A description of my blog. http://www.my-site.com 4200530017279364998 Sock Drawer 2008/07/#4200530017279364998 2008-07-28 sock drawerYou lucky bastards. You must have been really good to deserve another sock drawer post already. Like, you must have totally signed up at BlogCatalog and gave my blog glowing reviews and stuff. You guys rock! If you keep this up, pretty soon this is going to be the number one mattress-related blog on BlogCatalog. Foam Mattress Central, you are going down!


When the Apollo 11 guys went to the moon, do you think they knew that they were raising the bar for everyone from that point on? I mean, do you think they still would have done it if they had known that everybody was going to start saying, "We put a man on the moon but we can't [do something completely unrelated to putting a man on the moon]?"

I bet it's particularly bad for Neil Armstrong. His wife is probably like, "We can put a man on the moon, but just try to get him to separate his whites from his colors." And Neil Armstrong is like, "Baby, all I did is climb a ladder. The dudes at mission control took care of everything else." And his wife is like, "Yeah, you couldn't even get your one historic line right." And Neil Armstrong is like, "What does woman mean? Man said line perfect!"

What if that mission had failed? Would everybody be saying, "Well, it's no wonder we can't [cure cancer/find Osama Bin Laden/stop Britney Spears from reproducing]; we can't even put a man on the moon!"

What did people say before the moon landing? "We've sent men to Antarctica, and not all of them died, so I say we get started on trying to transmit music through frequency modulation!"


The other day I was looking for some shorts at Target. I found a pair I liked, but they had some scuffing on them so I tried to find another pair like them. The next pair had the identical scuffing. I eventually realized that they were all like that. The shorts had been precisely pre-scuffed at the shorts factory.

How lazy have we become as a society that we can no longer be bothered to scuff our our shorts? Can you imagine explaining that concept to someone from the Third World? "No, they're not old, but we sometimes make our brand new clothes look old because we like the way they look. We give our old, worn clothes away to stores that sell them to people who can't afford brand new, professionally scuffed clothing."

I wonder if this trend will spread to other products. I think it would be cool to buy a professionally pre-dented Lexus, for example. Or maybe underwear with the skidmarks already in them, so I don't have to do it myself.


According to the Bible, Methuselah lived to the age of 969. I would think life would really start to drag after a few hundred years. I wonder if he went through a mid-life crisis when he was around 500. You know, bought a really fast camel and started dating 300-year-olds.


I'm always impressed with the knots that people tie in movies when they hang themselves. No matter how screwed up they are, they always manage to tie a perfect noose knot. And I don't think they teach that one in the Boy Scouts. It makes me wonder how many times these people have done it before.

I don't think I would kill myself like that. Too much pressure. I'd be worried about people laughing at my lousy knot. "Can you believe this idiot hanged himself with a modified midshipman's hitch? What a dumbass."


Sometime I'd like to see a concert with Nickelback, Daughtry and Three Doors Down. It's not that I particularly like them, but I'd like some independent confirmation that they're not all the same band.


Mrs. Diesel and I were watching TV yesterday when a character said something that I couldn't quite make out. I turned to my wife and said, "What did he say?"

She said, "It sounded like 'David Hockey.'"

I said, "Yeah, that's what I thought, but that doesn't make any sense."

She said, "Yeah, I know."

I said, "You know, if we're at the point in our relationship where we're both mis-hearing things the same way, there really isn't any added value for me."

"What are you saying?"

"I think we should see other people."


2976781442263267101 Caption Contest: Project Runway 2008/07/#2976781442263267101 2008-07-25 As a paragon of manliness, I cannot admit to ever willingly having watched Project Runway. Even the presence of megababe Heidi Klum cannot balance out the unprecedented gayosity of that show. Still, here I am with a couple of the early contestants, expressing something about something.

Project Runway

You know the rules. Submit your caption in the comments. I'll post the ten best ones in a poll on Tuesday. The winner will get to display the In Your Face award, and MIGHT get a copy of my book, IF there are any copies left. (Did I mention that today is your last chance to buy one for $9.95?)

I'm trying out a new word verification thingy in my commenting app, so let me know if it gives you any trouble. You can email me at diesel --at-- mattresspolice.com.

Make it work!


2016313049520222750 Thursday Shout-Out 2008/07/#2016313049520222750 2008-07-24

Some links for your edutainment:
  • Sinister Dan tells you how to blog, and more importantly, why. Also where, I think.
  • Rickey Henderson provides a well-thought-out review that actually makes me tempted to rethink my preference for Batman Begins over The Dark Knight. I still think Tim Burton is kind of a tool though.
  • Chris at Angry Seafood also wrote a review of The Dark Knight. "Well-thought-out" doesn't spring to mind, but he sure pissed off some chiroptophiles. Make sure you read the comments.
  • Joel tells us how to know if we're in the clutches of Satan.
In other news, remember that Friday is the last day to get a signed copy of my book, Antisocial Commentary, at the rock bottom price of $9.95 with free shipping. That's a savings of $5. Seriously, this is it. My wife won't let me give away any more of them, so you'd better just buy it.

Buy Now

"But what if $9.95 is still too much for me to spend?" You say. "I mean, I want to support the Mattress Police and all the good pro-Huey Lewis work they are doing, but I'm on a fixed income. Is there anything I can do to help?"

Why yes, friend, there is. You can go to BlogCatalog and join my neighborhood. Don't have a blog? No problem! Just click here and sign up. Seriously, it will take you like 10 seconds. If you're a fellow blogger, click here and you can get your blog listed as well.

Why do I want you to do this? Well, this may surprise you, but there are literally hundreds of people here in North America and its outlying continents who have never heard of this blog. By signing up at BlogCatalog, you can help spread the word. So sign up, join my neighborhood, rate my blog and leave me a nice comment. The more of you who do this, the more prominently my blog will appear in their listings. That means more readers for this blog, which means that I may be able to convince a publisher to take a chance on my crazy novel about a ping-pong-playing angel, which increases your chance, as a loyal reader, of getting an autographed copy of said novel. Ok? So just do it.

Seriously, do it. Don't make me beg. I can cancel the caption contest for this Friday if it will free up the time you need to sign up.

Okay, I wouldn't do that, but I could. See what you've done? You've provoked me into making idle threats. This demeans both of us.

I think I've said enough. If I haven't convinced you by now, then I never will.

But seriously, do it.

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8978857890161267781 Last Chance! 2008/07/#8978857890161267781 2008-07-22

A while back I asked whether anyone would be interested in buying a copy of my book, Antisocial Commentary, for $9.95. The regular price is $11.95 plus shipping, but occasionally I'll order a bunch of them at a discount and let you have them basically at cost. There seemed to be enough interest to justify ordering another shipment, so I went ahead and ordered another batch.

