Engage.

I get messages. In the old days, we’d call it ‘mail’ because that’s what it was…either the analog, delivered-by-a-human-to-your-house variety, or the slightly less archaic electronic mail. But nowadays, it seems like most important missives I receive are via text or the forced-upon-us Facebook Messenger. (I don’t like it. It’s trying too hard to insinuate itself into everything, including group texts, which are bad enough without having some third-party app mucking things up. But I digress.)

Some of the messages that come my way are less than flattering. Some of them are downright shitty. Many of them are simply childish, ignorant ranting. And yeah, some of them have really excellent points wrapped up in vitriol and foul language. And you know what? I read them all. If what I’ve written or posted has evoked enough of a reaction for someone to commit the time needed to put their thoughts and emotions into words and then hit ‘send’? Good on them. And good on me for pushing buttons and moving the proverbial needle. I am, if nothing else, a social media provocateur.

My good friend and staunch Conservative (how come Liberals never get to be ‘staunch?’ Sort of elitist, if you ask me) Todd has a theory. He believes that Facebook (or any social media, really) forces people to encapsulate their point in easy-to-read fragments or memes. Our newsfeed and Twitter and Instagram and so on are all just like the major news outlets; competing for attention and trying to hold our interest. Add to that the audience, both real and perceived, witnessing the exchanges, and the stakes get higher, the arguments become polarized miniature brawls, mosh-pits of political slogans and pithy zingers. Nobody wants to look weak, nobody wants to concede, nobody backs down.

Todd’s point is that if he and I sit and have a discussion about religion or politics over a pint or nine at a quiet, out of the way table in a quiet, out of the way pub, why, the entire tone is different. We’ll actually say to one another “That’s a great point, but…” or “A compelling argument. However…” Maybe we don’t change anyone’s views, but we at least offer the chance to peek through one another’s personal lenses and get a better understanding of the opposing side. Add to all this the unspoken language of body, tone, tension in one’s voice, and the level and complexity of communication increases exponentially. Plus, consider this very important point: you will choose your words so very carefully if you must say them aloud, into the face of the man or woman across the table from you; a person who is quite within spitting or punching distance. That’s a level of enforced respect lacking in your average internet dust-up.

So, anyway. Messages. I recently received one in complaint of a meme I’d created which underscored Donald Trump’s repeated calls to prevent any sort of Syrian refugees from entering the country. And yes, the whole image macro was designed to shock, as well as it was intended to put a human face on the suffering which is a daily occurrence in Syria and other areas of the Middle East. This fellow named Shane engaged me via private message, and I’m so very glad he did. Because even though our conversation began with some the one-sided heat that Facebook is known for, something wonderful gradually happened: we listened to one another. We engaged one another. Shane and I didn’t simply throw insults and swear words. We had a discussion, just as if we were sitting in a booth facing one another over pints of Guinness.

Here is our entire exchange. Shane’s words are black, mine are red.

 

 

Ok I have to ask something….. Obama signed a bill to raise pay for the military….. were you aware that he also signed to hold military pay after that so he and all of Congress didn’t have to miss their cushy paychecks? I was very much aware when i had to figure out how to feed my kids and wife while fighting for him

You may not care but you lost a listener for life

 

I remember the commission’s recommendation to “restructure.” I also remember THIS from AFTER the so-called cuts were announced:

The Thursday veto will jeopardize a host of other specialty pays and bonuses, and has inflamed an already bitter budget standoff between Obama and congressional Republicans.

But it does not alter plans for a 1.3 percent raise for troops effective Jan. 1, which is ensured regardless of how the veto fight shakes out.

“That’s because the defense bill is silent on the 2016 military raise. Obama had pledged to set it at 1.3 percent — below expected civilian wage growth — and lawmakers chose to allow that target to stand unchallenged rather than officially substitute their own wage hike in the defense authorization bill.

It’s the same tack lawmakers took in the 2015 defense bill, and it leaves Obama’s order, issued in August, as the final word on military pay for 2016.

As such, the 1.3 percent raise will go into effect Jan. 1” – The Military Times, October 23, 2015

I know Congress is a whole sack of turds. I know they’re over-paid, especially by the lobbyists. But THEY are the ones fucking our troops.

