Monday, March 31, 2008

You and Your Boyfriend Loved “The Matrix” Day!

You and your boyfriend have probably seen “The Matrix” over a thousand times. So when you come home today and find your boyfriend dead in his chair of a heroin overdose, you do like in “The Matrix” and you lean in close to his ear and whisper that you love him. That’s supposed to make him come back to life, if there really is a Matrix (you and your boyfriend think there is). But telling him you love him doesn’t work. You wonder if this means maybe there isn’t a Matrix, but you conclude that it probably didn’t work because you didn’t mean it. You try telling him you love him again, but the words sound empty. You realize, whispering into his cold ear, that you don’t love him. You never did. You feel free, suddenly. Thank God you found this out after he already overdosed, you think. I hate breaking up with people, you think. I usually just hang around and act cold, waiting for them to break up with me, you also think. You spray some lighter fluid on his clothes and around the room. You give him a kiss. Then you light him on fire and get on out of there. Time to hit the bars and find yourself a Neo who's in the mood for a little Trinity tonight.

Happy You and Your Boyfriend Loved “The Matrix” Day!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Death Race For Pizza Day!

“Another one of Johnny’s famously dumb ideas,” your ex-wife is thinking as she watches you on her badass big screen TV. “He’d sign up for anything.”

It’s true, you would. You like to be picked for stuff. You always stop on the sidewalk when activists ask you if you have a minute to listen to them rattle off statistics about the environment and hungry children. You love when you get a phone call out of the blue from someone who picked you to take their survey. And yes, eleven years ago when the show Death Race was the biggest thing on TV, you happily added your name to the millions of Americans writing in to become contestants. They finally got back to you last week.

Back when you signed up, Death Race was a ratings giant. Everyone wanted to watch people speed across the country with the goal of murdering their fellow contestants, with the last living driver to make it across the finish line winning a prize of ten million dollars (if more than one driver made it across, they all had to split the money, so it’s important to kill your opponents).

Death Race has fallen in the ratings over the years, which is why the prize this season is a large pizza with toppings of your choice. You’re pretty sure that since the prize is so measly you and the other drivers are on the same page about pretty much making this a cross-country road trip that ends with all of you having a fun little pizza party. No reason to kill people just to get the whole pie.

“I bet he thinks this is just gonna be a cross-country road trip that ends in a pizza party,” your ex-wife says to her new and very successful husband while watching you on their huge and awesome television. “Jesus what a sap.”

Just then, the driver to your right tosses a grenade into your passenger seat.

“That guy must be real hungry,” you think. Then you quickly toss the grenade back into his car and smash into his side to make him keep control of the wheel so he can’t toss the grenade back. His car goes off the road and slams into a tree, throwing the driver through his windshield and against the tree at 80 MPH. The driver collapses in parts on the hood of his car just a beat before the grenade detonates and you watch the blast in your rear view mirror.

“Extra cheese. Mushrooms. And sausage.” You repeat your topping choices out loud as you drive. That pie is yours. That pie is yours alone. The sign by the side of the road says, “You Are Now Entering New Mexico.”

Happy Death Race For Pizza Day!

PS: Become a Facebook fan of Bob Powers’ next book, “You Are A Miserable Excuse For a Hero.”

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Your Building’s Superintendent Wants To Cut Your Hair Again Day!

He’s in beauty school and since your hair’s curly, he’s always wanting to give you cuts because curly is the kind of hair he has trouble with.

“Okay superintendent, just once more,” you say when you bump into him while he’s bundling up the trash bags.

Three hours later your hair looks horrible and your superintendent hates himself.

“I’m going to be separating trash for the rest of my life,” he says.

You can’t take your eyes off the mirror. You look terrible.

“I wish you were dead, Superintendent,” you say to him.

He runs crying to the basement and takes his life. You don't miss him until one day a UPS package arrives for you and there's no one around to accept it. You remember the horrible thing you said to him and you decide to start doing a little personal interior decorating inside that big empty house called Your Soul.

