Archive for the ‘Random stuff’ Category

KrampusOK, this is one of those things that I originally threw out there on Facebook with no real thought about the logistics. A post reading: “Screw Secret Santa. This year? Secret Krampus. Who’s in?”

The more I think about it, though, the more I believe this may actually have to happen. I’ve written about the Krampus here before. In some German-speaking parts of the world (Where — let’s face it — people have issues.) the Krampus is a kind of a malevolent yin to St. Nicholas’ benevolent yang.

St. Nicholas serves his traditional role as the kindly dispenser of rewards to good little children in the form of treats or presents. The Krampus, on the other hand, is the fearsome, horned devil with the job of punishing naughty children. In his more benign manifestations, he may simply give kids lumps of coal instead of presents, or swat them with sticks. Nastier representations have the Krampus taking a whip to kids. And at his worst, he’ll carry them off to eat them, drown them or take them to Hell.

In response to my Facebook post, my friend Scott (read his book, by the way) posted this response:

If you win the drawing, you get to pick whose child is snatched and carried off in a sack!

While some of the kids I was exposed to in stores this holiday season make me think that may not be a bad idea, that’s not really what I had in mind.

Secret Santa exchanges don’t actually require you to drive a sleigh and deliver toys to good little children. It’s a simple anonymous giving of gifts, in symbolic tribute to a mythical incarnation of Yuletide generosity and cheer.

Similarly, the Secret Krampus exchange would be a simple, anonymous doling out of misfortune as a kind of cosmic retribution for bad behavior. I’m picturing someone getting up in the morning and finding his tires slashed, with a note tucked under the windshield reading: “YOU’VE BEEN A NAUGHTY BOY THIS YEAR. (SEE ATTACHED PHOTOS.) HERE’S YOUR PUNISHMENT. SMOOCHES, YOUR SECRET KRAMPUS.”

Even that might be a bit dramatic. Transgressions that merit a visit from the Secret Krampus could run the gamut from honking a car horn in a residential area at 6 a.m. in lieu of ringing a doorbell, to leaving a tuna sub in the office fridge for a month, to withholding a promised 401(k) plan.

And Secret Krampus manifestations?

Perhaps the mysterious disappearance of a Powerpoint presentation on which the recipient has spent the last week working. Or a visit by a leather-clad sex worker at the annual home Christmas party, loudly demanding that the recipient pay a delinquent bill.

The possibilities are endless. As is the list of deserving recipients.




nosferatu 2A friend on mine sent me this link to some two-sentence horror stories. Pretty scary, right?

I wanted to see if I could come up with a few two-sentence horror stories myself. In all modesty, I have to say these are truly terrifying. If you suffer from a heart condition, you may not want to read them. You have been warned:

* As I settle in for the four-hour bus ride, my seatmate turns toward me. “Have you been saved?” he asks.

* The theme for the office holiday party is “A Karaoke-tacular in Candyland!” Attendance is mandatory.

* Fifteen minutes into our first date, she asks me a question. “You won’t hurt me like all the others, will you?”

* I grab the Port-o-Potty door handle. Something squelches beneath my fingers.

* “Here’s my opinion,” said the drunk guy on the next barstool. “And I don’t care if it’s ‘politically correct’ or not.”

* “Can you fix this quickly?” I ask. The tech support guy laughs.

* The fat, hairy guy in bikini briefs bends down to pick up his beach towel. I must look away, yet somehow … I can’t.

Here’s a partial list of Mafia nicknames that just don’t work. Adjust your lives accordingly.