Also, I haven’t been on the radio for over two years, so no biggie.

Can’t support once side of the fence while crushing the other and expect 100% support. Tell me 1 fact that would make Hillary Clinton a better president than Trump

 

She’s not Trump.

But okay, I like her support of a single-payer health care system.

I appreciate that she would appoint supreme court justices that would NOT overturn Roe versus Wade.

Trump, and to a greater extent Pence, have said they’d like to overturn marriage equality, making it illegal again for gays to marry.

Look, it’s America. The great thing is we can have this discussion.

Hell, we can say “FUCK OBAMA” or “GOD ISN’T REAL” or “NICKELBACK ROCKS!” And there’s nothing they can do to stop us.

I wore the uniform for 3 years. I wore our flag with pride every day and will walk with a limp for the rest of my life. Our society has come to selecting the lesser of 2 evils. I wouldn’t put the uniform back on for a single person in the upcoming election but a marriage license shouldn’t be a deciding factor in how my kids will grow up

The great thing about our system, though, is that we can change it every four years if we don’t like it.

But it’s going downhill consistently.

Also, ultimately Congress is at least as important as the President. They make the laws. They decide whether we go to war.

Those assholes have almost all got to go. Start fresh.

They may decide whether we go to war but the veterans (myself included) decide the true reasons we go and fight.

Anyway, look, you don’t have to like me or agree with me. And I appreciate your sacrifice. You may have seen that I’m doing the 22 pushups for 22 days challenge for the vets losing the war to PTSD. It’s something I care a great deal about, and it’s a tragic embarrassment that we let it happen.

And don’t let me influence who you listen to on the radio (although I think John the Mexican has the best show out there.)

Take care, bub.

I 100% support the support of the 22 a day that we lose. I served with most of them I just don’t want to shut the door on the one man that legitimately cares about them over a country 3000 miles away. You may have not been on for 2 years but I’ve listened to you for a lot longer than that.

Well, I appreciate you listening when you did (before you knew I was such a filthy bleeding heart libtard. Ha!)

I still live every day believing every man would choose his own family (country) before another. I know you would do the same if you were forced to choose between one or the other. It’s different when you don’t feel you can pick both

As every Christian I’m all about helping every man woman or child on this planet, but its time we take care of our own country.

And I think it’s totally possible to do both.

If our leaders would see it that way we’d be a lot better off sir

Take care in whatever ventures you are taking on wear the skates for both of us and God bless the USA

Next time I make it to the fort I’d feel honored to have a beer with you. Takes a strong man to fight off a herd to stick to his word

It would be my pleasure, sir.

I apologize if my intentions came off wrong I’m a man who values my family, my country, and the God I pray to every night. We are all entitled to our opinion I respect yours even if I don’t agree with it

Dude, I only wish more people would take the time to actually have a discussion, instead of just screaming and sharing memes. So, Thank you. And be well, bub. Let me know when you’re in town. I’ll get the first round.

Think we’d all be better off if we listened to our conscious a little more and spoke what we truly believed rather than trying to keep from offending ppl. Hope to have a beer and hopefully be on the ice with you Sir. God bless.

 

 

How about that? Civilized people, having a chat. Now, a couple notes. First, my use of the word “Libtard.” I really dislike that word. Not because it’s an attempt to smear or slur those of us whose opinions are left of center. Rather, because I have a friend raising a kid with Down Syndrome, and the word “retard” or any variation thereof, when hurled as an insult, rubs me the wrong way.

So, why use it in this conversation? Because I assumed, incorrectly, that Shane might be the sort of person to use that word. It was a vain, stupid attempt on my part to neutralize his weapon before he could use it. I shouldn’t have. Anyone scoring this debate would award a point to Shane.

Point number two: neither of us really budged. I don’t think for a second that Shane is going to run out and start polling for Hillary, no more than he believes I’ll cast a vote for Trump in November. And you know what? Thats totally okay. You’ve no doubt heard a friend remark “Never get into a political discussion on Facebook, because you aren’t gonna change anyone’s mind.” There’s a fair amount of truth to that, although I’ve seen it happen. I’ve watched opinions change during the course of a comment thread, and it’s amazing to see. But the point is, that’s not even the issue. The point is understanding each other a little better. The point is that this is still (ostensibly) a Democracy. The point is that the First Amendment owns that place of honor in the Bill of Rights because it is ultimately the most important one. Freedom of speech. Our gift to the world.