Happy Your Building’s Superintendent Wants To Cut Your Hair Again Day!

Monday, March 24, 2008

You’re Just Trying To Drop Off Some Snack Foods For The Children Who Live Inside The Crate and Barrel Day!

The store’s security chief has you in the back room and he wants to know what you’re up to.

“Did you see me steal anything?” you ask him. “You might as well call the police if so.”

The security chief says you and he are just having a conversation. “I’m just curious as to what your plans might be for my store. You’ve piqued my interest. When I see a man come into a furniture store every night at around a half hour before closing, and I watch him walk around the store leaving bags of Cheetos and Ritz Bitz in the show room before walking out without buying anything, I’m compelled to chat with that man.”

Maybe he knows, you think. Maybe he wants to know if you know too. It’s too uncertain.

“I’m just forgetful,” you say. “I misplace things. And I like to look at furniture.”

The security chief nods. “Say, you bought that Southport Storage Cube a while back. How’d that work out for you?”

You bristle when he mentions the cube. Does he know how the children communicate with outsiders? Does he know about the note you found inside the cube, telling you that by day Crate and Barrel might be a showroom for not very affordable furniture, but by night it’s a safehouse for children who’ve run away from their parents because their parents are too religious and wouldn’t let the children have crushes on boys and girls they were crushing on, so the children ran away in couples, to experience the highs and lows of puppy love without interference from their God-fearing parents. According to the note, the children found a way to sneak into the Crate and Barrel and they get to sleep in the same beds with the boys and girls they’re crushing on, and it’s just about the greatest thing in the world. The only problem is they get hungry at night.

Can you bring us some treats? the note asked of you.

“I’ll tell you what I’m doing,” you say to the security chief. “I’m honoring the heart of the little boy I used to be. The boy who fell for a pretty girl when he was twelve, and then his parents had to move to Chicago because his dad got a new job. That boy could have run away and lived his young love but he didn’t. He was scared. And he’s regretted it ever since. Some boys aren’t so scared as me. And they deserve to be cared for.”

The security chief grabs you by the lapels, letting you know he knows what you’re talking about.

“You listen to me, pal. This is my store. Now I may not have been able to capture those little kids yet, but I captured you, you understand? Now you’re gonna stop bringing food in here because those little kids might be able to elude my traps and my cameras and my alarm systems when they’re healthy and full of grub. But if they get hungry, they’ll get weak. They’ll get tired. And I’ll catch ‘em. Stay out of my store, you hear?”

“Arrest me!” you dare him. It’s not you talking now. It’s the twelve-year-old you long to be again.

“Stay out of my store,” the Security Chief repeats.

“It’s a public store,” you tell him. “It’s just an Ikea with high price tags and it’s open to every man, woman, and child who wants to come in here. You want to keep me out; you file a police report saying I’m trying to feed a group of lovesick little kids that you can’t catch. I’m sure everyone’ll get a kick out of reading that.”

He lets go of your lapels.

“As long as there’s a little kid trying to hold onto love in your store, I’m bringing him some Cheetos, you hear?”

The Chief steps away from you. You walk out the door. Your heart beating so hard in your chest you’re worried you might have a heart attack. It’s 8:50, almost closing time. As you walk to the door you think you see a pair of eyes peeking out from underneath one of the bedroom sets. Those little eyes look like they’re smiling.

Happy You’re Just Trying To Drop Off Some Snack Foods For The Children Who Live Inside The Crate and Barrel Day!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Carnival Cruise To The Edge Of The Earth Day!

