Archive for the ‘humor’ Category

A Wish

June 25, 2010

The next time I fly, the guy who sits next to me will have just gotten a tattoo. It’s a secret tattoo, though. He’s flying to run away from his old life, and the tattoo will be his only reminder.

But since he’s got this secret, he feels a dire need to tell someone. It’s been four days already, and he hasn’t told a soul. If he has to tell someone, it might as well be a stranger. He leans over to me and says, “Hey man, I just got a tattoo of some clouds.”

“Oh, uh, okay.” I look back at my book.

Twenty minutes later, his fidgeting starts to get more and more noticeable. Finally he leans over one more time. “It’s on my butt. The clouds are on my butt.” I pretend to be asleep.

After the flight, we go our separate ways. He begins his new life and never tells anyone about the secret tattoo.

Twenty years later, I see him walking on the street with his friends. He looks happy now. At first I’m not even sure it’s him, but there’s something about the eyes.

I walk up. “Hey man,” I say. “There’s a big red spot on Jupiter.”

“What? Do I know you?”

I don’t answer, but I have one more thing to say. “Oh, and there are clouds on Uranus.”



March 9, 2010

A good way to market your product is to give it a name that’s two words, but the last letter of the first word is the same as the first letter of the last word. Then you mash them together to form one long superword that’s the name of your product.

For example, suppose you invented a new toy for sad women, and it’s basically a fancy vibrator. Congratulations, that’s the Vaginantidepressant! Or let’s say it’s a great new way to serve your dog eggs – the Fidomellette. The exception is when you start breeding miniature pack animals. There, you don’t drop any letters – they stay as Smallllamas.

  • Want to grow cruciferae in the cold harsh winter? Build a Broccoligloo.
  • the redundant Backnapsack
  • the slimy, bouncy Kangarooze
  • the Talkingorilla
  • a cute little knife for when you can’t stand the sight of one more carnation – the Floristabber
  • too many cetacean pests in your ocean? get the Whaleliminator.
  • want to make bad choices while tripping? get some AlcohoLSD. where? grow it in the Drugarden.
  • miss the League Of Nations, much? Good old Woodrowilson
  • and when the current President wants fish? Obamackerel.
  • No more! Thistupid topican notake uprecious timeven ifriends wanto keepestering yountil yourectum explodestunningly.

Two Stick Figures Walk Into A Bar…

February 7, 2010

Two stick figures walk into a bar. They sit at the biggest table there and play a drinking game.

“You’re such a loser. We ought to euthanize you along with all the old people,” said one stick figure as the other spun his quarter across the wide table top.

“I’m trying my best,” replied the second as he missed his quarter and it fell down out of reach in the middle of the table.

“I knew you’d fail. You’re worse at this game than asian people are at non-badminton sports,” said the first stick figure.

“It wasn’t that bad. And besides, you couldn’t do better,” said the second stick figure, but he sank back in his seat and looked down at his hands.

“Don’t you have one of those ridiculous old-fashioned phones? The one whose speaker is six inches across?” asked the first. “Use it to reach out and grab your stupid coin. You deserve a second chance, just like a man who’s just had his first homosexual encounter.”

And that was how the offensive line-man told the defensive line-man to use his wide receiver to get his quarter back from the center.

10, 9, 8, 7…

January 1, 2010

Sometimes countdowns are appropriate and sometimes they are not. Blastoff for a rocket? Yes. Farting? No. Picking up a heavy object with someone else? Yes. Watching a muscular man you do not know bench-pressing at the gym? No. Synchronized skydiving? Yes. Synchronized orgasms? No.

Regarding the most widely observed countdown, the countdown to the ball falling in Times Square in New York, I make the following humble suggestion:

Rather than counting down, “…5, 4, 3, 2, 1…”, I suggest we count up “…-5, -4, -3, -2, -1…”

This way, it’s okay if you accidentally keep going because you’ll continue “0, 1, 2, 3…”, and you can say you were counting how many seconds have passed in the new year. If someone asks why you’re doing that, tell them you forgot your watch.