I have to manually ship them all out, so I kinda want to do this all at once. You have until this Friday, July 25, to order your copy at $9.95 with free shipping. After that, it goes back up to $11.95 + $3.00 shipping. This is probably the last time I'm going to do this, and there's a pretty good chance I'm going to stop giving out copies as caption contest prizes too. If I'm going to continue to deduct all my website related costs as "business-related," I need to at least pretend that I'm actually trying to make money.

If you're interested, click on this button:

Buy Now

Don't use the link on my sidebar, because that will charge you the regular price.

If you've followed this blog for a while, you pretty much know what to expect from my book, but here are some excerpts to help you make an informed decision. I cover such topics as...

...how I came to be...

I have Woodstock to thank for my conception. My dad walked up to my mom, who was sitting on a blanket in the sun with flowers in her hair, and said, “Hey, are you done with that newspaper? I haven’t read today’s Peanuts. I love Snoopy’s little bird friend.” Well, it turned out that my mom hadn’t read it either, so there they sat, taking their break on a dumpster behind DOW chemical’s Agent Orange plant, reading Peanuts together. My mom took the vowels and my dad took the consonants, and just like that, it was love. Which was a good thing, because they had been married for six years.

...my positions on important issues...

I am strongly in favor of the War on Terror. In fact, I think the War on Terror should be drastically expanded to include all other unpleasant states of mind, such as Boredom and “the Heebie Jeebies.” I don’t think we should stop fighting until we are all happy all of the time. But we must stop before we hit Complacency, because the war will be on that too.


...traveling with the family...

We pulled in at a suitably crummy motel called the Aloha – presumably because for any sane person pulling into this place, hello would also be goodbye. If there was a Hawaiian theme, I didn’t notice – unless the toilets in Hawaii make a horrific screeching sound that sounds like a hippopotamus gasping for air through a saxophone.


...my exciting life...

I was accosted this morning by a large sea turtle. I had arisen early to steal the neighbor’s newspaper (I canceled my subscription when I learned the editor was a freethinker and a bigamist), and just as I stepped outside, I saw it. The turtle must have been a good 5 feet long and 3.5 feet wide (these are shell measurements), and I would estimate that it weighed at least 200 pounds. I certainly couldn’t lift him, and I’m hella strong. I attribute my exceptional strength to a daily regimen of vitamins and backgammon, although I’m also 1/32 Apache Indian, so that’s sort of an X factor.


...and all the other stuff I know about...

You may object that such a solution is not “politically feasible.” To this I respond: Did John F. Kennedy pause to ask whether his plan was ‘politically feasible’ before committing 400 American “advisers” in an unwinnable conflict in Southeast Asia? No sir, he did not! And yet, JFK is revered as a hero for his exploits as captain of PT-109, demonstrating that if you have to go on a trip with a Kennedy, the surest way to avoid drowning is, ironically, to travel by boat.

You get the idea: the same sort of insipid self-congratulatory treacle that you find here daily, but 99.4% more book-like. Again, if you want to get in on the last chance to get this book for the rock-bottom price of $9.95, click the inviting yellow button below. And yes, I'll even sign it for you. Just try to stop me!

Buy Now

I'm still thinking about putting together another collection, but I really want to finish my novel first. (Yes, I'm working on a novel. It's about an angel who is supposed to be helping out with the apocalypse but would rather play ping-pong. I'm about 75% done with it.)

I'll be back tomorrow with a brand new post that's even funnier than cancer!


4687638035032995363 Sock Drawer 2008/07/#4687638035032995363 2008-07-21 sock drawerYes, it's time once again to clean out the disorganized sock drawer of my mind.


One thing I've noticed when reading the obituaries is that a lot of people die after a "courageous battle with cancer." Nobody ever seems to die after a cowardly battle with cancer.

I hope I don't ever get cancer, because I'd completely wuss out and wreck humanity's unbroken streak of stalwart cancer patients. I'd be like, "Oh crap, is that cancer? Tell it I'm not home." Then I'd hide under the bed until it was gone. But eventually, after a long and spineless battle, I would succumb to cancer, and my friends would write an obituary that read, "Diesel died from cancer, the big pussy."

On the other hand, maybe there's a reason that all of the obituaries are about courageous cancer patients. Maybe only the courageous cancer patients die. So then the trick to surviving cancer would be to wuss out early on. There should be a special section of the paper devoted to people who wussed out in the face of cancer but didn't die: "Joe Smith found out he had cancer and cried like a little girl for three weeks. His family is happy to report that his cancer is now in remission, but they are also a little embarrassed about what a baby he was about the whole thing."


The other day I heard an ad for Match.com in which they touted a new feature of their service, where you could get advice from "successful members of the Match.com community."

I'm curious about how they define "successful" in this context. I mean, is it just me, or is one key sign of success in a relationship the fact that you are no longer using an online dating service? In fact, the more experience someone has with Match.com, the more wary I would be of taking their advice. That's like Monster.com offering advice from chronically unemployed people.


Another promises that you would find "someone special" within six months or you'd get another six months of the service free. There's an incentive, eh? I know that if I just spent six months dating creepy losers, the one thing that would pull me out of my funk would be another six months dating creepy losers FOR FREE. And why don't they just give you twelve months up front? Are they afraid that you're going to find your soul mate in the first six months but then keep using the service for another six months just to stick it to them? "Sorry, honey. I know that we agreed to stay together forever, but I've got another six months of loser-dating to use up."


16 month calendarI saw a display at Barnes & Noble recently of "16 month calendars." That's a great idea, isn't it? Now you only have to buy a calendar once every 1.33 years. I mean, assuming that somebody comes out with calendars that start with May. I guess that's how they get you.


If you ordered cow tongue in a restaurant and the chef spit in your food, would you send it back?


I tend to throw my clothes on the floor rather than hanging them up, so I have this spray bottle of stuff called "Wrinkle Releaser" that I use sometimes. I like the fact that it's called "Wrinkle Releaser" rather than "Anti-Wrinkle Spray" or "Wrinkle Eradicator." It makes me wonder where the wrinkles are being released to. I like to imagine a land where wrinkles run free in fields of wildflowers. Sometimes, when I close my eyes, I can see it.


I had a doctor's appointment a few days ago to get my cholesterol checked. I noticed that they stuck up a big sign that says "WE WILL NOW ONLY CALL YOU IF YOUR TESTS RESULTS ARE ABNORMAL." I guess that means they won't call you unless there is a problem, but wouldn't it be cool if they would also call to congratulate you on test results that are way better than normal?

"Hello, Diesel, this is Dr. Evans. I just wanted to call you about your fantastic cholesterol levels. Your bad cholesterol is virtually nonexistent, your good cholesterol is the highest we've ever seen, and in fact we've discovered an entirely new type of cholesterol in your blood that has the potential to cure several forms of cancer! Not the kind you have, unfortunately. Oh, did I mention you have cancer?"


6643736619508630610 Congrats to Acorn King! 2008/07/#6643736619508630610 2008-07-18 Hellboy

Newcomer Acorn King took top honors this week. Acorn King, you may display the coveted In Your Face award.

