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.

My Friends, My Teeth

My Friends, My Teeth

By on August 23, 2018 in Deep Thoughts

Time is a relentless tyrant

Four days ago, I paid a long over-due visit to the dentist. Two years ago, the same dentist pulled four other teeth, two on each side just behind the four recent victims. This time. It was my front four teeth that were not salvageable, and she pulled them. Two weeks ago, I turned forty six years old. For some reason, forty-six was a much harder birthday to face than any I’ve faced in the past. I have had a vague sense that it’s now too late. Too late to ever achieve certain dreams. Everything I’ve achieved up to now is all I’ll ever achieve. Not enough time to do so many thing I thought I’d already have done.

They ate Chicken Kiev in Kiev and drank Russian Vodka five years before they were legal.

Those eight teeth were my smile for three decades. Every picture I have they were there. On the deck of the Cutty Sark, on the tree on the River Avon, by the river in Leningrad, they were with me. My first kiss, they were there. The first time I kissed my wife, they were there.  They ate Chicken Kiev in Kiev and drank Russian Vodka five years before they were legal. They ate countless plates of Mozzarella Sticks with my dear friend Dorna in high school. They smiled out at hundreds or, on one occasion, thousands of theater-goers when I acted. For thirty years they smiled as I said goodbye to countless friends for what was to be the last time, though I didn’t know it. They smiled at all four of my departed grandparents for the last time, they smiled at my friend Tim for the last time now that he’s gone. They ate dozens of pre-show Chinese meals with the Oblong Rhonda dance troupe who performed with the Synth-Punk band I roadied for in San Francisco.

All these thoughts passed through my head as the doctor deftly drew the teeth. One shattered on my t-shirt. The nurse rushed to clean up the mess with her hand-vacuum before I realized what had happened. It took probably less than five or ten minutes to remove these once grand pearly whites from my head. They passed out of my body like time passes through our hands. By the time we were parted, they were no longer white. They were stained by coffee, tobacco, time, and decay. A Metaphor? Perhaps. Or perhaps the metaphor is in the partial denture which I will be wearing from now on.

I have a vague sense that people are uncomfortable when I talk about my dentures. Perhaps it’s

Those aren’t my dentures!

impolite? Too much information? Both my grandfathers worse denture. My Maternal grandfather was very particular about people not knowing his teeth were false. My Paternal grandfather didn’t much care. In the evening, he’d announce that he was going to go “wash his teeth”. As a kid, I assumed that was a Midwestern-peculiar phrase for brushing one’s teeth until I had been in his bathroom one night when his teeth were in a glass of EfferDent bubbling away. I find that I don’t much care if people know or are uncomfortable hearing about my dentures. It’s just one of those little ignominies we suffer as frail human machines. But I’ve never been good at knowing when I’m over-sharing.

I wish I understood why people are so reluctant to admit that they are frail machines. The frailties bind us together. They are a common challenge we all must face. A common experience we can unite around. I wonder what interesting things my new teeth and I are going to do together. Places we’ll go, things we’ll eat. It’s like a fresh start. Perhaps that is the real metaphor I can take away. Life renewing itself just in time for the second half.

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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