This method has the advantage of a nice rhythm. My New Years have mostly been celebrated with large, intergenerational groups of white people, and while they’re pretty good with numbers, they’re not so great at keeping the beat. A typical mass countdown has started out with a big, unified “TEN!”, but by the time we get to 7, we’re so out of sync that the word comes out sounding like a bookcase full of dad’s Tom Clancy and mom’s Danielle Steele crashing to plush carpet, much the way our bright New Year’s dreams about weight loss and learning a foreign language will crash two weeks later. It only takes a tenth of a second to say “four”, and there is too much downtime before “three” for us to know what to do with. Throwing in “negative” fills up the dead space. Advanced groups of counters can split up, half saying “negative” and half “minus”, for a nice hemiola pattern.

Counting up represents looking ahead with anticipation. Counting down represents looking back with relief that it’s finally over.
Which do you prefer: “Oh no, there are only four seconds left in this year!”, or, “Hey, we’re already negative four seconds into next year!”?

Things To Do Before I Die

December 17, 2009
  • Play Lady Macbeth
  • Travel to the distant stars… only to discover that what I was truly looking for was inside me all along.
  • (hint: it’s trace amounts of selenium).
  • Be where the people are. See them dancing. Walking around on those feet.
  • Climb Mount Ever. Then climb Mount Everer. Finally, climb Mount Everest.
  • Shoot fish in a barrel. The recoil of the gun breaks my collarbone and shoves me violently backwards just as the barrel explodes and I am dowsed me in a hundred gallons of water and fish guts, which knock me over the edge of a large cliff I was standing near for absolutely no reason. Tell people it was pretty easy.
  • Kill my grandfather first, then go back in time. If someone tells me I got the order wrong, say “What are you talking about? I can fucking time travel.”
  • Have a man light a cigar, blow smoke in my face, and say, “You know, we’re not so different, you and I.”
  • Write the book, “Introduction to Sexual Intercourse for Scientists and Engineers”
  • … after years of exhaustive research
  • urinate on a jellyfish
  • go to a bar with a priest and a rabbi and have absolutely nothing funny happen
  • skin about a hundred different cats, all in exactly the same way
  • tell someone a piece of information is on a need-to-know basis, and have them say some back besides “and I need to know!”
  • perform the Krebs cycle
  • make a self-referential entry on a list
  • get killed by an electric eel (this is not completely “before” I die, but I’ll allow an exception)
  • convince the internet that bacon is over-rated
  • and teach it how to use the word “comprise”
  • actually throw some shit at a fan, just so when anyone uses a certain expression, I can interrupt, ”well, let me tell you about this one time…”
  • pee openly in public when I’m out with my grandmother, and use the excuse that she doesn’t know where she is
  • make peace with my jigsaw puzzles

I’d Tap That

October 11, 2009

Here are a few things I would tap:

Tap that and get some sugar.

Tap that and get some sugar.

Or maybe Id bang it.

Or maybe I'd bang it.

Tap the night away.

Tap the night away.

Its easy to turn on and it always puts out.

It's easy to turn on and it always puts out.

Yeah, Id tap that.

Yeah, I'd tap that.

Utilities are included in my apartment, so I dont actually have to tap that.  The image is pretty suggestive, though.

Utilities are included in my apartment, so I don't actually have to tap that. The image is pretty suggestive, though.

Tap that?  No, wait.  Pat that.  I meant Id PAT that.

Tap that? No, wait. Pat that. I meant I'd PAT that.

I swear this is a waterfall.

I swear this is a waterfall.


July 25, 2009

Heisenberg was pulled over by a police officer, who asked him, “do you know how fast you were going?” Heisenberg replied, “No, but I know exactly where I am.”

The cop sneered and pulled out his nightstick. “You little smartass,” he said, and laid into Heisenberg pitilessly with the stick. “How long will this beating last?” cried the forlorn Heisenberg. “I don’t know,” said the cop, “but I know exactly how much energy I’m expending.”

Walter Isaacson Has a Large White Afro

May 1, 2009


A serendipitous convergence of the head of the author of
Einstein: His Life and Universe and the logo of the Aspen Institute. From this talk.

In Poor Taste

April 1, 2009

a food review for The Tech

by A Canny Bull


You’re probably aware that human flesh is abundant, nutritive, and relatively easy to secure via Craigslist or abortion clinics, but is it really the decadent voyage into fine dining that everyone makes it out to be? Isn’t cannibalism illegal in California, or is that cannabis? This week, your food reviewers Dannah and Andrew decided to find out, by volunteering themselves to be eaten by M.E.