So, going forward, just engage a little more. Talk with people, not simply at them. By all means, share memes and stats and quotes…but use those as a starting point, a chance to spark a genuine conversation. Trust me, you’ll feel better, less stressed and anxious, especially as Election Day draws near. And who knows? Maybe you’ll make some new friends along the way. At the very least, you could potentially develop some of that mutual trust and respect people talk about.

Maybe this social media thing is gonna be okay after all. And, just maybe, so will we.

 

 

Why Bernie

Well, this is something new. I usually write funny nonsense or sci-fi short stories or a combination of both. I may discuss comic books, movies, or music, but I’ve shied away form one area of discussion: politics. Gods, I can hear you rolling your eyes at the very mention of the word. Politics. Ugh. So I’ll forgive you if you check out right now and browse elsewhere on the vast prairie of the interwebs. I completely understand. But if you have the gumption, or simply want a bit of insight into my personal beliefs, then read on.

A friend of mine asked me recently to explain to him my support of Bernie Sanders for President of the United States of America. He went so far as to throw down the gauntlet of “Convince me.” Wow. There’s a big difference between explaining your position and trying to compel the other party to change theirs. I’m not sure I’m up to that challenge. I don’t know if I’m eloquent enough. Maybe my words aren’t that great. But what I hope, what I believe, rather, is that by reading this, and reading all of it, maybe you’ll at least come to accept that my beliefs, my hopes, are not so crazy as perhaps you imagined.

 

Why do I support Bernie? Because I believe America is already pretty great…but I think it can be better. I think that we have to improve not only the lives of citizens (like me, for example. Like my brother. Like everyone, gay, straight, man, woman, Christian, atheist, Muslim, artist, worker, soldier, teacher…everyone.)

I support Bernie because Big Money has always run the show, realistically. But until the Reagan years (and yes, Bill Clinton played a part with the deregulation of the media companies and the NAFTA agreement), those entities were at least held in check. Now the corporations act with impunity. They beg for tax cuts, then move their factory overseas anyway. They bitch about raising the minimum wage, yet accept billions in bailouts (from OUR taxes) and reward their CEO’s with insane bonuses and salaries.

I support Bernie because he believes that if you have the money to send soldiers to war, then by God, you have the money to care for them when they return. Not just with medical care and such, but with mental health care. There’s an epidemic of our fighting men and women committing suicide or sleeping on the streets, and Big Money (and the Republican party that acts as Big Money’s political arm) not only don’t care, they hinder efforts to spend tax money on solving the problem. Yes, I know that some of those bills probably have pork or other attachments that make lawmakers balk, but it’s happened over and over and over.

I support Bernie because he tells it like it is. He speaks his mind. But unlike Trump, he does it 1) because he actually believes it, not because he figures it’s what the crowd wants to hear and 2) with dignity and grace, not scraping down to cater to ignorant, racist, homophobic, misogynistic pricks.

I support Bernie because he wants to use our taxes the way they were meant to be used. Not increasing taxes on you or me (or anyone not ‘rich’) but by allocating those taxes to where they need to go. Instead of a couple of billion for jets that are obsolete before they even enter the theater or another bailout and tax breaks to a multinational corporation , he’d use them to rebuild the bridges, dams, and highways that are not only out-of-date, but dangerously close to total collapse. And yes, he’d use that money for education. Speaking of which…

It’s not “free shit for everyone.” The state colleges would offer free tuition…but only to students that were accepted. You’d need to pass the same entrance exam, maintain the same GPA, do the same work as anyone else who had received a grant or scholarship. Don’t do all that? Buh-bye. Seeya. Collect your things and go. And the private schools would still be private. If you could afford them, hey, God bless. Go for it. Spend mommy and daddy’s inheritance on that sort of education. Good for you! But for the rest of us? It’s a chance to finally narrow the gap between ourselves and Japan or Germany. To have the best-educated workforce in the world. And on a personal note, it’s a scientific fact that the college-educated folks may not be smarter than the kids that stay in their hometown and get a job at the factory…but they are more tolerant. Respectful of other cultures. Less racist or homophobic. Why? Because they will have been exposed to all those things, different accents and skin tones, different dress and eating habits…in other words, the WORLD. And the more you know about the world, the less you fear it. And the less hate you harbor as a result. So, more college students = more cultural harmony.