It’s day 91 of your stay on the Carnival Cruise Journey to the Edge of the Earth. The ship has had to dock at various ports to refuel around 18 times. Many of your fellow passengers have begun losing their minds from being on the boat for so long, their only options being to hide in their cabins, to sit by the pool and watch the same thirty eight children urinate, to go to the club in the evening and listen to the cruise ship comedian tell his same forty minutes of jokes he’s been telling every night since the boat left the dock (he can’t improv anymore either since by now he knows by sight where every single passenger is from and what they do for a living), or to hit one of the dozens of buffets and stuff themselves until they’re praying to fall asleep before they vomit.

Overeating has taken a toll. The ship’s doctor has diagnosed six new cases of diabetes and fourteen cases of gout. No one wants to skip a free buffet or else they’ll feel they didn’t get their money’s worth. They also don’t want to get off the boat early. They paid to go to the edge of the Earth and dammit, they’re gonna stay until they get there and have the chance to take some photographs to prove they saw it.

This morning is a sad one for you, as your third ship-board romance will come to an end when you learn once again that you were only being seduced for recruitment into a mutiny. The ship’s mothers have watched their husbands eat themselves into oblivion with no care for what might become of their children. The mothers feel the need to take matters into their own hands. They don’t want the captain to take them back to shore. They just want to take control of the navigation to make sure that their children get to see the edge of the Earth, as promised.

“I’m sorry,” you tell Sarah, just as you told Molly before her and Trina before Molly. “The captain is Carnival Cruise Line certified. I have to trust him. I’m sorry I can’t help you, and I’m sorry you only slept with me to win my participation in your revolt.”

Sarah clocks you over the head with one of the decorative paddles on the wall. A few hours later, you wake up to the sound of women howling above-deck. You climb up and see them dancing around a flagpole atop which the captain’s head has been mounted. The mothers have taken over the ship and will control the remainder of your journey to the edge of the Earth. God help you all.

Happy Carnival Cruise To The Edge Of The Earth Day!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Why Won’t You Ever Spend More Than Twenty Minutes At A Time With Your Boyfriend? Day!

Your boyfriend is upset because you won’t ever spend more than twenty minutes at one time with him. Whether it be dinner, a conversation about your and his dreams, sex, even trips to the movies have to be interrupted by you getting up and going out to the lobby every twenty minutes and then coming right back.

“I’ve had it,” he says.

“I’ll explain,” you say.

Tell him that when you were six your mom died and your Dad got arrested for robbing a Party supply store a bunch of times, so you were in danger of being thrown into the foster care system. Luckily for you, your Dad frequented a brothel full of really nice and caring prostitutes. Just before he went off to jail they agreed to take you in.

They provided a warm, loving environment. Unfortunately, though, they had a habit of limiting all of their interactions to the length of time it takes for a lit cigarette to burn down to its filter.

“Any time I’d come in and ask one of them about the difference between right and wrong, or what happens to us after we die, just after I sat down she’d light a cigarette and set it in a nearby ashtray. Once the cigarette went out, the prostitute would just get up and go downstairs to the sitting room of the brothel. Even if I was crying over having not gotten asked to go to a dance.”

It was just a habit for them, tell him. Day after day they voluntarily entered into terrible transactions, their only escape being the passage of a set amount of time. They couldn’t help but live their lives in those chunks of minutes.

“I guess they passed it on to me,” say.

“I’m so sorry you had to live like that,” your boyfriend will say. “I’m willing to work through this with you. I just need you to communicate with me and –“

You get up and walk away.

Happy Why Won’t You Ever Spend More Then Twenty Minutes At A Time With Your Boyfriend? Day!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Dr. Myron Misses The Patients She Euthanized Day!

Every day she sees their faces. Stanley. Rita. Old angry Felix. Stinky Pete. That racist Maureen. Every last one of them was super old and super dying, and every last one of them lives in Dr Myron’s heart as big as a lost spouse.

She’s one of the most sought after euthanists in all of Portland. She gives her patients and their families the peace they crave after so much suffering. She knows what she’s doing is right, and that’s what she’s going to tell the Senate subcommittee today when she’s brought before them to testify.