In your face!

Email me your address at diesel --at-- mattresspolice.com and I'll send you a copy of my book, Antisocial Commentary, as well.

robin came in second with:
Dude, for the last time I'm sorry, I didn't know she was your sister. Can you please stop pretending to ignore me and open my beer? Seriously, I have a goalie's glove for my hand and we all know Abe's useless with a pop-top can.
And Deb on the Rocks took third with:
Diesel, come on, what we have is special and forever. I didn't mean to hurt you. Bringing Abe in will just spice things up for a little while, that's all. But it's up to you, baby, it's up to you.
There were some really great captions this time around, guys. I'm always amazed at what y'all come up with. Even perennial favorite Brad couldn't squeeze into the finalists this week.

Have a great weekend, everybody. You know where I'll be.

Dark Knight



2646474538194040181 Thursday Shout-Out: New Blogroll 2008/07/#2646474538194040181 2008-07-17

I took my blogroll down a while back because it was getting totally out of hand. I hated maintaining it, and it was getting too long to do anyone any good (that's what she said).

But now my guilt has gotten the better of me, so I've decided to put an abbreviated blogroll back up in an effort to balance out the karmic linky something something. So over to the right you'll see a heading that reads "Worth a Look," under which there is a list of 25 blogs. I've picked these blogs based on a number of factors, but mostly based on my guess as to what kinds of blogs visitors to this sight might also enjoy.

Limiting it to 25 makes it a manageable list, but it also guarantees that a lot of great blogs get left off. For example, avid supporters such as Beth, Claire, Jeffrey Ellis, Jinksy, Teri, and probably a dozen other people that I can't think of right now (because I'm retarded) get shafted. Sorry. I will be adding a links page back to this site in the near future that will have a lot more blogs on it, but I'm going to try to keep my sidebar list down to 25.

You may have noticed some other changes on this site as well. For one, there's a little button at the bottom of this post that looks like this:

Except that it probably says "smiley me!" which is another way of saying "Hello? Is this thing on? Anyone? Beuller?" It tracks the number of smileys a post has gotten on Humor-Blogs.com.

There is also a rank widget over to the right that looks like this:

That one shows the blog's overall ranking at HB.

The smiley count widget is a little tricky, and I've only tested it on Blogger. The ranking widget is super-easy, though, and will work on any blogging platform that supports Javascript (read: not Wordpress). There are instructions for plugging in both widgets on the HB Widgets page.

That's about it for today. If you're looking for something funny, try checking out one of those blogs. And don't forget to join my neighborhood at BlogCatalog and leave a nice comment for me over there.

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339903918510347770 Celebrities I Have Dreamed About 2008/07/#339903918510347770 2008-07-16

If you think I come up with some crazy stuff while I'm awake, you should hear my dreams.

One of my favorites is a dream that I had when I was a little kid. I was walking through our house and I saw that there were wolves hiding behind the furniture. I told my dad, who announced authoritatively, "Well, we'll have to blow up the attic." I found this oddly reassuring.

Not too long ago I had a dream I where my older brother and I were sitting by the side of a road when a helicopter flew overhead carrying a milk carton the size of a house. I turned to my brother and said, "That is a big f---ing milk carton." End scene.

I'm pretty sure I dream about celebrities more than is normal. And not usually the celebrities you'd think -- there are a lot of real C-listers in there. You could throw the stars of my dreams together in a house and have a decent episode of The Surreal Life. Recently I was thinking about all the celebrity appearances in my dreams over the past few years, and I came up with the following list. The number of appearances of each celebrity appears in parentheses after the name.

Huey Lewis (3)
In the first two dreams, Huey was a sort of Godot-like figure. I waited patiently, and eventually he showed up, but was too busy to talk to me. In the third one we talked, but I can't remember what about.

Ed Kowalczyk, the lead singer of the band Live (2)
In one of the dreams, we discussed the Crummy Church Signs website.

Paris Hilton (2)
Neither of these dreams was sexual in nature. In one of them, we sat together in a coffee shop while I gave her career advice. "You're like a modern day Audrey Hepburn," I told her. "People expect more from you."

Charlie Sheen (1)
Also not sexual in nature.

Halle Berry (1)
No comment.

Howard Hesseman, star of WKRP in Cincinnati and Head of the Class (1)
My dream was actually a commercial for a nonexistent TV show called The Howard Hesseman Show. It consisted of various clips of the show, one of which was Howard saying, "I want to die in these pants. It really wouldn't be heaven without these pants."

Bill Clinton, George Bush Sr., Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford, Richard Nixon (1 each)
I have the distinction of having dreamed about every ex-president who was alive during my lifetime. I can't recall the details of any of the dreams. They seemed to be basically photo ops for the ex-presidents.

Jimmy Walker, star of TV's Good Times
This one is my all-time favorite (excluding Halle Berry). I was in church and Jimmy Walker was the minister. He was stoking the congregation into a frenzy, but instead of exclaiming "Amen!", everybody was shouting "Dyn-o-mite!" Honest to God, I'm not making that up.

I'm sure there were more, but when you've slept with as many celebrities as I have, you start to forget. I should probably start some kind of dream journal, although that sort of thing might be hard to explain if I ever run for public office: "Last night: Scott Baio - told me Fonzie was really an alien. I told him I really liked Joanie Loves Chachi, but was just being polite."

I'll keep you updated the next time some faded sitcom star or aging pop singer shows up in one of my dreams. I mean, unless it's Belinda Carlisle. A man's got to have some secrets.

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5237287686448755658 Vote! 2008/07/#5237287686448755658 2008-07-15
Man, it's getting really hard to pick these caption contest finalists. It's like picking a favorite from among my children, except that I don't have to worry about a bunch of captions on other websites that I don't even know about.

I finally narrowed it down to these ten:

Join Humor-Blogs.com to get an avatar!  You don`t even need to have a blog!Jay said...

Diesel: "I swear I have the crappiest HMO in the world."

http://popeterry666.blogspot.com/Alex L said...

The first annual meeting of the I hate Thomas Kinkade association.

Join Humor-Blogs.com to get an avatar!  You don`t even need to have a blog!Fold My Laundry Please said...

Diesel's friends take Dungeons & Dragons VERY seriously!

Join Humor-Blogs.com to get an avatar!  You don`t even need to have a blog!Bunk Strutts said...

"Diesel, forget the midterms. The Chinese Chicks should be here any minute and you still don't have your Amy Winehouse costume on."

Join Humor-Blogs.com to get an avatar!  You don`t even need to have a blog!robin said...

Dude, for the last time I'm sorry, I didn't know she was your sister. Can you please stop pretending to ignore me and open my beer? Seriously, I have a goalie's glove for my hand and we all know Abe's useless with a pop-top can.

Join Humor-Blogs.com to get an avatar!  You don`t even need to have a blog!Carla said...

