Varied and Sundry Items


    O.K., so first off I want to make it plain that I am going to Hell. (Is “Hell” supposed to be capitalized? Isn’t it a place, you know, like Wilmington or Fort Worth? Oh, never mind.) The point is I’m going there. I accept that. I’ve led a rather less-than-pure life and so I’ve come to that inevitable conclusion. More about this in a moment.


    Secondly, Lewis Carroll was not just hallucinating when he conceived “Alice in Wonderland”. I mean he probably was tripping his brains out on mushrooms or masticated and regurgitated peyote when he wrote about Alice falling down the rabbit-hole. But it turns out that there is such a rabbit hole. I’ll get back to that too.

    No, I’m going to start out this paen (what the hell is a paen? I heard it used once and it really sounds impressive . . . ) this essay with the news that I am at the conclusion of a seven-year project and you, dear reader, will have the great privilege of witnessing my amazing transformation; a metamorphosis, even!


    Yes, seven years ago I began a project that would have earth-shattering implications for the cosmetic sur – no, not surgery uh, cosmetic augmen — no, not augmentation uh, uh, the COSMETIC WHATEVER!

You see, I had heard that it takes seven years for all the cells in the human body to completely replace themselves so I immediately (that is “immediately” seven years ago) set out on a mission to replace all the “Charlie” cells with better, handsomer cells. It was a no – brainer! I had seen how repeated suntanning had helped George Hamilton so I figured “how could I miss?” At worst I’ll turn out to look like Hamilton, who is a big improvement over my present big – nosed, hairy look.


    So, to help things along, every summer for six years I went out to the beach and burned away the top layer of skin cells, knowing each time that I was one year closer to becoming the beautiful swan that waited beneath the feathers of an ugly duckling.

    For seven long years I have wondered, “what studly good – looking appearance awaits me after my final sunburn peel? Will I look like Brad Pitt? George Clooney? Leonardo DiCaprio? Or even, more realistically, a hairier Sean Connery?”

    Anyway, over the weekend, my friends came up from Virginia and we all went to the beach and now the moment has arrived! I am as red as a lobster! And after my shower I will peel away the final layer of the “old” Charlie and become . . . well, I’ll get right back to you with the amazing results . . . !

. . . AFLAC! . . . AFLAC! Son of a BITCH! Oh, my goodness! Something has gone horribly wro- AFLAC!

Son of a BITCH!

It’s terrible, people! I’ve peeled away the final layer and – AFLAC! – I have taken on the appearance of Gilbert Gottfried!!!



Son of a BITCH!

    Well, it can’t be helped. I’ll just have to start working on the next seven years of peels to get back to my old, hairy big-nosed self.


    Now that I’ve finished all that yucky peeling, I can get to the next part of my discourse, namely that I am going to Hell (or hell or where ever.)


    You see, last night while I was sleeping I was actually given a tour of Hades; (I’m SURE Hades is capitalized!) No, before you say it, it wasn’t a dream; I know it because everybody there spoke Italian, just like in Dante’s immensely tedious travelogue.

    So I was standing there, naked, trying to figure out what to do with my hands (men have GOT to have pockets, you know!) while a pint – sized demon was explaining how things worked there in the bowels of the underworld (neither “bowels ” or “underworld” have to be capitalized) and I was studiously ignoring him, mainly because he was explaining it in Italian, which contrary to the fact that my mother’s whole side of the family are descended from Northern Italians, doesn’t mean that I understand more than a few curse words and some strange hand gestures.

    Having read The Divine Comedy in college I wasn’t surprised to see that there was quite a lot going on there at the outer ring suburb of Greater Hell; oh, you know, the usual: the souls of the condemned being torn to shreds only to re-assemble and be torn apart again. Others being burned to a crisp and then miraculously shedding their blistered skin, only to be torched again; the usual stuff.

    Suddenly, a mob of naked souls came running by waving clubs and beating a little bald guy to a pulp. They would catch up to him and club him senseless, the mob surrounding him and repeatedly hitting him. Eventually the mob would stop clubbing him, seeing that his skull was split open and would back away, holding their clubs at the ready. Then, miraculously the split in his head would close up and the whole sorry chase would start again. All this time the hell-spawn who was giving me the tour casually ignored the scene and babbled on in Italian.

    I stood there an indeterminable amount of time listening to the demon prattle on, probably about where the vending machines could be found, or the fact that there was no need for bathroom facilities, since feces and urine were part of the sixth-ring torments for the especially unsanitary souls etc. etc. when the mob appeared for the umpteenth time and started their little act again: pummeling the little bald guy and waiting for his head to heal, then chasing him and pummeling him again. I couldn’t stand it any longer so I tried to get the demon to tell me what the scene with the little guy and the big mob was all about. The stupid little greaseball couldn’t understand what I was saying so it took an extraordinary effort and numerous hand gestures that it misinterpreted as insults before the thing finally began to figure out what it was I was asking him.

    He started pointing at the little guy, repeatedly shouting, “Him did it! Him did it!” Then the mob looked at the demon and pointed at the little bald guy, screaming “Him did it! Him did it!”

I was totally flummoxed “Him did what?” Which only resulted in more pointing and more “Him did it”‘s Then they started hitting the guy again and ran off.

I watched the gang recede into the distance and repeated the question to the imp who just snarled “HIM did it, grrrr.”

    I couldn’t conceive of why they were all so angry at the little guy and figured it would all be made clear one of these times that the mob came by; so I waited, and sure enough the whole sorry tableau began again. This time I was determined to get an answer so I walked over to the mob and asked, “Him did what?”

