Thursday, August 31, 2006

Who knew Sicily had such a cool, and faintly scary, flag?

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Exploding Liquids

I'm dissapointed in the terrorists. More air travel shenannigans. Big whoop. I just heard a commentator on NPR refer to Al Quaeda as innovative. What a crock. I'll call them innovative when the motherfuckers impress me. Can you see the brainstorming meeting they had for this one. Ole Ahmed says, "Okay men, we need a new scheme. Let's hear some ideas."

Ismael says, "Uh, how about we mess with some planes."

Ahmed: "Genius. No one's ever thought of that before."

C'mon guys. How about a death ray? A black cloud that eats the flesh off our bones. A giant mechanical turtle that shoots flame from its arm holes? anything

Thursday, August 03, 2006


Early in the morning he stands across the street from my building. One hand wrapped around a coffee cup, the other hand holding a cigarette, he paces in front of his building and looks up and down the street. Andy is 5'9''. His hair and moustache are all grey. In the summertime he wears camo shorts and a muscle t-shirt. At fifty something, he still carries himself with a pugnacious athleticism. His arms curl slightly by his sides when he's not holding a coffee cup. He rocks side to side as he walks.

Andy's prize posession is his Toyota SUV. He details it every Monday morning at 7. Over the two years that he's owned it, he's added a few modifications. There is now a fake airscoop on the hood. On the rear left quarter of the body he has placed decals that look like bullet holes at a glance.

When people walk by he glares at them.

When he worked, Andy was a corrections officer for New York City. I don't know what jail he guarded. Now he's out on permanent disability. He says he has a bum arm.

The parking space in front of Andy's house is his. It is a streetside parking space, the same as all the others on the block. But it is his. If you drive up the block while he is out and park in his spot, he will be upset upon his return. If he sees you taking his parking spot, he will scream at the top of his lungs and treat you like a perp at Rikers who's been done for statutory rape of a Dominican boy.

You will move your car. As you drive around the block you'll mutter, "What a fucking loser."

If Andy returns from a trip to Home Depot with a load of lumber or cinderblocks in the back of his truck, and you happen to be coming out of your house at the same time, he will cross the street to talk to you. Then he will say, "Buddy, can you give me a hand unloading some of this stuff? I got a bum arm."

Everyone on the block knows that he does this because he fears that spies will photograph him lifting cinderblocks and rob him of his disability pension. He has a hard time finding helpers.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

It's not the heat, it's the pointless precision.

Meteorologists give increasingly exact temperature readings as the weather gets more extreme. When the temperature hovers in the 60s, they go, "Ahh, it'll be a comfy 65 degrees or so today."

When the temperature goes off the chart of normalcy they say, "Oh, it's going to be 97.865231 out there, so check on your elderly neighbors, open all the fire hydrans on your block, take salt tablets hourly and call 311 if your balls get itchy."

Then they add in the heat index, the summer analoge to the wind chill factor. "But remember, with the heat index, it will feel like 120 degrees." After that they rattle off a long list of locations, "It hit 102.245 at Ahmed's Deli on Flatbush Avenue today, that's 123.243 with the heat index."

Poor poor Ahmed. In his unknowably hot native land, they at least knew enough to say "It's just hot."