She could avoid indictment if she agrees to never euthanize another patient again, and more importantly, she speaks on the record about the possibility that she might have come between one of her patients and his or her potential for unforeseen recovery. But she has no intention of doing that. Though she will agree with the crusading senators on one point.

“It is exactly like playing God,” she will tell them. “And it has a terrible side-effect. It makes the euthanist fall in love with her patients with as much strength as the love God has for His children, every last one of whom he makes sure to kill. I don’t know how big God’s heart is, and perhaps if it ever gets too full we’ll all start to live forever because He has no more room for the affection he holds towards so many billions. My heart is finite, so you can count on me to stop euthanizing people after just a handful more are given peace. I can only hold so much love before I’m forced to stay in bed all day mooning over my memories of those I’ve loved and lost. But until then, I gotta do what I gotta do because letting people live in pain is stupid as butt.”

Half the Senate floor will erupt into calls for the indictment and arrest of Dr Myron. The other half will dab at their tears and look up to God to thank Him for making room in his heart for just a few billion more.

“No one wants to live forever, Senator!” Dr. Myron will shout. Then a bailiff will grab her and in the hullabaloo sneak her out a side exit to bring her to your bedside. You’ve been nothing but a vegetable full of hot pain after that last stroke, and after a few minutes of prep Dr. Myron is going to fall head over heels in love with you.

Happy Dr. Myron Misses The Patients She Euthanized Day!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Goodbye Sal Of Sal’s Hoagies and Cheeseteaks Day!

Hear Bob Powers read this one, recorded at NPR's "Bryant Park Project" studios

Today immediately after slicing his one millionth Italian Hoagie into two halves, Sal of Sal’s Hoagies and Cheesesteaks will slice into his own throat and drop to the floor of his kitchen to die.

“Guess Sal hit a million,” Louie, one of his faithful lunch crowd will say as he watches the puddle of blood seep from behind the counter into the seating area.

“I knew this day was coming,” Jerry, another of Sal’s loyal customers will say. “But I didn’t do anything to prepare for it. What the heck am I gonna eat for lunch now?”

Jerry will crumple up his counter ticket. He has 58. The LED screen reads 55. Just three sandwiches short of getting that legendary millionth roll full of the finest cold cuts, veggies and oil.

“Call an ambulance!” a new customer will shout. “Call an ambulance!”

But no one will move. The ones who already got their food will eat their sandwiches in honor of their faithful chef. The ones who didn’t will weep at their tables, staring at their useless ticket numbers, wondering why they couldn’t have left work just a few minutes early to get just one last heaping pile of deliciousness before they have to resort to hitting the Arby’s five times a week.

But everyone will be waiting to see who just became the luckiest man in town.

“55!” Rita, Sal’s wife, will shout through her tears. Her husband’s one millionth sandwich will be in her hands. There’s some blood on the roll. “55!”

A little boy will shuffle to the counter, his eyes on the floor, his ticket held in the air for the nice lady to take. Rita will manage a smile for the boy when she hands him his sandwich.

“One Italian Hoagie,” she’ll say. “You eat it up.”

“Every last bite,” a customer will shout from his table.

“It’s your sandwich,” Rita will say. “My husband made this for you.”

It will take the boy most of the afternoon to finish it, as the sandwich is almost as big as him. But finish it he will.

Tomorrow Sal’s will be closed, and it won’t reopen. Soon, the sign above the shop window will be covered over, and no more will anyone get to read Sal’s famous marquee promise: “I’m Going To Serve One Million Hoagies To This World And Then I’m Going To Kill Myself.” It was a strange mission statement for a store owner, but it’s nice to see that some retailers still honor the promises they make to their customers.

Happy Goodbye Sal Of Sal’s Hoagies and Cheeseteaks Day!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Draft-Dodge Day!

Aliens just landed on Earth and they're hostile as balls. They've
already destroyed the White House, The Empire State Building, and some
building in LA that no one could give a shit about.

