’s political history.
The Internal Revenue Code Root Wad
When the 83rd United States Congress sought to reorder and expand the country’s tax system, they sagely hired Dutch graphic artist M.C. Escher to do the job. The result was the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, a clusterfuck extraordinaire of chapters and subchapters, paragraphs and subparagraphs, annotated punctuation marks and tessellating footnotes and provisions addressing trusts and estates, capital gains, estate and excise taxes, reorganizations, liquidations, lobotomies, prostate exams and Ben Franklin’s porn stash. So harrowing was the outline, Escher exhausted every conceivable combination of letters and numbers known to man in its organizing and was forced to identify the Code’s later sections and provisions using a byzantine system of saucy-seeming hand gestures, covert winks and tongue clicks.
The outcome essentially guaranteed that people who could afford big, fancy lawyers and personal accountants would prosper greatly at the expense of people who could not. Congress of course loved it and wasted no time signing it into law.
The Environmental Protection Hedgerow
Seldom heard tapes archived in the Nixon Library capture the erstwhile president carping to advisors, “Nuke the fuckers!!” Historians believe he was referring to a chemical manufacturing plant situated upwind from La Casa Pacifica, Nixon’s presidential hideaway in San Clemente, California.
With a blight threatening to kill his prized shrubbery and all conventional, pesticidal treatments exhausted to no avail, Nixon determined that pollutants from the nearby company were to blame. Dismayed to learn his executive privileges excluded the authority to personally incinerate their production facility with a nuclear bomb, Nixon pulled out all the stops and ordered the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency instead, thereby establishing the federal authority to regulate and enforce laws that protect the environment.
The offending chemical manufacturer was subsequently shuttered and the San Clemente shrubberies temporarily saved, only to succumb a few years later to a prolonged bout of negligent watering.
The Mideast Peace Monadnock Hump
On September 17, 1978, U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin emerged from 13 days of secret negotiations at Camp David to announce their successful agreement on the framework for what would later become the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty. The meetings at Camp David would have wrapped up in half that time were it not for a foreign policy blunder that threatened to undo the fragile accord.
While on a bathroom break and sequestered in a men’s room stall, Prime Minister Begin overheard an aide to the U.S. diplomacy team confuse the Temple Mount, a holy site situated in disputed territory and a flashpoint of Mideast tension, with a position he’d seen in his wife’s dog-eared copy of The Joy of Sex.
Carter is credited with salvaging the peace treaty, wielding his resolve and an endless supply of peanut-based confections like a cudgel of unity. It also helped that he hid Begin and Sadat’s car keys, preventing them from leaving until agreement had been reached
The North American Free Trade Glory Hole
The 1992 campaign for the U.S. presidency was a hotly contested and bitterly fought, three-party affair. One of the central issues of debate was international trade, specifically the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and whether it would help or hurt the American economy. In early campaigning, independent candidate and Texas billionaire Ross Perot employed some colorful verbiage cribbed from the oil industry of his home state, whipping up supporters with the rallying cry “WE WILL NOT BE MEXICO’S GLORY HOLE!” His intended message – that Mexico would siphon jobs from the U.S. in the same way an oil company siphons petroleum from a well (aka, a “glory hole”) – was muddied by the metaphor’s raunchier meaning, as Democratic presidential candidate Bill Clinton smugly pointed out in a televised debate when he said , “I know glory holes, I’ve worked with glory holes. Mr. Perot, the United States is no glory hole.”
The Judicial Beaver Dam
In January 2010, the Supreme Court handed down its 5-4 ruling in the case of Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission, upholding the constitutional right of corporations to spend embarrassing sums of money in the interest of swaying political campaigns. So galled were the dissenting minority, Justices Stevens, Ginsburg, Breyer and Sotomayor took refuge in the Court’s Chamber, walling themselves behind an impregnable barricade of antique furniture and marble busts. When they finally emerged three days later they were, to a person, characteristically professional and discreet; however, the vehemence of their closed-door protest was more than hinted at by the indelible marks of gnawing teeth which permanently marred Chief Justice John Roberts’ seat at the Court’s raised, mahogany bench.