And finally, let’s talk about healthcare. I’m not a huge fan of Obamacare. I think it’s a half-measure. I think it was a way to kiss the ass of the insurance companies (once again, Big Money calls the shots.) But I also have a friend who has insurance provided by her company, and she’s considering going back to part-time to work on other projects. I was concerned about her lack of insurance coverage. She told me “I’ll just go back to the ACA. It was better than what I have now, anyway.” Of course, that could be more an indictment of the standard of care offered by employers nowadays, or it could be that the ACA just really works out to be a great deal for a single mother of two (as is her case.) Either way, she wouldn’t have even had the option before Obamacare. But let’s take it further…

Say they raise my taxes to pay for Bernie’s universal healthcare. The good shit, the “show up at the emergency room, get your broken bone set, go home. No deductible, not co-pay…it’s just done” variety. The sort of thing they have in, you know…every other civilized country in the world. Every. One. Say I end up paying an additional 2.2% in taxes. Maybe my work pays me a bit less to pay for my proposed payroll tax. The fact remains: The typical family of four making $50,000 a year would pay less than $46 a month under Bernie’s plan for three months of paid family and medical leave and universal health care. (That’s from TIME magazine, January 28, 2016.) In other words, I’m coming out ahead. Also, The typical American family of four covered by an employer-sponsored health care plan paid $24,671 last year on health care costs alone, according to the non-partisan Milliman Medical Index. So, as it stands right now, they’re taking money out of my paycheck to pay for coverage…and I’m STILL paying a shitload in health costs. Maybe it’s not a big deal to people without kids. Maybe it’s not a big deal to rich people who can afford it. But to my family and me, that’s huge.

And the other thing to consider: say I end up actually losing money. Maybe I’m short about $3000 a year, all things being equal. That’s too bad. Perhaps I’ll have to skip playing hockey and forget about taking a vacation. But if it means that every single parent, every kid, every human being in the country has access to medical care when they need it, then, dude…that’s not even a question. Hell, take it. I’ll even chip in a bit more. That makes every taxpayer a big damn hero. That’s what society is supposed to be. That’s why we live in communities, why we have police, why we elect a mayor, a governor, a president, why there’s a highway system, air traffic controllers, and a standing army: because it’s us. Not me. We’re all in this together.

So, in conclusion, I’ll answer your question. Why Bernie? Because I want to live in a better world. I want my kids to have a better opportunity. I want the people to reclaim some of the power from the corporations. I want freedom and equality for every human being in the United States of America. Right now, Bernie Sanders offers the best possible hope of beginning the process that moves us towards those things. It won’t be easy. It won’t all happen right away, especially as Big Money pushes back hard and exerts its force on politics. But it can happen. And it must happen if we are to survive as a nation, rather than a bunch of individuals fighting one another for the scraps thrown our way by Big Money.

 

 

A Few of My Favorite Memes

I PROMISE to get on a more regular blogging schedule.  New work hours, kids out of school…it’ll be rough, but I think I can do it.  Thanks, in the meantime, for your patience.  Now, on with the countdown…

Let’s begin with a bit of a primer for those who have been off-net since 1998.  Merriam-Webster defines a “meme” thusly:

“an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture”
Fair enough.  But that doesn’t really capture the modern interpretation.  Specifically, the Internet meme (rhymes with ‘beam’).  Since it’s the future and everything, here’s what Wikipedia has to say: ‘An Internet meme is an idea that is propagated through the World Wide Web. The idea may take the form of a hyperlink, video, picture, website, hashtag, or just a word or phrase, such as intentionally misspelling the word “more” as “moar” or “the” as “teh”.’