Joey Dungeons & Dragons

Delightfully Saucy Lou

Frankie the Unitarian

Olaf “How’d I End Up in the Sicilian Mafia Again?” Gunnerson

Vinnie the Pooh




necronomiconBooks bound in human skin are a staple of horror fiction. But sometimes it happens in real life. The following is a partial list of books that, at some point in their publication history, have been issued in bindings made of human flesh:

“De Humani Corporis Fabrica” by Vesalius

“The Necronomicon” by Abdul Alhazred

“Martha’s Having Friends for Dinner! 120 Easy Long Pig Recipes” by Martha Stewart

“The Book of Lies” by Aleister Crowley

“The Satanic Ritual: Companion to the Satanic Bible” by Anton Szandor Lavey

“Ziglar on Selling: The Ultimate Handbook for the Complete Sales Associate” by Zig Ziglar

“Acid Indigestion Eyes” by Wayne Lockwood

“Des Destinees de l’Ame (Destinies of the Soul)” by Arsene Houssaye

“The Highwayman: Narrative of the Life of James Allen alias George Walton” by James Allen

“Encyclopedia Brown: Boy Detective” by Donald J. Sobol

“Long Lost Friend” by John George Hohman

“The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage” translated by Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers

“100 Things Giants Fans Should Know and Do Before they Die” by Dave Buscema

“The Book of Lies 3: Tokyo Drift” by Aleister Crowley

“The Book of Black Magic” by Arthur Edward Waite

“Justine et Juliette” by Marquis de Sade

“My First Grimoire!” by Carrie Mullen

“My First Pop-Up Grimoire!” by Carrie Mullen

“Les Terres du Ciel” by Camille Flammarion

“Chicken Soup for the Satanist’s Soul” by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Satan

“Les Fleurs du Mal” by Charles Baudelaire

“Kelley Blue Book Used Car Guide Consumer Edition April-June 2014” by Abdul Alhazred

Thanks to my friend Doug for making me aware of this list of two-sentence horror stories. He challenged me to write my own. It’s nowhere near as good as any from the list, but here’s what I came up with:

I smacked him with a rolled-up newspaper and yelled at him when I woke to find that he’d once again slipped his chain and left the torn-up remains of a neighborhood cat on the lawn. “If you don’t like it,” he said, “get a dog.”


I’ve got a lot of friends who are A) talented, and B) smart asses. That’s a dangerous combination. It started when a co-worker shot a picture of me working out in the office gym. I thought it was pretty funny, so I posted it as my Facebook picture.


So my friend Jose decided it should be a meme, and my friend Travis took him up on that suggestion:


And …


Then my friend Peg broke out the Photoshop. (For background, my friends give me a hard time about how sappy I get around animals, especially kittens.)



And then finally, my cousin Mike — the mad genius of Photoshop — produced this composition titled: “Look, I made a Congressman …”



There comes a time in every man’s life when he makes unenlightening, hypothetical generalizations.

socratesA friend of mine recently asked me an intriguing question. If I could give young people one piece of advice, what would it be? I gave it some thought, and here’s what I came up with:

You know that endearing quirkiness that you value so highly in your romantic partner? That child-like sense of spontaneity, playfulness and wonder? That determination to make life an adventure and live it to its fullest, society’s conventions be damned?

It’s probably psychosis. Run.

superfriendsA recent article on The Onion A.V. Club brought back some memories. It dealt with all of the knockoffs that Hanna-Barbera crapped out in the 1970s after the success of “Scooby Doo, Where are You?”

Among them was “Super Friends,” which debuted in 1973. Apparently there was a later iteration. But the version I watched as a kid featured a crime-fighting team consisting of Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman & Robin, and Aquaman.

Also along for the ride were a couple of teenagers named Wendy and Marvin, who had no superpowers or any particular talents that lent themselves to crime-fighting. Their presence was never explained. Made me wonder if that prompted any behind-the-scenes discussions like this:

Wonder Woman: OK, this isn’t on the agenda. But it needs to be addressed. Can someone explain to me why Wendy and Marvin are on the payroll? They don’t contribute anything. And we spend half our time in the field trying to keep their pimply little asses from getting killed.

Superman: Ask Aquaman. He said that if Batman gets to have Robin, then he gets to have a couple of “special friends” too.

Wonder Woman: OK, that’s REALLY creepy.

Superman: Says the woman whose entire superpower is based on binding people up with rope.

Here’s a sign from my neighborhood. I usually try to obey the law, but this one’s got me a little confused. Is there a PARTICULAR child in the area I’m supposed to handicap, or should I just pick one at random?