"Hang on a sec, I'm looking for that picture of you back in high school when you still had your horns."

Join Humor-Blogs.com to get an avatar!  You don`t even need to have a blog!carolinebender said...

HellBoy, "No, the 7th circle is pretty cool, actually. You have to call ahead to get that set-up, but you should totally come with us next year."

Join Humor-Blogs.com to get an avatar!  You don`t even need to have a blog!Deb on the Rocks said...

Diesel, come on, what we have is special and forever. I didn't mean to hurt you. Bringing Abe in will just spice things up for a little while, that's all. But it's up to you, baby, it's up to you.

http://acornking.blogspot.com/Acorn King said...

Dude, you totally bite it on page 19.

Join Humor-Blogs.com to get an avatar!  You don`t even need to have a blog!Sherri said...

"Here's to whoever wrote the words to Kumbaya."

Opinion Polls & Market Research

I'll announce the winner on Friday. As usual, the winner will get the In Your Face award and a copy of my book, Antisocial Commentary.

And while you're in a voting mood, make sure you head over to BlogCatalog, join my community and rate MattressPolice.com. I've been doing some recon behind enemy lines lately, checking out other blog directories. Most of them suck compared to Humor-Blogs.com, natch, but BlogCatalog is actually pretty cool. It's a nicely designed site, and it has a friendly, sensible ranking/categorization system for blogs. So if you enjoy my writing, head over to BlogCatalog and rate me and leave a nice comment, before Johnny finds out about it and kicks my ass over there as well.

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5465759106278460281 Close to Ten Tips on Writing a Funny Blog Post 2008/07/#5465759106278460281 2008-07-14 As you know, my Meme-Wraith, Grundir the Implacable, generally dispatches all troublesome rodents and memes that attempt to violate the sanctity of Chez* Diesel. Today, however, Grundir humbly approached me cradling a delicate young meme bearing an insignia resembling a giant malformed spermatozoan.

Grundir“Cast it into the Crack of Mount Doom, you fool!” I howled at my Nazgul minion. Then I burst into a fit of giggles, because I can’t say “Crack of Mount Doom” without laughing. Grundir tolerates this with admirable aplomb. Being dead for 900 years gives you a certain amount of patience.

“It’s bears the ominous mark of Brent Diggs, m’lord,” rasped Grundir.

“Ah yes,” I said. “The universally recognized Giant Malformed Spermatazoan of Brent Diggs!”

Brent's Malformed Sperm“I believe it is a comma, sir. An Ominous Comma.”

“I know what a comma looks like!” I snapped. “Why, my gentle wraith, surely you’re aware of my affinity for the comma, the most sublime of punctuation marks, the enabler of superfluous modifiers, the – ”

“Indeed, m'lord. Shall I bury this meme in the orchard with the ditch digger?”

“It’s called a shovel, worm-brain.”

“No, m’lord, I mean…”

“Silence, fool! I must maintain plausible deniability. No, my rotted friend, I shall answer this meme. Read it to me, please. My eyes fail me in this light.”

“As I’ve tried to tell you, m’lord, your perpetually tinted glasses –”

“I’ll perpetually tint you if you don’t start reading, Stiffy.”

“It reads, ‘In my brief foray onto the internet I have –’”

“Good lord, how long is this thing? Cut to the part with Liv Tyler already!”

“He wants you to write something funny and yet educational. To impart some of your wisdom about blogging to the masses, if you will.”

Brent is Greek God“Brilliant! I shall give the masses Ten Tips on Writing a Funny Blog Post.”

“Excellent, m’lord.”

“Tip number one: Self-reference is always funny.”

“I’m sorry, m'lord. Would you care to elaborate?”

“Yes, take this down: ‘As you know, my Meme-Wraith, Grundir the Implacable, generally dispatches all troublesome rodents and…’ Wait, how many commas is that?”

“Three, m’lord.”

“Ok, good enough. Point number two: Don’t belabor a joke. Stop right before the reader understands what you’re doing. Good readers like to think a little. And bad readers, well, f—k ‘em. Except don’t write ‘f—k.’ Put dashes in the middle or something.”

“Very good, m’lord. What else?”

“Point four: Writing a post in dialog form automatically makes it 43.7% funnier. Oh, and point five: Needless, unjustifiable precision is also funny.
“Point six. Wait, I’m not sure about point three. Strike that one for now. Remind me to come back to it later.”

“As you wish, m’lord.”

"Where was I?"

"Point six."

"Right, point six. Sprinkle your post with obscure pop culture references. They'll go over the heads of a lot of your readers, but the real Ainur will eat it up. Point seven. Make fun of yourself, but don’t be too obvious about it. Make yourself out to be a huge ass, even if you’re really a nice guy. Of course, it works better if you really are a huge ass, like me. Am I talking too fast for you, Casper?”

“No, m’lord.”

“Point eight: Give yourself a straight man. Somebody the readers can identify with. But somebody who doesn’t seem very relatable at first glance. Toy with the readers’ expectations a bit.”

“Very good, m’lord. I never could have devised such a brilliant notion.”

Mattress Police insignia, sans sperm“Of course not. You’re a 900 year old medieval jerkwad who sold his soul for something shiny. And finally, point nine: Always leave the reader wanting more. Now slap the Mattress Police seal on that baby and send it back to Diggs. We’ll show him what a real blogging insignia looks like. No sperm for us!”

“Of course not, m’lord.”

“On second thought, throw a little sperm on that baby. Can’t hurt.

“Yes, m’lord.”

For this non-meme, I anoint the following individuals:
1. Dave Barry
2. Sinister Dan
3. Scott Adams
4. Ecstatic Wavelength Lady
5. David Sedaris
6. Sue Piltdown
7. Bill Watterson
8. Leigh (on the condition that she does not offer any boob-related advice or pictures)
9. Voltaire
10. Jocelyn Hergenfliffer

*Pronounced "CHEEZ"

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183681462489131229 Caption Contest: Hellboy 2008/07/#183681462489131229 2008-07-11

Check out this picture I found of me hanging out with Hellboy and his buddy Abe Sapien. Why, it practically screams for a caption contest.


You know the rules. Submit your caption in the comments. Mrs. Diesel and I will pick our faves, which will be posted in a poll next Tuesday. The ultimate winner gets a copy of my book, Antisocial Commentary, if I can dig up another copy somewhere.

Have fun. I'll be back with a wondrous new post on Monday.


4813100747245300888 Thursday Shout-out 2008/07/#4813100747245300888 2008-07-10 Man, has anyone noticed that my posting schedule is in danger of shifting an entire day? It's a good thing I'm on Pacific time, or this would be the Friday shout-out.

I don't have much to post anyway. I did want to mention the PayPal fund that Humor-Blogs member Kadi has set up to benefit the two children of an acquaintance of hers who recently killed himself. I was going to try to summarize the whole story, but it's probably better if you just go to Kadi's and scroll down until you find the post(s) about Scott. The PayPal button is at the upper right on her blog if you feel moved to help out.

