The Book of Despair

  1. In the beginning there was the Uncaring Universe. And the Uncaring Universe did not give a shit about you or your problems
  2. And, behold, the Uncaring Universe did look upon the vastness of space and say “that’s a lot of room. I should put some shit there”. And the Uncaring Universe did shit upon the space.
  3. And when the Uncaring Universe had shat upon space, it gazed upon its shit and it did say “Meh. Good enough”
  4. The Uncaring Universe did gaze upon its shit and it saw that one of the pieces was a little less shitty than the rest.  And it said “I should do something about that.  I will create Man and place him upon the less shitty world that he may cause the world to be more shitty.
  5. And the Uncaring Universe did place man upon the face of the Earth that he may go forward, multiply, and cause The Earth to be shitty.
  6. And shit happened
  7. And one day Ian the Campbell was born.  And behold, that was bullshit, because that was not his real name
  8. And Ian, whose name was bullshit, did grow into a man
  9. And Ian, whose name was bullshit, did wax wise in the sophistry of men.
  10. And behold, Ian, whose name was bullshit, did inflict his sophistry upon willing readers
  11. And thus he spake unto his willing readers
  12. “Willing Readers, this I desirest thou to know:
  13. People Suck
  14. When someone you’re not related to welcomes you to “The Family”, turn and run like a son of a bitch
  15. Whenever a manager uses the word “proactive” in a sentence, you know something is about to suck
  16. If wishes were fishes we’d have some to fry
    1. (Corollary)  Actually, If wishes were fishes, they’d probably all get that disease where the fish literally puke their guts out and die and float to the top and all the other fish would devour the dead fish–or wish–in an orgy of cannibalism.
  17. If someone preemptively assures you that something isn’t going to happen, you can count on it happening
    1. (Corollary) If someone preemptively assures you of anything, then they are full of shit.
    2. (Corollary) If someone preemptively asserts that they are or are not something then they probably are, or are not exactly that thing
  18. The bigger the pickup, the bigger the asshole at the wheel
    1. (Corollary) The bigger the pickup, the smaller the penis on the asshole at the wheel
  19. Suicidal teenagers are fucking annoying
  20. Teenagers who think they are Vampires are fucking annoying
  21. Teenagers are fucking annoying
  22. They have mobile phone coverage on the Summit of Mt. Everest now.  Climbing Mt. Everest has jumped the shark.
    1. (Corollary) The phrase “jumped the shark” has, itself, jumped the shark
  23. The driver’s side windshield wiper will always wear out before the passenger-side
  24. The shitty-ness of the music is directly related to the loudness to which a teenager will feel compelled to turn up the volume
  25. The internet is full of shit
    1. (Corollary) People on the internet tend to be full of shit as well
    2. (Corollary) …and they don’t know when to sit down and shut up
  26. Everyone thinks that no-one loves music as much as they do
  27. When picking up a take-out order from a restaurant, the special order you have to double-check before leaving will be at the very bottom of the bag
  28. In the parking lot, that stupid person meandering aimlessly in front of you will be parked right next to you
    1. (Corollary) They will also drive the way they walk
  29. Whenever someone comes into your office, the most embarrassing song on your your iPod will come up in shuffle.  No matter how many un-embarrassing songs there are to choose from.
  30. Nothing profound has ever been said on Twitter
  31. Nothing profound will ever be said on Twitter
  32. The further away from New York you were on 9/11/2001, the more likely you are to wax rhapsodic with affected pathos about The World Trade center on any given 9/11.
  33. Everybody thinks that they are more like grumpy cat than anybody else
  34. Wikipedia:  A million nerds can’t be wrong
  35. Unless they’re talking about women, in which case a million nerds are always wrong
  36. All internet comments sections are headed to the same destination:  a huge dick-waving contest.
  37. You will hit every light green when you just need 10 more seconds to finish surreptitiously sending that text message from your car.
  38. Everybody thinks the drivers in their town are worse than everybody else’s town.  The truth is everybody is a bad driver everywhere.
  39. Jaywalkers will always run across the two lanes you’re not in, then walk across the lane you are in
  40. Any person who declares that they were educated at “the school of hard knocks” or “the school of life” on Facebook is 99% likely to not only be catastrophically ignorant, but also noisily proud of their own ignorance.

Decorative Nipples

Decorative Nipples

It happened on one of those cheerful spring days several years ago.  Birds were chirping, the weather was pleasant, and I was filled with a deep sense of contentedness.  My wife was busy at something she enjoyed, the kids were in their rooms, playing.  A deep peace had settled over my house.  I picked up a book and started to read.  I had just turned the flyleaf over when my four-year-old came racing down the hall and into the living room.  He was wearing nothing but Lightning McQueen jockey shorts, and he had two plastic swords rammed into the back of his waistband in a criss-cross, each leg-hole emitting the tip of one of the swords.  His trajectory clearly indicated that I was to be his ultimate destination.  I put down my book carefully marking my place on the Title Page.  As he pulled up to a stop directly in front of me, his older brother came sauntering out of the hallway in that languid way he has and made for the kitchen.

I blurted out “Where are your clothes?  Why are there swords jammed in your underpants?  What is going on?  The last question I wailed in my confusion.

“Yeah, he does that sometimes,” came the disinterested voice of my older son floating out of the kitchen—the parents are always the last to know.  When I looked back down at Naked Conan the Streaker, he was studying—really studying—his nipples.  He kind of poked one and, without looking at me, he asked “what are these for?”

A bolt of fear shot through me.  I think it was a rhetorical.  “I’ll let the Uncaring Universe answer his question,” I thought to myself.  But, then he raised his eyes to meet mine, and then slowly raised his left eyebrow in perfect imitation of his mom.

Shit!  Now I was on the spot.  I took a deep breath and said, “They’re for decoration.”

“Well, that wasn’t my best shot,” I thought to myself, but he seemed happy and ran off.  The eyes of Lightning McQueen printed on his underpants were strategically placed with one on each of his buns.  So Lightening McQueens eyes glared at me judgmentally as they skittered back down the hall.

“Phrew.  That was a close call,” I thought.

# # #

Several weeks had passed since the decorative nipples explanation.  As a family, we were walking across a parking lot when my youngest pulled to a stop at a red-painted curb and asked “What’s this for?”  It was so hot outside, and I just wanted to get into the Mall, so I used it again.

“It’s for decoration.”  I could feel the scornful eyes of Lightning McQueen glaring at me, but fuck him.

My son was entirely satisfied.

As the years have rolled on, I have taken to using this as my default response, especially when I plain don’t know the answer.  The best part is, sometimes it is the correct answer and these times are like a little hit of heroin that keeps me using the bogus explanation in desperate hope that it will happen again.

So, the arcane knowledge that you leave with is that the answer “it’s for decoration” can address any unanswerable question a 5-8 year-old may ask.  Go forth now, and use this knowledge wisely.  Teach those who are ready, prepare those who are not.

About the Author

About the Author: Ian is a 3rd generation native of Southern Nevada, where he lives today in a quiet suburban neighborhood with his wife of twenty years and their two sons. Ian has earned his bread in a variety of occupations including stocking a beer freezer, mixing and pouring concrete, being a roadie for a synth punk band in San Francisco in the early 90's, being a not-very-well-known hard rock DJ, scenic carpentry, theatrical lighting design, theatrical sound design, playing Ku Klux Klan Member #5 in a professional production of "Grover", and writing for an virtually unknown, subversive, underground blog called Radio Free Las Vegas. .

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