In other words, Pedobear.  It’s “I see what you did there.”   It’s goatse (I WILL NOT HYPERLINK THAT!!!)  It’s “Dog Fort” and “LOLCats.” It’s “Chocolate Rain” and so on.  Usually, these things find their way to Facebook and other social media in the form of a one-sheet graphic with some sort of hilarious caption, because those are just easier to share.  And that’s all the education you’re getting, because if you didn’t know what a meme was previous to this post, you are now saying to yourself  “Oh!  So they’ve got a name for this phenomenon!”  They do.  Here endeth the lesson.

On to my faves.  I actually sort of got a minor meme going a while back with a photo of my son Simon enjoying his sixth birthday celebration.  Like many modern memes, it was based on (stolen from) another well-known image:  the Cocaine Bear.  Basically, a large Kodiak bear with snow all over his face bellowing “I FUCKING LOVE COCAINE!”  Mine was a kid with birthday cake.  So, yeah…

Happy birthday, kid. You’re internet famous for .18 seconds.

Others hopped on the bandwagon for those .18 seconds and replaced my caption with their own, with text ranging from “THIS IS SPARTA!” to other less savory remarks that made me glad that this one was short-lived. And therein lies the life-cycle of most internet memes.  They come and go so very quickly…today’s Gotye and “Call Me Maybe” memes will be tomorrow’s “Scumbag Steve” or Rebecca Black. But the truly great ones endure.  Memes like…

Philosoraptor

This one has been around for so long, there are actually a variety of different image macros in use.  My favorite is the one seen below, the two-color raptor pondering the universe, a wise finger/claw to his lip (even though the large claw on velociraptor was on his foot, so…he must be fairly flexible.)  Philosoraptor often asks simple questions about things no one ever truly answers, like “Where in the story does it say Humpty Dumpty was an egg?”  Because this meme is so popular, there’s a lot of complete crap out there associated with Philosoraptor.  But there are tons of  gems, too…

Also, “If atheism is a religion, then is ‘bald’ a hair color?”

Fry

Yes, the guy from Futurama.  You’ll also see this meme listed as “Suspicious Fry” or “Doubting Fry” or some other description based on, well…the look on Fry’s face in this particular macro.  The beauty of this entry is it can be used over and over and over.  It is truly timeless.  Most of the best Fry meme entries begin with “Not sure if…” and then an ironic observation.  This message is so omnipresent, you’ll see the phrase used in regular text posts and Facebook comments: Not sure if ugly baby or retarded dwarf…

Fry (and all the Futurama characters, actually) can be found in multiple memes, often cross-pollinating and taking on lives of their own.  Fry pops up in “Oh!  I see what you did there…” and countless others.  Classic.

Not sure if X or just Y. Instant comedy!

Courage Wolf There are dozens of great Advice Animal internet memes.  Some of them aren’t really giving advice; they just make observations on specific situations, like “Socially Awkward Penguin” and some go out of their way to give terrible advice, like the aptly-named “Bad Advice Kitten.”  But Courage Wolf (along with his considerably more aggressive and downright psychotic cousin, the “Insanity Wolf”) dishes out the ass-kicking that you need.  Take those trite, over-used motivational posters and turn up the volume 550% and you get Courage Wolf. One of the best examples that I can remember is where Courage Wolf (just a snarling wolf head on a yellow-gold pinwheel quartered background) looked me in the eye and told me “The only thing standing between you and your dreams is YOUR pussy ass!”  Fuck, I needed to hear that.  And honestly felt better after reading  that message.  “If God gives you lemons, FIND A NEW GOD!!

See, Insanity Wolf always goes juuuust a bit too far…

60’s Spidey My love of ol’ web-head has been well-documented.  He’s one of my all-time favorites for so many reasons.  That may be why I like this meme so goddam much.  It takes scenes from the old 1960’s Spider-Man cartoon (from whence came the insanely stupid but catchy Spider-Man theme song) and adds non-sequitur quotes or captions.  Most of them make absolutely no sense, and many are hilarious.  My faves are the “LOL What am I doing?” captions,  because after looking at the damned scene you ask yourself the same question.