I also wanted to thank all of the people who have been so appreciative and supportive of Humor-Blogs.com and the recent revamping of the ranking process. There were a few glitches, but everything seems to be working now. And thanks to everybody who has been giving my posts the nice LOL smileys! Thank God Johhny Virgil is still kicking my ass, or people would totally accuse me of cheating.

Haven't done a caption contest for a while, so I guess I'd better get on that. See you back here tomorrow.

Oh, I almost forgot -- In case you're wondering what the Humor-Blogs.com traffic looks like since the upgrade, check this out:

The upgrade happened on July 6. Pretty cool, huh? Hopefully all the members are seeing some increased traffic.

If you want to get your blog listed or if you just want to sign up to rate posts, click here. Come on, it's easy.

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4554290041622834667 Stumble THIS! 2008/07/#4554290041622834667 2008-07-09 Suzy once told me she never reads her reviews. I don’t know if she’s just gotten a lot of bad reviews, or if she just figures that she’s going to do what she wants to do, so, you know, screw other people’s opinions.

I read my reviews, such as they are. It’s probably a mistake, but I can’t help thinking that constructive criticism is always worth listening to. Now if someone would just give me some.

I’ve been getting a lot of of traffic from StumbleUpon lately, which presumably means that a lot of people are recommending my posts. Along with the recommendations, however, come critiques. Actually, not so much critiques as attacks. I get called an asshole a lot. I can kind of understand this, considering some of my posts, but sometimes I really don’t get it.

For example, there’s my Captain America post, which riled up the comic book fanatics. One of them called me a “smarmy asshole.” I mean, come on. I was poking fun at a fictional character. That qualifies me as an asshole? I’d hate to see the murderous rampage this guy would embark on if somebody looked at his sister funny.

Two other reviewers noted that I couldn’t be relied on to write insightful commentary on superheroes since I don’t read comic books. This is such a helpful bit of information that I provided it myself at the beginning of the post. So either these “reviewers”:

(1) Missed the first paragraph of the post.
(2) Read the first paragraph of the post and decided it would be a waste of time to read the rest, so they wrote a review of something they hadn’t read. In other words, they did exactly what they criticized me for doing.
(3) Read my initial warning, ignored it, and continued to read the rest of the post, after which they wrote a review adding nothing to my first paragraph.

The only conclusion that I can come to is that these people aren’t really interested in offering any helpful criticism or guidance to other readers. They are just looking for an excuse to tear another person down. This makes me sad, not because I take their vitriol to heart, but because it’s disheartening to realize that there are such people out there.

Then there was the post in which I complained about the unnecessary complexity of my car’s AC controls and my microwave. This one got me called “not very bright” and “retarded,” among other appellations. Now I’m not claiming to be a genius, but I’ve built a house and created the number one directory of humor blogs on the web, and I build applications for the world’s foremost internet company, so presumably I have at least some vague inkling of what goes into good design. And the really funny thing about that post is that it was prompted by a remark my older brother made about how ridiculously complicated the ventilation controls were in his car. My brother, in case you are wondering, is literally a rocket scientist. He used to work on, among other things, the navigation system for Air Force One.

A lot of reviewers responded with the acronym “RTFM,” which stands for Read the F___ing Manual. Right. Because whenever you borrow a friend’s car, the first thing you do is crack open the manual and spend half an hour familiarizing yourself with the climate control system. Look, if the average person (not to mention an idiot like myself) has to read a manual to turn on a car’s AC, then the car’s AC controls are too complicated. Period. Whether or not I’m a “douchebag” isn’t really relevant.

One guy noted that he had never run across a microwave or ventilation system that took him more than ten minutes to figure out. Holy crap, ten minutes? In ten minutes I could start a fire with flint and steel and roast my Hot Pockets over an open flame. This is progress? I’m pretty sure that given enough duct tape and bailing wire, my brother the rocket scientist could build a microwave in ten minutes.

What bothers me most, though, isn't that some people don't like my writing; anyone who has aspirations of being a writer has got to be prepared for bad reviews. And I can accept it when some humorless dolt gets their panties in a bunch over a post about fat people or Harry Potter. What irritates me is that a lot of people act like I am somehow transgressing against them personally by having the gall to post something that they don't find particularly funny.

Reviewers will make enlightening comments like, "Douchebags like this are the reason the acronym 'RTFM' was invented. For f--k's sake." Or "whywhywhywhywhywhywhywhywhywhy the F--K do I keep stumbling this garbage."

Here's the deal, guys. The world isn't obligated to entertain you. I write because I enjoy writing, and because a certain segment of the population seems to enjoy what I write. I have a little blog that has a few hundred readers. It's not like I'm Michael Bay or Thomas Kinkaid. It's pretty easy to avoid me if my creative endeavors don't give you the instant LOLCAT fun-gasm that you require. Just one click will take you to any of a million other sites, many of which have the pictures of cats wearing pajamas that you require.

And if you feel compelled to write a review, try actually writing something that has the faintest chance of giving other potential readers the information they need to make up their own minds. Here are some starter sentences, off the top of my head:
  • This post is far too long. Get to the freaking point already.
  • The author's self-obsession is somewhat disturbing, despite his basic mechanical proficiency with words.
  • This writer has that annoying habit of using 'their' as a gender-neutral singular pronoun in their writing.
Calling me an "asshole," or a "douchebag," while cathartic for you, is surprisingly unhelpful as a critique of my writing -- either to me or other potential readers. Of course, providing more than that would require that you put some thought into your reviews and actually create something of substance, which could then be shot down by other reviewers. And that's not what you're about, is it? You're not interested in creating anything. You just want to tear down other people who are doing their best to create something of value for other people to enjoy.

That's right, tedomatic, I'm talking to you. Grow up already. The world isn't one big XBox waiting to entertain you. And you, clkwhrr. I'd take your criticism a little more seriously if you could write a sentence without the word "f--k" in it. And ProjectSilence, greenchair, and all the other reviewers who seem to be cruising StumbleUpon during third grade recess. I dare all of you to create something for all the world to see, so that complete strangers can hurl insults at you for failing to entertain them. I frankly don't think you have the balls, much less the talent.

And to everybody else: Stumble this. I dare you.

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8692515705535477988 Best of MP: The Force is Middling in this One 2008/07/#8692515705535477988 2008-07-08 This may be my personal favorite of all the posts I've done over the past (nearly) two years. There's probably no more fertile ground for parody than the Star Wars universe, with its black-and-white moral framework, cardboard characters and fortune cookie philosophizing. "The Force is strong in this one," observes Darth Vader in the original Star Wars (which I refuse to call A New Hope), hinting at Luke Skywalker's secret lineage and his ultimate Destiny.