“[A study of more than 21,000 British children] finds that text messages are the most commonly read material outside of class.” – “Number of Children Reading for Fun has Fallen Since 2005, Study Reveals”, The Guardian, September 6, 2012
Dear Ms. Peterson,
I accidentally burned the summer reading assignment you handed out on the last day of school, but not to worry. Like my dad always says, “when the going gets tough, the tough give 110%.” Well, you’ll be happy to know that I gave 110 THOUSAND percent, Ms. Peterson! Did I give up when my experiment with aerosol deodorant and a cigarette lighter turned your book list to ashes? (an A+ science project, I might add. That is, if Mr. Donnelly bothered to assign summer homework like you.)
No, I did not.
I problem solved. I persevered. Like our forefathers who founded this great nation, I took lemons and made lemonade.
It is frankly not an exaggeration to say I read a whole shit-ton this summer (which I know sounds like profanity but is in fact an actual unit of measurement. I learned about it at my summer job pouring assphalt). Specifically, I read a whole shit-ton of texts.
I can’t report on every one because there are literally like 1.2 jillion, 110% of which are NSFT (“not safe for teacher” – ur welcome). But I stole a page from our government’s playbook and inserted those black bars they use to censor sensitive, Wikileaks-type information and topless photos of Kate Middleton on Google Image search.
To assuage your doubts (one of my fav vocabulary words we learned last year. It’s literally amazeballs how often the prefix “ass-“ comes up in daily conversation!), I’ve included a few choice excerpts of my summer reading here, along with a brief critical analysis of each:
“of course she ______ the ________ gangnam styl! They were very tight…Lol”
The author of this text (Mick Swanson, who didn’t do this ASSignment at all b/c he found a loophole in the system called the GED. Srsly, and now the kids who smoke are talking about erecting an honorary statue of him in the quad to which I say wtf?) addresses a key theme in classic literature, namely the unbreakable bonds of romantic love. Just like Romeo and Juliet, only these two are both still alive and she’s “in a family way,” as my Aunt Tina would say.
“BaAHAHAHAHA!!! _____ that _____!!! who was it?!?”
A close reading of this text would infer that the author is amused by something funnier than any plain old “LOL” or “haha” will do justice. However, when read in context of all the other “BaAHAHAHA” texts she sent me this summer, it is plainly clear the author is on bath salts.
“I have seen the greatest minds of my generation starving hysterical naked dood I am so ______________ ________ cant even ____ my shoos ~¿~”
The author of this text was clearly inspired by historical sources, namely his ridiculous obsession with those dope fiends from the Beat Generation. I swear, if Jack Kerouac walked through that door right now, he would probably dry hump the guy. I actually heard him recite the first two stanzas of “Howl” at a kegger before three players from the football team shut him down with a Class A wedgie. Extra points for the ace illustration. Guy’s a regular Bob Ross.
“Tyler this is your mother pick up milk on the way home”
Remember when we studied Ernest Hemingway last year and you referred to his writing style as “minimalist”? Well the same could be said of my mother. And just like Hemingway’s “A Farewell to Arms,” where that guy ends up losing his arms, I stayed out past curfew and drove Dad’s Kia into a ditch and on top of everything forgot to pick up milk and ended up saying farewell to my social life for the month of August.
“You have a secret crush, Click ‘Yes’ to find out who.”
At first I thought some girl was totally playing “Hermione Granger” to my “Ron Weasley,” but then I clicked a link in the text and discovered it was only this Nigerian dude looking for my social security number. Talk about a buzzkill. BTW, I’m applying to Brown next year, hoping to catch a glimpse of da bomb Emma Watson b/f she gets her you-know-what together and graduates, so if you wouldn’t mind writing me a letter of recommendation, that would be excellent, thx!!
Christian role-plays a Denny’s employee. Ana is a chicken fried steak.
Christian is a bush pilot while Ana gamely plays a bush. The festivities are marred by the unexpected arrival of an aggressive Kodiak bear who wishes to make it a threesome.
Ana illegally crosses the border. Christian, dressed as a border patrol guard, Tasers her in the butt.