Honorable Mentions

You’re gonna hafta Google these or play catch-up on Reddit, ’cause I ain’t got time to get into ’em all.  Some of these are fairly recent, and as such haven’t proved their mettle.  But dig ’em while they last…

Berks.  I love the “Berks” meme.  Specifically, I love trying to translate what the unfortunate-looking young lady is saying in the captions.  The good ones will literally make you cry with laughter.

Scumbag Steve (Scumbag Everything) It started out as a chavvy-looking douche in matching coat and flat-brimmed cap basically bumming smokes, weed, your sister, etc.  It’s since evolved into  Scumbag *insert person/website here* wherein one thing is promised but something else entirely is delivered.

All The Things! Another X the Y style image macro.  A crudely drawn cartoon person holding a broom (or paintbrush?  Unlit torch?  Hard to tell) and pumping a fist in the air exhorts you to “Upvote all the posts!” or “Close all the tabs!” or somesuch.

Brace yourself…X is coming. This sprung from the iconic picture of the stoic Ned Stark from the Game of Thrones HBO series warning the people of Westeros that “Winter is Coming.”  This meme is used on the likes of Reddit to warm “Brace yourselves.  The Halloween costume posts are coming.”  In other words, an impending flood of comments or posts on some recent event or news item. The incredible thing is, this meme lives on even though the Ned Stark character is (spoiler alert!) beheaded in season one of that series.

Call Me Maybe.  This is fairly new, and in response to that insipid song that you’ll hear all summer.  My favorite thus far involves George Michael from Arrested Development hopefully saying “call me, Maeby.”  Darth Vader, Leslie Nielsen (“Don’t call me maybe.”) amdothers have taken up the chant, but this one will only last as long as the song.  In other words, prolly as bit too long.

Oh, jeez.  Out of time.  Of course, as I put this puppy together, I see no fewer than two other sites doing “Top Meme” posts.  Good timing…I haz it!  Until next time…

Watch the Magic Pumpkin! Watch!

I wasn’t gonna blog this soon.  I was gonna take some time and do it up right.  But that ain’t my style, bub. Sometimes an opportunity presents itself, and you grab that big pot of gold and dig in.  (Chili.  Not gold.  In my dreams it’s always a pot o’ chili.)

Firstly, on the little radio show I do, The TNT Show, we play a stupid game called “Getting to Know Ya” wherein we ask the listeners a buncha stupid questions.  There are no right answers, simply good answers.  Savvy?  Good.  On Monday’s show, we asked a guy what his favorite Halloween candy was.  His answer?

Skittles.  Fucking Skittles.

You're fucking with me, aren't you? Yeah. You're fucking with me.

Now, don’t get me wrong:  Skittles are a fine candy.  I love playing the “which colors/flavors work best together” game.  Fan-fucking-tastic, Skittles.  Good candy you’ve got there.  But…it’s HALLOWEEN, MAN!!  I’d be less disappointed if he’d declared in a strong, authoritative voice that “Those crappy peanut-butter-taffy things that get stuck in your teeth are the finest confection known to man.  In particular, I prefer the ones in the orange paper wrappers to those in the black paper wrappers, even though I know them to be the exact same candy.  Perhaps I bear some sort of subconscious racism.  No matter.  Hands-down, those particular treats are the finest in my Halloween bag, make no mistake.  I am as firm as the Rock of Gibraltar on this issue.”

Skittles.  Fuck. No.

See? We're all sort of beige on the inside! Just like Lord Vader!

Another Halloween-themed goodie dropped right into my lap via Facebook.  My friend (and excellent drummer, BTW) Joe had posted the following as his status on this fine Monday: “Still have no clue what I should dress up as for Halloween! Come on smart asses what ya got?”

Oh no he DIH-UNT! Joe got a variety of ha-ha replies, and he nixed them all as being “stupid.”  That’s where I came in.  I wanted to just take a screen shot of his Facebook, but it would’ve been all compressed or worse, too frakkin’ big to display properly.  So what follows is a transcript:

Me: Milton from Office Space.

Joe: So far, Turner is winning

Me: Or Mitt Romney.  That’d be cool.

Me: I know! The Iron Giant!

(non-important person): Snooky!

Me: Papa Smurf!