That's the stuff of an epic intergalactic saga, but I always wondered what happened to the guys who weren't quite as strong in the Force. What about the guys who were just a few notches above average on the Midi-Chlorian scale? Did they end up like the high school football star who wasn't quite good enough to go pro, and now hopes to some day take over his dad's landscaping business? This post, which I originally posted back in December of 2006, is my attempt to answer that question.


The Force is Middling in this One


Cam Cloudhammer, Director of Human Resources, Order of the Jedi

Dear Mr. Cloudhammer,

As a recent graduate of the Tatooine Academy of Arts and Sciences, I was excited to hear about the opening with the Jedi Knights for an entry level Force Technician I. I have long dreamed of joining the Jedi Order and I think I will be a valuable asset to your organization.

As you can see from my enclosed resume, I graduated with a 3.2 GPA and I scored a 1242 on the Force Assessment Test. I did particularly well in Advanced Midi-Chlorianology and Pre-Imperial History. I believe I could have performed even better academically, but I worked my way through school recalibrating moisture vaporators. I think the combination of my rigorous coursework and practical experience will serve me well as a Force Technician I.

I'm available for an interview on short notice on most weekdays. I know my resume probably isn't the most impressive you will receive, but I think you'll find that I'm "good Jedi material" if you take the time to meet me in person. I thank you for your time and look forward to hearing from you.

Best Regards,
Kenny Skywalker

P.S. I forgot to mention that I can type 40 words per minute and levitate small objects with my mind.

P.P.S. Not to name-drop, but in case you're wondering, Luke is my second cousin.


Heinous Vlaak, Personnel Director, Order of the Sith

Dear Mr. Vlaak,

I recently graduated from the Tatooine Academy of Arts and Sciences and was interested to learn of the part time Tractor Field Operator position that was recently posted on the Sith website. I have long been intrigued by the shadowy workings of the Sith, and have recently begun to consider a career in the service of the Empire.

As my enclosed resume indicates, I am an above average student, but I think that the highly structured nature of the Tatooine Academy prevented me from reaching my true potential, as I am something of an "outside the box" thinker. It's true that my experience with the Dark Side is limited, but my current job at the Mos Eisley Spaceport Cantina requires that I be very assertive with droids and others whose kind we don't serve. I am also led to believe that my destiny lies with the Dark Side by my co-workers' frequent reminders that I'm "really not a people person."

I thank you for your time and look forward to hearing from you.

In Your Service,
Kenneth Skywalker (No relation)

P.S. I once pantsed a Jawa, which is considered pretty evil around here. I am also good with Excel.


Boba Fett, Proprietor, Fett Investigations, Bounty Hunter and Polygraph Service

Dear Mr. Fett,

Boy, are you hard to track down! I got your contact information from a mutual acquaintance who indicated that you may have an opening for a henchmen/tough. I know that with my B.A. in Force Theory I may seem overqualified for this position, but I've decided that I'm more interested in a life of adventure than a stable job with a reputable organization at this point in my career. I've dealt with my share of rough characters at my current job at Mos Eisley Spaceport Cantina and my neighborhood is pretty regularly terrorized by Tusken Raiders, so I don't think I'll have much trouble adjusting to the life of a bounty hunter. Please contact me as soon as is convenient for you, because I'm anxious to get started!

Ken Skywalker

P.S. In case you're concerned about my academic background, I only attended the Tatooine Academy to get my parents off my back. Trust me when I say that I have learned that hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side.


Jabba the Hutt, C.E.O., Hutt Enterprises, Inc.

Dear Mr. Hutt,

I recently learned of an opening with your crime syndicate here on Tatooine. I'm not sure what the job entails exactly, but I think I'm up for just about anything after working as the Assistant Manager of the Mos Eisley Cantina Spaceport. Since I was put in charge of marketing, we were named 2nd runner up for "Most Wretched Hive of Scum and Villainy" by the Imperial Travel Bureau. Although I've never killed anyone myself, I am often expected to clean up the charred corpses of bounty hunters and other scoundrels, and I think I'm becoming rather inured to the spectacle of mutilation and manslaughter.

I know I probably don't fit the typical profile of your applicants, but I think that if you give me a chance you won't be disappointed. All I'm asking for is a chance.

Eagerly awaiting your reply,

Ken S.

P.S. I don't need health insurance and I don't mind sleeping on the floor or whatever.


Dear Uncle Skip,

Do you still own that Chili's in the Dagobah system?

Your loving nephew,


Edit 7/9 7:02 AM: Holy crap, I just noticed that this is my 500th post! I totally was going to have a parade or something. Damn.


501660094975427205 ...Or Maybe Barrabas 2008/07/#501660094975427205 2008-07-07 On the way in to work in the San Francisco Bay area, I often drive past cars bearing a patchwork of bleeding heart bumper stickers, giving lip service to causes from Greenpeace to NOW. Today, however, I saw one that I hadn’t seen before. It read simply: “Jesus is a liberal.”

Jesus is a Liberal

Next to this bumper sticker were plastered two Barack Obama stickers, which raises the question: If Jesus is a registered Democrat, doesn’t it seem like going with Barack Obama is settling just a bit? Even with the deification that Obama has received in the media, I can’t see him at the top of an Obama/Jesus ticket.

If I were a Democratic strategist, I’d put Obama in the veep slot, although I’ll admit it’s a little chancy putting a Jew at the top of the ticket. Jesus’ age could also be an issue. He’d be the oldest president since Reagan.

If Jesus were Obama’s vice president, I think you’d run into a Bush/Cheney situation, where Obama is nominally in charge, but everybody knows that Jesus is the one pulling the strings. (Except, of course, Jesus wouldn't have to ingest the still beating hearts of baby golden retrievers in order to stay alive.)

People would come to President Obama and say, "Hey, Mr. President, can you turn this water into wine?" And he'd be like, "Sure." And then they'd have to call up Jesus in his undisclosed location and say, "Mr. Vice President, we've got a 4211!" And Jesus would be like, "4211, that's, um..." And they'd be like, "Water into wine, sir." And He'd be like, "I know what it is!" And then He'd be like, "Sorry I snapped at you, Tim. This is a high pressure job, what with that time I had to break a tie in the Senate and that time that I had to bear the weight of sin for all mankind by dying an agonizing death on the cross." And then Tim would be like, "One time Dan Quayle locked himself in his car and had to survive for three days by drinking his own urine."

Vote Jesus!Also, if Jesus were elected President, you'd have the dicey matter of the Constitutional order of succession. What if Jesus was betrayed by His Secretary of the Treasury and assassinated by the Romans? Would Obama be sworn in immediately, or would we have to wait for three days to see if Jesus snapped out of it? Can you still be President after you've been legally dead for three days? Man, if only John Kerry had been elected, we'd have a solid precedent.

I have my doubts whether Jesus would even get elected. The Republicans would have to counter by nominating someone who is tough on crime, against gay marriage and strongly pro-Israel. The obvious choice would be Jesus's dad, God the Father. That would be a tough race to call, especially if Ralph Nader is running as an independent. And all bets are off if the Holy Spirit enters as a dark horse candidate.