Loyal, hard-working secretary Ana stays late on a Friday night, helping her boss Christian, a C-level Walmart human resources executive, “relax a little.” Security cameras film them doing unspeakable things with Sam Walton memorabilia.
Christian acts the part of an old-timey gold prospector. Ana shows up as a porn star. They check their texts to see where the misunderstanding might have occurred.
Christian, as “Tim Tebow,” runs Ana, aka “the ball,” in for a touchdown. While booking the two for criminal trespass, security guards at Mile High remind them that Tebow is a Jet now.
Christian pretends to be a CPA from New Haven. Ana is a spreadsheet. The two sustain minor injuries while attempting to execute a particularly tricky “pivot table” maneuver.
Christian plays chairman of the board to Ana’s limited liability corporation. After determining they have a quorum, taking a shareholder vote and wrapping things up with a little erotic spanking, the two fall asleep watching Game of Thrones on hotel cable.
Ana pretends to be an arthritic retiree while Christian lies in predacious wait as a very hungry crocodile.
Christian “Wolf Blitzer” Grey traps Ana “Christiane Amanpour” Steele in his “Situation Room” for a little anchor-on-anchor hanky panky. The festivities are marred by the unexpected arrival of an aggressive Jim Cramer, smelling of Coca-Cola and peaches and wanting to make it a threesome.
Ana, pretending to be a sacrificial virgin, literally throws herself at Christian, playing the role of a volcano. His subsequent injuries are confined to a chipped tooth and sprained penis and assumed to be non-life threatening.
Christian role-plays a hungry traveling salesman. Ana is a baked potato. The Motel 6 in Pocatello levies a surcharge for the removal of sour cream and chives from the bed sheets.
With Christian doing his best Rahm Emanuel impersonation, the two lovers get it on against the right field wall at Wrigley Field. Soon after, Ana discovers a hitherto unknown allergy to ivy.
Ana, pretending to be NASCAR driver Danica Patrick, pulls her stock car into the pit for fuel and a tire change. Crew chief Christian gets carried away and attempts to install his ball joint in her trunk, completely ruining the mood.
Christian and Ana do it like people from Iowa. While driving by, a family on vacation from Oregon mistake what they see in the field as an instance of cow-tipping; they pull over to take pictures.
Ana and Christian perform a nude re-enactment of their favorite scene from the movie Twister, but the wind velocity generated by six Vornado room fans proves insufficient to lift a cow off the ground.
Christian has one too many mint juleps and deflowers Ana’s Derby hat.
Christian plays the part of famed New Orleans musician and gourmand Dr. John. Ana, ravishing as a fried oyster po’ boy, doesn’t stand a chance.
Ana pretends to be a lobster. Christian is a moose. Together they enact the most outlandish experiment in interspecies sexual relations the world has ever seen.
Christian role-plays a Chesapeake Bay fisherman. Ana, tired from all the travel, interprets her role as “The Crab” by skipping sex and reading a magazine instead.
With Christian doing his best John F. Kennedy impersonation, the two lovers get it on all over Plymouth Rock. Ana, uncertain whether she’s Jackie O. or Marilyn Monroe, is soon immobilized with a bad case of sand-induced chafe.
Contract talks between “Chrysler president” Christian and “UAW negotiator” Ana come to a stalemate over compensation, benefits, and the fair and equitable distribution of handjobs. The stage is set for “binding arbitration” when Christian realizes he forgot his duffle of ropes and handcuffs on the airport baggage carousel.
Christian acts the part of a Mall of America security guard. Ana is a shoplifter. After an intense interrogation and compulsory strip search, they pick up his-and-hers matching hoodies at American Apparel and stop at the food court for an Orange Julius.
Christian pretends to be a catfish-noodler. Ana is the catfish. Their intimacy ceases abruptly when Ana realizes that “noodling” involves the insertion of fists.
Christian pretends to be Tom Sawyer. Ana is a picket fence. Needing a break from all the kinky sex, Christian pays a couple of bums to whitewash her and takes in a Cardinals game instead.
Christian and Ana re-enact Custer’s Last Stand. In the process, “Little Big Horn” replaces “Mitt Romney” as the new favorite euphemism for Christian’s penis.
Ana role-plays an ear of corn that Christian husks quite lustily.