    Most of them were huffing and puffing so it took a little time for them to catch their breaths and when they did, they said, as one:

“HIM DID -‘Be-deedly-deedly-de-de-de-de-de-de-de-de-de-de, deedly-deedly-de-de-de-de-de-de-de-de-de-de.
Be-deedly-deedly-de-de-de-de-de-de-de-de-de-de, deedly-deedly-de-de-de-de-de-de-de-de-de-de!'”

IT WAS THE F–K–G MISTER SOFTEE THEME! He must have been the guy who wrote it! It explained EVERYTHING!

And it became crystal clear to me what I had to do!!!

    I snatched a club from the hands of one of the mob and started clubbing the little guy! Then I started chasing him all around the ninth ring suburb of Greater Hades beating him about the head . . .

    Needless to say, I woke sweating but I felt strangely satisfied . . . .

And now, the rabbit hole.

    I’m sure that many of us, especially those of us with healthy imaginations, have always wondered, even wished that there was a magical, mystical doorway to another dimension; a way through the looking glass; a miraculous path through the wardrobe (now that’s just too damn many semicolons! Hey maybe that’s another one; if you use too many semicolons it will open a tear in the time -space . . . oh, never mind).

    Anyway, I’ve found the way through the looking glass!

Here, let me ‘splain it too yooo.

    A number of days ago I was reading a wonderful blog by a hilariously funny young lady named Regina. In it she posed the question, “What would happen if I ‘googled’ Google” and then went on to propose a number of totally side-splitting possibilities; one being the total disintegration of the cosmos as we know it.


    After laughing hysterically I went about the business of setting up my web page, part of which involved “customizing” my blog. Now, customizing ANYTHING on a web page is a royal pain in the ass, involving html codes and color pickers and transparency percentages and enough other things to drive the average person around the twist. There are also the dreaded videos and their html “imbed” codes; all of which are copied and pasted into the ‘text boxes” on the “profile edit” page. (I know, I know, there’s just too damn many quotation marks there, but, stay with me and remember the “text boxes”). After lots of help from Shannon, Amanda and (this is so embarrassing) my two teenaged goddaughters, I was able to set up a not-half-bad page.

    So, here I am with a page with too many videos, three slideshows and about a dozen blogs. Before I do the intelligent thing and ask around about how to deal with the twenty military videos from Iraq and the roughly same number of music vids, I start checking other pages to see how others have dealt with the problem. No help there, I couldn’t find anything. So I put that aside and decided to try to punch up the appearance of my blog.

    Since I was able to download a nifty background image for my main profile page I set about finding a way to do the same thing with my blog. I opened it up and looked at the pathetic text with its “text background” color on a white background. Yawn! I’ve GOT to find a way . . .

    Then I looked over to the left of the blog page and saw various links to other stuff: there was a link to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel and another to the Walt Whitman Bridge and, well you get the idea, it might as well have been Greek, for all I knew.

    But then I saw the “Customize Blog” link. Eureka!! I clicked on it!

Rats! More text boxes, more color pickers, more html code etc. etc.

    But, I stayed with it. I figured if I could download a background to my profile page from “Pimp-My-Profile” I might be able to do the same with my blog and, sure enough, with only a minimum amount of grief, I was able to do just that! Nothing fancy and not very difficult; just copy and paste the html code into the text box on the “custom blog” page . . .

. . . wait a minute! An idea was beginning to form in my pea brain

. . . the “TEXT BOXES”! THEY ARE THE WAY!!!!!!!

    Well, I went totally nutz! I thought to myself, if I insert html for my videos and slideshows in the main page text boxes then why couldn’t I do the same with my blog page???


    I started small, with a Pink Floyd video. At first I assumed that it was a failure when I inserted the html code, pushed the button and a box opened up and said, “You are attempting to imbed a yatayatayata . . . That will require the permission of the administrator of the Profile . . . yatayatayata. An email will be sent to the administrator seeking permission . . .


    DAMMIT! I didn’t even know that my page HAD an admini . . . wait a minute – I’M the page’s administrator! So I pushed the “yes” button and sent an email to MYSELF asking MYSELF for permission!



    Sure enough, as soon as I pushed the “yes” button, my “pop – up” notifier told me that I had an email from MySpace etc. So I opened the email and


    Wellll, after that it was off to the races: I downloaded a SECOND Pink Floyd video. Then I converted my goldfish to html code and down loaded HER (or maybe him, I’ve never been too sure; goldfish genitalia are so small).

    Then I found a DOG and converted it to html. Nothing too big, mind you; it was one of those “teacup pomeranians” . . .


    I followed that up with a Volkswagen and two of my neighbors and was ready to covert MYSELF to html when I got an angry call from Tom. (You know Tom, that idiot who’s grinning at you on the first day that you get your page, the one whose picture is the first you flush . . .) I suspect he wasn’t grinning anymore when he told me to


    So, things have calmed down here, though every body tells me what a unique page I have. They tell me they’ve never seen one with a VW parked on the “About Me” section and the little dog running around is really cute (though I really wish it would stop peeing on the VW’s tire and go on the Paris Hilton slideshow I inserted instead). The goldfish swims by frequently and my two neighbors are quite baffled and don’t know where they are but then, they never did anyway. I’m going to reconvert them to html and insert them into a google earth satellite photo of their choice; they seem to be leaning toward Rio De Janiero (good choice!)


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