A Jesus candidacy would also complicate things for churches, which would have to remain neutral or lose their tax exempt status. Churches would either have to refrain from making any pro-Jesus comments, or they'd have to modify their services to give equal time to competing candidates. Some songs would have to be altered a bit, for example:
Jesus loves me, this I know
for the Bible tells me so
And at the spectrum's other end
There's John McCain, my Myspace friend
And of course Jesus wouldn't be allowed to speak in church, which would be a little weird. Although come to think if it, I'm pretty sure that rule only applies to Republican candidates. He should probably stick to black churches, though, just to be on the safe side.

If Jesus really is a liberal, a lot of churches probably wouldn't want Him to speak anyway. I mean, maybe if He stuck to the classics, like the Sermon on the Mount and the parable of the prodigal son. But I don't think the Sermon on Carbon Emission Caps or the Parable of the Third Trimester Abortion would go over very well.

No, now that I think about it, maybe Jesus isn't the best choice. Still, it can't hurt to have Him on one's side. Maybe tomorrow I'll hang Him up on my car too.

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9157800877613201924 Fly, Little Birdie, Fly! 2008/07/#9157800877613201924 2008-07-06

Humor-Blogs.com 3.0 has been released into the wild. Let's hope it flourishes out there in the interwebs.

The changes should be pretty obvious. If you click on a link from a blog that is listed on Humor-Blogs.com (like this one, for example), you'll be greeted with a list of posts from that blog. You can click on the LOL smiley if you like a post, or the Grumpy smiley if you don't like a post. Posts are listed in order by the number of LOLsmileys they've gotten minus the number of Grumpy smileys they've gotten. A blog's total score is determined by adding up the scores of all of its posts for the past 30 days.

If you haven't already, you'll need to create an account to rate posts.

As always, you can use the contact form or email me at diesel -at- mattresspolice.com if you have any trouble.

Now I would never use my power as unquestioned despot of Humor-Blogs.com to influence the rankings in my favor, but I'm not above appealing to your sense of pity, having spent the better part of the holiday weekend getting this damn thing up and running.

So, for example, if you found my Fishy post funny, you could vote for it. Or maybe my Fat Chicks post made your belly quiver with mirth. And then there was my Science vs. Democracy post, my Internet Stalker post and my Big Knob post. Just click on the Rate this post on Humor-Blogs.com link at the bottom of any of the posts.

I only ask that you follow your heart.

I'll be back tomorrow with a post that has absolutely nothing to do with Humor-Blogs.com, I swear. In fact, it will be so great, that it may just be the perfect post for you to vote for on Humor-Blogs.com.

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4157352064018748310 Humor-Blogs Changes Looming! 2008/07/#4157352064018748310 2008-07-03 I'm preempting the Thursday Shout-Out this week for a special announcement: Humor-Blogs.com 3.0 will be launched this Sunday, July 6.

The main change is going to be the way that blogs are ranked. We stopped doing blog reviews several months ago, and I've been trying to come up with a way to fairly rank blogs without so much manual effort. I've settled on a sort of thumbs-up/thumbs-down rating system similar to that of StumbleUpon or Digg. When a user clicks on a link to H-B from a post on your site, they will be given the option to "smiley" the post: They can give it a laughing-out-loud smiley, a happy smiling, or a grumpy smiley. In order to help prevent fraudulent voting, users must have a Humor-Blogs.com account to smiley posts.

A post's score will be determined by adding up the LOL smileys it has received and subtracting the grumpy smileys. Posts will be listed on the H-B home page in order by their score, from highest to lowest. The overall blog rankings will be determined by adding up the scores of each blog's posts for the past 30 days.

The new system will also be more egalitarian. In the past, only the top 50 ranked blogs have had their posts show up on the home page, but with this new system everyone will have a chance. Blogs will sink or swim based entirely on the votes they get. To make things completely fair, I will be resetting the scores of all the blogs (including mine) back to zero. Sorry, Johnny!

If you're an H-B member, don't worry, you don't have to change anything on your blog. You can keep linking to H-B the way you always have. If you have provided your feed url, any posts that have a link to H-B will show up on H-B.

My goal is to make H-B as fair and simple as I can for the members, and to make the site a more useful resource to visitors looking for funny blogs. This should result in increased traffic, which is good for all Humor-Blogs.com members.

If you have a funny blog and haven't joined Humor-Blogs.com yet, what are you waiting for? Join now! If you're not sure it's worth the trouble, ask any one of the eight bloggers who is ranked higher than me what they think.

And if you're a blog reader who would like to help promote some of your favorite blogs (like this one, for example), get a jump on things and sign up now. You don't have to sign up if you already have a blog listed on Humor-Blogs.com.

No caption contest tomorrow. I'm going to take the day off to celebrate the 4th and make sure everything is in place for the upgrade. I will post more information here after the upgrade is complete.

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1163622811508607053 Strange, Weird. Weird, Strange. 2008/07/#1163622811508607053 2008-07-02 A few days ago I posted a sort of review of a book (Perfect From Now On: How Indie Rock Saved My Life) written by a childhood friend of mine, John Sellers. In a way, his story is the mirror image of my own: we grew up in the same town, suffered through the same "education" at the hands of jerkwad junior high teachers, and attended a Huey Lewis concert together in 1987.

But that's where our stories diverged. Sellers went off to a huge secular university in pursuit of an MBA, eventually becoming disillusioned and embarking on a quest to reinvent himself as a writer and indie music aficionado.

I, on the other hand, attended a small Christian college with no particular aim in mind, eventually ending up with a BA in philosophy. Tired of being dirt poor, I decided to shift gears and teach myself something about computers so that I could get a decent job.

Now, some 21 years after that Huey Lewis concert, our stories have oddly dovetailed. Sellers is a professional writer, having written for publications like GQ and Entertainment Weekly, and of course he's published a book. I spend my days building software applications, but writing is still my passion. I've self published a collection of my humor pieces, and I'm nearing completion of my first novel.

Dr. WeirdIn junior high, Sellers and I used to trade bizarre stories about Dr. Weird (my alter ego) and Dr. Strange (Sellers' alter ego -- no relation to the Marvel comics character). Sellers would write a Dr. Strange story in which Dr. Weird played some part, and then I would write a Dr. Weird story, using that incident as a jumping off point. Dr. Strange would then show up at some point in my story, and Sellers would incorporate that into his next installment. In this way, we developed a sort of semi-unified narrative, our characters inhabiting the same universe, like Daredevil and Spider-Man. Of course, in my stories, Dr. Weird was always the hero, and in Sellers' stories, it was Dr. Strange.

Dr. StrangeSo when Seller's responded to my rebuttal to some of his recollections in Perfect from Now On, I had an odd sense of deja vu (Side note: how is it that Firefox recognizes deja as a word but not vu?). Here we were again, Dr. Weird and Dr. Strange, inhabiting the same universe, but somehow each the hero in our own stories.

