Suburban Kibble '99

This is the second chapter of Suburban Kibble. More stories worth sharing.

12/10/99 Crop Circles. My girlfriend has crop circles on her lawn. Little ones, about the size of a bucket bottom. We figure it's gotta be aliens.

12/7/99 Eeeew. A friend of mine reported this one, from a mall bookstore: A Jersey Classic couple stopped outside the store. The guy said, "I'll just be a minute" and went in, presumably to get Cars & Ammo or Hunting & Fitness or something. Normally I wouldn't blindly stereotype, but he was known by the company he kept. The girl's comment was "Eeeew. It smells like books in there." Is there a market for a cologne called Ex Libris, do you think?

10/18/99 It must be Monday. Putting on a clean-room suit- basically, a coverall that encases everything but your face, with a gauzy mesh over your mouth and nose- is part of my job, and I don't have a problem with that. Except when I sneeze in it, first thing in the morning.

10/14/99b Can't argue there. I was behind a rent-a-truck at a light and saw a sticker on the slide-up rear door, saying it was made by whatever company and it was a General Purpose Door. It opens. It closes. It. . .opens and closes.

10/14/99 Education has gone downhill. I called my mother yesterday. She was expecting a call from my father, so she casually said "I thought you were he." After much examination, I concluded that this sentence is grammatically perfect. Wow.

9/27/99 Did you ever get the paranoid feeling that your skull has changed shape? Guess it's just me then.

9/23/99 Public Service Announcement. We had a safety seminar on electricity at work today. Unlike the ladder one ("stop drop and roll?") I actually learned a few things from this one. Like concrete is conductive, and those black wires that carry the power from the pole to your house are not insulated, just black.

9/22/99 I bought a blank spiral notebook today. It's copyright 1998, the Mead corporation. How do you copyright a blank book?

9/17/99 Funniest Thing I Saw This Week. Cats have their dignity. They work at it. So when you see a fluffy white cat with bed head, it's rude to laugh. I did anyway.

9/15/99 Computer literacy. For the second time, I looked at something I handwrote and absolutely could not read it.

9/14/99 What is this world coming to? I saw a New York City cop giving out a traffic ticket today. I thought you had to actually run someone into a lamppost to get one of those. To be fair, I didn't see what the guy did to deserve it.

9/10/99 Useful notes to myself. I tend to write a little note about what I'm doing when I leave work, so I know where to pick up in the morning. Last night, instead of writing something like "I/O routine failing for X reason" I wrote "I'm too dumb to live." Potayto, potahto.

9/8/99 I heard a new one today. . .someone I know had a memo go around their workplace saying that the company had blocked 900-number calls. File THAT one under "Unprofessional behaviour."

8/29/99 Gargoyle person. You know how some women are afraid of becoming "Women with cats?" You know, sixty-year-old single women with 83 cats? There's a point that you can't pass, where you go from being a cat owner to Woman With Cats. I bring it up because I'm Guy With Gargoyles. There's a critical number of cats, somewhere around four; less than that, you're all right, more than four, Woman With Cats. The critical number of gargoyles, it turns out, is one. Oh well, I have at least four now and I only bought the first one. I don't even have a balcony.

8/27/99 Another New York Moment. I was waiting by a restaurant for my friends to show up when I saw an old lady slowly pushing her husband across the street in a wheelchair. What makes this a New York Moment? They were crossing against the light.

8/26/99 I saw a link that said that bra burning was mostly a myth. One of those things to separate the "wacky" feminists from the reasonable folks. Like the way that, for 20 years, conservatives picked on the gender-neutral language issue when actual feminists were more concerned with things like, say. . . wife-beating. I'm sorry, I seem to have accidentally stepped onto this soapbox. I'll get off now.

8/18/99 Try this. Go to Ask Jeeves and type in "Who is the ugliest man in rock?" You'll get something like this. Rene Russo Has a topless 'Affair' ? The Amazing Mood Bra?!? What does any of this have to do with Johnny Rotten? (My personal opinion. . .feel free to email with your ideas, but you have to send a picture. )

8/10/99 There are indeed stupid questions. I get random brainfried questions that won't leave me alone, and then I inflict them on the Reference Desk at the local library. The most recent one is "How many teeth does a standard human have?" 28, plus any wisdom teeth they left in. Previous questions include "How heavy is a human head? (About ten pounds; think of a gallon of water, that's eight) and "What was that John Sousa march they used for Monty Python's Flying Circus? (The Liberty Bell March.) Reference librarians rock.

8/8/99 All I want for Christmas. There's a product out there called the "Y2K Commemorative Edition Bushmaster Assault Rifle." Which means that they stamped "Y2K" onto the stock. Oh, yeah, I'll take six.