The military is preparing to launch a counter-attack and they've
reinstituted the Draft to use as many able-bodied Americans as they
can in their efforts to destroy the alien army and prevent the human
race's enslavement to the alien hordes.

You'd better bust ass to Canada. You're a pacifist and an
intellectual and you're not going to pick up a gun and join a war just
because a President you didn't vote for tells you that unless every
human being stands up to fight, the human race will be reduced to
nothing but a food and fuel source by noon tomorrow. You didn't start
this war. Neither did the president, sure, but he's probably really
excited about it. Fuck him if he thinks he can turn you into a
baby-killing soldier just by telling you that your immediate family is
in danger of being used as fertilizer for a distant planet.

Go to Canada and help the world by continuing to be a free-thinking
creative spirit. Make sure you bring a lot of reefer, hippy, because
your "guy" just got turned into ash while trying to rescue his
daughter from her elementary school that was targeted by a death ray.
I'm sure he died content, knowing that you'll live on to spew more of
your anti-big business horseshit at parties.

Happy Draft-Dodge Day!

PS: For those who have been sending panicked emails, this post is
fiction. Stop hoarding.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

You Used To Eat Your Dinner Out Of An Old Tire You Found In A Lot Someplace Day!

When you were in your thirties, you had a string of bad luck that led
you to a vacant lot, where you found an old car tire that someone did
not need anymore, so you used the inside of the tire as a dinner
plate. This allowed you to keep the fried chicken pieces you bought
at the chinese takeout place from having to rest on the ground while
they were waiting to be eaten by you. You can only hold so many
chicken pieces at once (two) and the chinese place sold chicken pieces
in batches of three. So you would rest at least one of the chicken
pieces on the inside of the tire. The inside of the tire also
collected a great deal of your blood after some teenagers approached
you from behind while you were having dinner one night and they hit
you in the back of the head with a steel rod before setting you on
fire. Your thirties were rough.

Happy You Used To Eat Your Dinner Out Of An Old Tire You Found In A
Lot Someplace Day!

Monday, March 03, 2008

Make The Scumbags Pay Day!

Someone ate your pudding. You put your name on it, dated it, just like the sign on the break-room fridge says to do. You put it in the crisper drawer, even, because you know these fucking animals can’t be trusted to control themselves if there’s a cup of chocolate pudding sitting in plain sight when they reach in to grab some creamer. You know how it gets at 3 PM, when you’re looking for something, anything, to get you through the last 150 minutes before you get to run out the door hunting for alcohol. A cup of pudding is more than just a treat at that hour. It’s the portal to salvation. You can look at a cup of pudding, or a leftover birthday cupcake, and it’s like eating it might bring your Dad back to life long enough for him to tell you he didn’t mean it when he said you’re turning out just like him. You can’t expect them to hold back from stealing such a treasure just because there happens to be a name and a date scribbled on the foil lid.

There’s a flip side to that coin. How can they who stole such a bounty expect its former owner to react with anything less than the purest of unbridled vengeance? How can they hope to enjoy what was rightfully yours without also enjoying the full and horrible cruelty of your wrath? In short, how can they expect to get away with this?

Don’t let them. Not only should you make the thief pay, but you should make sure that everyone on the floor knows that YOU ARE NOT TO BE FUCKED WITH! You need to communicate that WHEN SOMEONE HITS YOU, OH SURE AS SHIT WILL YOU HIT BACK! You need to put the word out.

Why not do it with a note!


Will the Piggy who ate my chocolate pudding cup, which I had clearly labeled with my name and the date, please replace it by tomorrow. I really like my chocolate pudding cups, and this refrigerator is supposed to be for everybody. Shame on you piggy.



Post it on the fridge door and then watch the shitholes one by one read those words and then turn into quivering little bitches. They clearly did not know exactly just who the fuck you are now did they?

Happy Make The Scumbags Pay Day!