In any case, I thought it was only fair that I post Sellers' response so that you can all hear his side of the story. It might not make much sense if you haven't read my original post, however. And if you really want the full story, buy Sellers' book, Perfect from Now On.

Anyway, enough with the intro already. Here's Sellers' response.


First of all, Diesel -- if I may call you that -- thank you for the shout-out and the well-argued post about my book.

And thanks for refreshing my memory about this:

"Sellers was so convincing in his indignity at the people who had illegitimately snuck into the sixth row ("We're supposed to be here!") that the security guard didn't even bother to check our tickets."

Indignant misdirection, of course, was a ruse commonly employed by Ollie North himself, that "American hero."

(Did I ever really call him that? Holy, holy crap. I can tell you with perfect honesty that I never gave a rat's heinie about him, at least not until he appeared on a few episodes of JAG, which I liked for some damn reason.)

A lot of your points about my personality back then are completely valid. My insecurities -- and I had (still have) a lot of them -- were a product of 1) growing up in a hugely dysfunctional family, 2) attending a private school where everyone's parents seemed to have more money than mine (or at least owned their own homes) and weren't divorced and 3) extreme adolescent confusion brought on largely by genetic betrayal. I tried to hide these insecurities and probably did an okay job of it but most of the time I just wanted to hide. Which I did partly by moving from crowd to crowd.

Perfect From Now OnI love the term crossover dork, and it so perfectly describes me that I may as well go back and change the title of Perfect From Now On to Crossover Dork From Now On.

Still, I don't think it's fair to extrapolate some of my 8th and 12th grade flaws to what I'm like today. I'm a bit of a late bloomer.

Musically, though, I have always without a doubt listened to music purely for the joy of it. My musical tastes have simply shifted over the years.

I used to LOVE Huey Lewis. You know that. I still think he's a cool dude; I even saw Duets. Wasn't the biggest fan of Fore, and I think that's where he lost me, but Picture This and Sports are still played in my p.o.s. Chevy Corsica, which ridiculously has a cassette deck. But I also listen to a lot of other stuff that I genuinely like, and which I genuinely rock out to with the same abandon that you do on I-580. A lot of this happens to be indie rock (and I might point out that the more popular formerly or currently indie artists, like REM and Radiohead and the Shins, could be described as the musical equivalents of "crossover dorks"). That geeky formula came about mostly because, well, I'm a geek, but also out of a desire to make less geeky people laugh about said geekery.

Two other points:

1) Did we ever kill goblins in your basement? I recall a lot of bugbears and orcs and frost giants -- but no goblins. I do of course remember the Towne Club pop and JT's pizza, as well as the time that Kyle (who was more "terminally hyper" than a rebel, in my opinion, although I'll grant you Van Wynen and yeah, yourself) "died" a mere five minutes into a module out of rabid disinterest in D&D.

2) I interviewed E. Gary Gygax [the creator of Dungeons & Dragons -- Diesel] before he died, and it was one of the more significant moments of my life. Maybe I should interview Huey Lewis, just for you (and the person I was at age 15).


Sellers informs me that he still has some of the stories we wrote together; I'm trying to get him to photocopy them and send them my way. I'm not sure how entertaining they will be at this point, but I think they would give you an idea of how demented we were as children.

The pictures, by the way, are from our 1984-85 yearbook. Glacial Spain and I did the 'caricatures,' such as they are.

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1418488364126273690 Something Fishy This Way Comes 2008/06/#1418488364126273690 2008-06-30

Some of my new readers may be surprised to learn that I am, in fact, a Christian. I know it's kind of hard to tell, because I don't really believe in pushing my beliefs on people. Also, I'm kind of a jackass.

Maybe what I need is a blog banner with one of those fish symbols on it, like you see on the back of people's cars. You know, like the song says: "They will know we are Christians by the crap we stick on the backs of our cars."

I don't actually have a big problem with the fish insignia trend, but I do wonder how much thought goes into the decision to stick something like that on one's car. First off, why the fish? I mean, I know it's an ancient Christian symbol, but hey, guess what, so is the cross. Everybody knows what the cross means. So why the fish?

Historically the fish was used as a secret sign by Christians to identify themselves to each other, back when being a Christian meant persecution and possibly execution. The last time I checked the local paper, though, Christians weren't being rounded up and burned alive by the authorities in California. So to me, using the fish symbol smacks of a persecution complex. Twenty or thirty years ago, whenever this trend started, not many people would have known what the fish meant. So it was a way for Christians to nudge-nudge-wink-wink make contact with other Christians without the heathens being any the wiser. Isn't it in Luke where Christ commands his disciples to "go and form secret societies within secular culture and communicate in code so that no one can identify you as one of my followers"?

At this point, of course, the cat is out of the bag. The fish is no longer a secret symbol. And yet, it's not universally recognizable either. The fish is like the Chad Michael Murray of religious symbols. Who? half of you say. Exactly.

It also confuses me when the fish symbol has to share real estate on the back of the car with other symbols. What does it mean when you have the fish insignia along with an "I'd rather be golfing" license plate frame and a bumper sticker that says "I (heart) my Labrador"? What's the order of precedence there? Golf, Jesus, Labrador? Is it significant that directly across from the fish symbol there's a Toyota symbol? And has anyone else noticed how satanic the Toyota logo looks in that context?

Just once I'd like to see a car covered entirely with a gigantic fish logo, because that's just how strongly the owner feels about his faith. I laugh at your tiny emblems! Screw resale value! I love Jesus, dammit!

The other day I saw a car that had two big fish and three little fish. The meaning of this was instantly clear to me: The people in this car worshiped two big Jesuses and three little Jesuses. I began to wonder if my lone Jesus was going to be sufficient.

Look, here's how the symbol works: It stands for Jesus, not you and your Subaru Legacy-driving family. Depeche Mode lyrics notwithstanding, we don't each get our own personal Jesus.

In any case, isn't it a little creepy to advertise the supposed religious affiliation of your dependent children? I mean, I'm unabashedly raising my children in the Christian faith, but if you asked me whether my six year old is a Christian, I couldn't give you an intelligent answer. Does Jesus give Nemo and Spongebob some serious competition for coolest guy ever? Oh yeah. But you're going to ask her in a few years if she's a Christian or a Nemoist.

And don't get me started on the whole Jesus vs. Darwin thing. The fish with legs was funny for about the first six or seven hundred times I saw it, but then the Christians, demonstrating both their over-sensitivity and underdeveloped sense of humor, retaliated with a bigger fish eating the Darwin fish. Because, friends, that's really what the Gospel is all about: the ultimate devouring of science by the giant, horrific Jesus-Fish.

Whatever. I don't really mind if you stick a fish on the back of your car. Hell, duct tape an octopus to your tailgate if you want. All I ask is that you put some thought into what your chosen marine animal signifies to the drivers around you. Personally, I'm sticking with the hermit crab.

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