Costs incurred from cannibalism range from none, in case of smoothly-executed consumption of willing or unsuspecting targets, to exorbitant, when the violent thrashings of a still-screaming entrée cause severe gashes or broken bones requiring extended post-ingurgitation hospital stays.


Most neophyte cannibals begin with auto-cannibalism, including such simple acts as nail-biting and sucking a paper cut. This progresses to scab-eating, booger-chewing, and occasionally full-fledged feces recycling. Higher levels of cannibalism are achieved in eating other human beings. Generally one begins with prostitutes and works up to Senators. Rumors of rampant baby-eating are mostly sensational hype, or publicity stunts by amateurs cannibals just out for attention. A true cannibalistic connoisseur consumes only the highest-quality adult human flesh.


My meal began with an appetizer of a “four o’clock forty”, all of my two volunteers’ fingers and toes deep fried, stacked in a tower, and served with three sauces for dipping. While this presentation is perhaps a bit tacky, I found the crunchiness of Andrew’s toes contrasted pleasantly with the slightly-chewy texture of Dannah’s pinkies.
The biggest disappointment of the meal came when I was unable to touch my soup after being thoroughly disgusted by the presence of a human hair right in the middle of all my wonderful human blood and synovial fluid.
Things were looking up when I got to the eyeballs. They were simply sautéed lightly, allowing their natural lightness to come out through the pupils. Their pure taste served as a lens to focus my palate on the remainder of the meal.
Next I feasted on Andrew’s nervous system. I was feeling a bit uneasy about eating nerves, but quickly found they communicated their salty flavors quite well as I slurped them up. You get the message.
I only had a sliver of Dannah’s liver, but that sliver delivered a piquancy so ripe I quivered. I actually shivered as the sliver of liver slithered its way down my throat, a long meaty river. Dannah’s texture was so fantastic I can forgive her the slightly-withered taste that went with her sliver of slithering liver.
I gave it careful thought, and decided my dessert would be brains. I had to go easy of course (scrumptious, but so many calories!), but still deeply enjoyed my two dearly-departed food reviewers’ noggins.


I’ll be honest. Not just anyone has what it takes to be a cannibal. Only a truly refined gourmet can appreciate the subtlety and depth of composition of Andrew’s stomach, or understand the cautious interplay of tart and sweet conversing with each other through each bite of Dannah’s heart.
It’s a higher level of eating; it’s a higher level of existing. We may know how to work with each other, talk with each other, play with each other, and love each other, but only when we can learn at last to eat one another can we touch the world of the Gods.


April 1, 2009

for The Tech, following a recent rash of stolen bicycles on campus

Dear John,

I’ve met a man. A big, strong man who came to me in the night. He’s a mysterious man who works quickly and secretively. It’s exciting – intoxicating. He cut the chains that bound me. He showed me what it is to be free.

I’m tired of being used, driven directions I don’t want to go, locked up all day, noticed only when something’s gone wrong. Although I squeak my discontent every day, and let out a tired groan when you mount me, you never cared. My complaints are, at best, annoyances you no longer have time for.

Do you remember our joy? When I was young and fast we shot together down roads, the wind screaming at us, astonished by our speed. We listened to ourselves purr. You tucked in close and leaned into every curve. What I realize now is we were so busy flying we never understood we were going downhill.

The man, the new one, pays attention to me. He could have had whoever he wanted. The grounds are ripe for picking, but he chose me. Aging. Not so pretty any more. Not shining gaudily in the bright sun. But still I have enough to attract at least one pair of eyes around here. Not that you ever noticed.

Sometimes I feel like I’m just spinning and spinning and spinning. But winding up back at the same old places. I try to find solitude in the companionship of those other neglected souls chained up like me, but that is no way to live.

Every few months we said we’d start again. I’d get totally pumped up. But the pressure is too high. I don’t think I can hold it all in and you never even notice. You never say a word to me, unless it’s a curse. My enthusiasm goes flat, and soon I’m completely deflated again.

He lifted me up, that new man. When I was in his arms I rose high up, above all the others. I was looking down on them and felt their jealousy. He began to ride me. We rolled off together towards a new beginning

Oh sure, John, it wasn’t all bad. We had some good screws, you and I. It may have been the only thing holding me together. But you never took the time to lube me up. That hurt (on the inside.)

Honestly, I don’t know if you ever truly loved me. For your sake I hope not, because now I am gone.

Regretfully Yours,

A Caltech Bicycle