Aroused after an evening watching Cirque du Soleil, Ana and Christian transform their Caesar’s Palace hotel room into a flying circus. Ana suffers a bruised coccyx when the drywall anchors give way and their improvised sex harness/trapeze pulls down part of the ceiling.
Ana and Christian are drawn to a spot on the map called Pinkham Notch, mostly because its name sounds kind of kinky. Anticipating an Eden for solitude and outdoor sex, they are instead disappointed to discover a bustling visitor center overrun by pasty New Englanders wearing socks with their Tevas.
Christian and Ana reenact that infamous scene from The Sopranos where Tony dresses up as a Furry and Carmela, in full dominatrix gear, gives him the “bada bing” with the business end of a Cuban cigar.
Christian pretends to be an Area 51 security guard. Ana is an alien visitor from a distant planet. Together they enact the most outlandish experiment in intergalactic-species sexual relations the universe has ever seen.
Ana and Christian explore bondage in the back of a New York City taxi cab. The driver confuses Ana’s safe word for their destination and mistakenly drops them off at the “Guggenheim.”
Christian is a down-on-his luck tobacco farmer. Ana is a Krispy Kreme donut.
Christian plays the part of a grizzled paleontologist. Ana is a dinosaur fossil. Her titillation wanes during the excruciatingly slow “excavation process.”
Christian pretends to be Congressman Dennis Kucinich. Ana, in a red wig and dangerously tall platform shoes, role-plays his much younger wife Elizabeth. Together, they discover the real reason Ohio is called a “swing state.”
Ana role-plays a Native American. Christian is a 19th-century settler. Their portrayal of “Manifest Destiny” includes more anal beads and ball gags than is historically accurate.
Christian and Ana do it like people from Oregon. While driving by, a family on vacation from Vermont mistake what they see in the bike lane as an instance of pickling; they pull over to take pictures. Our heroes later realize the next town over is named “Beaverton” and kick themselves for missing a golden opportunity.
Ana and Christian are Amish teenagers on rumspringa. Community elders disapprove of their experimentation with alcohol, marijuana, and bondage mittens.
Christian swaggers about like an ascot-wearing yacht captain. Ana, unfamiliar with the term “WASP,” pretends to be a sexy stinging insect of the order Hymenoptera.
Christian plays a God-fearing man with uncontrollable appetites. Ana is pulled-pork barbecue. The number of moist towelettes consumed in the post-coital clean-up is jaw-dropping.
Ana and Christian, growing a little tired of one another, have sex with coyotes instead.
Christian’s “Dolly Parton” fantasy is spoiled when an avalanche of tissues, toilet paper and gym socks tumble from Ana’s bra as he’s attempting to attach the nipple clamps.
Plans for surreptitious sex at the Alamo are scuttled when Christian realizes he left the lubricant back at the hotel. Fifth-graders on a school field trip are treated to a new variation of the old story when they overhear Ana screaming, “Remember the Astroglide!”
Christian and Ana role-play Donny and Marie. She’s “a little bit country,” he’s “a little bit rock and roll.” The sex is a little bit icky.
Ana and Christian do it like people from Vermont. While driving by, a family on vacation from Iowa mistake what they see in the covered bridge as an instance of liberal guilt; they pull over to take pictures.
Christian and Ana engage in prolonged and salacious tickling at the sites of many national historical landmarks. Docents around the state are notified via APB to be on the lookout, with the judicious use of deadly force authorized if necessary.
Ana is a barista. Christian role-plays an espresso macchiato. They end up in a Seattle hospital emergency room when she steams the milk too long, resulting in a nasty scalding incident.
Christian and Ana have sex with miners. No, not minors—miners.
Ana is a giant wedge of cheddar cheese which Christian, role-playing a Green Bay Packers fan, melts on a brat and inhales between downs.
Ana, lying very still, pretends to be Grand Teton. Christian, as a mountain climber, takes the role-play too far when he summits her peak in his crampons.
Originally published by The Morning News, July 12th, 2012.
“How’s your day going?”
“Good. What’s for dinner tonight?”
“Chicken with rice.”
“Gotta’ go. Getting another call.”
“Ok. Love you.”