Me: Mitchell S*****n! (*editor’s note: Mitch is a dealer and hockey guy we know who also digs street drag-racing.  Basically a pimp.)

Me: Two chickens!

Me: A tasty McRib sandwich!

Me: Rhubarb!

Me: The Grinch!

Me: Footballing legend Pele!

(some girl): Papa smurf! Lmao ya go as that!

(another, hotter girl): The Hamburgler

Me: Amy Winehouse!

Me: Daft Punk!

(girl again): Joe Dirt!

Me: Willie Nelson’s bar of soap!

Me: Meatsicle! http://www.foundshit.com/raw-meat-popscicle/

Me: A crablouse!

Me: Rusty’s chin! (*editor’s note: Rusty is a smaller, older version of Mitch*)

Me: A mule!

Me: A mule in a sombrero!

Me: Trivial Pursuit!

Me: Gravy!

Me: Harry Potter’s “wand!”

Me: Cthulhu’s cat!

Me: Top Ramen!

Me: Tron!

Me: The Sugarland Stage!

Me: A pair of Vicegrips!

Me: The Boudoir Bombshells!

Me: Knee-high socks and a bloody pitchfork!

RUSTY: Turner wants you to be a Hipster so you can be Hipster butt buddies with him. (*editor’s note: I actually “liked” this comment.*)

Me: A brown tooth!

Me: Barry Thickk’s Old Navy sweatshirt! (*editor’s note: Barry is my co-host.  He is the dude least-likely to own any sort of Old Navy merchandise that I’ve ever met.  And yet, he does…*)

Me: Ray Finkle!

Me: Soap on a rope!

Me: Pope on a rope!

Me: Hop on Pop!

Me: Flubber!

Me: Flash Gordon!

Me: Crash Bandicoot!

Me: Ned Braden!

Me: Ned Ryerson!

Me: Headless Ned Stark!

Me: Tony Stark!

Me: Tony Hawk!

Me: Dolph Lundgren!

Me: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Lundgren!

Joe: I would like to combine all of these into ONE costume!

And then something amazing happened.  The perky young lady that follows our morning show decided I needed reinforcements.  What followed was beautiful…

Jenna: A salad bar.

Jenna: A guy with hair. (*ed: see, Joe’s bald.*)

Jenna: A robot.

Jenna: A banana.

Jenna: A tampon.

Jenna: Apple-bottom jeans.

Jenna: Boots with the fur.

Jenna: Timmy.

Jenna: Poop.

Me: Tommy!

Me: Scoop!

Jenna: Measles.

Me: Weasels!

Jenna: AIDS.

Me: Kool-AIDS Man!

Me: Pierce Brosnan’s colon!

Me: Colin Powell’s piercing!

Me: Powerman 5001!

Me: Jodie Foster!

Me: Steve Buschemi’s used band-aid!

Jenna: Nell.

Jenna: Tay in the weeeend.

Me: Chicka-pay!

Jenna: Harold.

Jenna: Kumar.

Me: Maude!

Jenna: A chicken ring sandwich.

Me: That’s it. Chicken ring sandwich.

Me: Jenna wins.

AAAAAANNND SCENE.  There was more after that, of course.  Banter.  Mainly banter.  But, wow!  What a way to go out!  Chicken ring sandwich!  I don’t have the slightest fucking clue what that even is, but it’s perfect!  Did she mean to type “chicken wing sandwich?”  Or is this some weird internet phrase to which I am not privy?  Will that be tomorrow’s big meme?  Fuck, now I want a chicken ring sandwich, whatever the hell it is.  It’s too good not to be something.

So, there you have it.  Joe’s status garnered 90 comments by the time I wrote this.  Not too shabby, Joe.  And thank you, dear reader, for taking the time to scroll all the way down that bitch.  I owe you a chicken ring sandwich.  I do. But instead, I’ll give you the quick and easy recipe for the celebrated summertime drink the IdaJoe (named after my boy Joe, who’s Facebook is now the stuff of legend.)  Here ’tis: Over ice, pour three parts Sailor Jerry, one part pineapple juice, and add a splash of Grenadine.  It’s bliss. 

When Joe was younger and had hair, he hung out with better people.

Here’s to you, Joe! Happy Halloween!