8/1/99 I learned to make felt this weekend. I liked it. I'm going to go with the Harley Davidson defense here: "If you have to ask, I can't explain."

7/27/99 I love NPR. Where else will someone say, with a straight face, "A well known Finnish accordionist. . ."?

7/25/99 Dilbert's influence. I got a Y2K humor email for the second time today. This time it was a blonde; last time it was a vice-president.

7/16/99 I had no idea. Cosmopolitan is really scorned and hated. I went to three libraries looking for Cosmo and three librarians looked at me like I'd asked for recipes for kitten. Try it. . .go to your local library and ask if they have Cosmopolitan. No doesn't just mean no, it means "Go die and come back as a better person." Geez.

7/14/99 I'm so liberated. Today I had one of those thoughts. "Gee, if the average woman makes $.67 for every dollar a man makes, that means my girlfriend is due for a 50% raise. I could be a kept man."

6/23/99 (late) Different living through chemistry. I gave a friend with a clogged sink advice: "Try vinegar. That's acetic acid, that should do it." Afterwards, I called my friend Andy, a chemist. "Don't do that! I had a clogged sink once, and I brought home concentrated sulfuric acid, and all it did was eat the washers." There's a moral here: Don't take my advice.

7/2/99 Don't Buy Thai. I'm not exactly the best choice for a boycotter; I buy about $200 worth of clothes a year. So I'd never actually seen anything with a "Made in Thailand" tag on it until this last time I went to the mall. It was in an Eddie Bauer store. I didn't buy it. Here's why. (Warning: This is nasty.)

6/26/99 Trust me on the sunscreen. I realize I live a indoors-type life, but I never realized HOW indoors until today. I have never bought a bottle of sunscreen in my life. That means I've never gone outdoors in the summer more than a couple times a year since I lived with my parents.

6/22/99 Censorship. At some point I found out that the version of "A Clockwork Orange" that I read as a teenager, the harsh brutal punk paean to savagery, had been cut for American publication. There is a 21st chapter, where Alex realizes that there's more to life than killing and raping and actually grows up. This was part of Anthony Burgess's planned design, three sections of seven chapters each, and in the rest of the world, that's how it was published. The American publisher said, "They'll never buy the ending" and cut that chapter over his protests. He was cured, all right.

6/14/99 Uberweasels. A friend of mine saw an e-greeting card that said," Love is like racing across the frozen tundra on a snowmobile which flips over, trapping you underneath. At night, the ice weasels come. -Nietschze" Shortly thereafter, she came across the same quote, attributed to Matt Groening. "That makes more sense," as she said.

6/11/99 The Better People. Remember the scene in "Clueless" where Alicia Silverstone does the cutesy-cutesy dance with a guy while the Mighty Mighty Bosstones are playing? There was someone at the Pietasters concert who did the same thing. In the middle of the pit. And her hair didn't even get messed up. She's going to marry a Kennedy.

6/2/99 Everybody Work Together Now. Another friend of mine sent me an email about her workday. "K. was complaining that her fax wouldn't go through. A. is complaining that a fax machine keeps calling her. . .yup, she did." Names have been omitted to protect the guilty.

5/17/99 Job stress. A friend of mine sent me email. She's giving a talk at a professional conference, three minute time limit. The week before, she's going to a stutterer's convention. We wish her luck.

4/24/99 Why I Don't Party In Hoboken. I was coming back from the city, walking through Hoboken about last call. There was a girl with a big guy draped over her like a backpack, groping her.
HIM: "Those are implants!"
HER: "Ow!"
Ever wonder where all those fratball players went after graduation? Now you know.

undated Be Afraid. Sometime during the point where "Shakespeare in Love" was in theatres, I saw a marquee that said, "Shakes in Love." If you ever saw as much as 15 minutes of this movie you will understand my moment of panic.

4/23/99 Closed Feedback Loop. At the "Creatures" concert, just behind me, were a couple of 35 year olds making out like 16 year olds, and bumping into me frequently. I don't mind people making out at shows. I don't mind people bumping into me at shows. But the two of them were really on top of me. Like I could tell where he was grabbing her in realtime. I bitched about this to my friend who was right next to me. He said in my ear, "Go ahead. Cop a feel. You deserve it. " She turned her head and apologized to me. Even backed off three inches.

4/16/99 Snippet of Conversation. "Washington D.C. is laid out like a spiderweb. Ever notice that?"
"No it isn't. It's laid out like a bullseye."

4/10/99 Whaaat? I went to Dunkin Donuts, as I do every six months or so whether I need it or not. Late at night, also a very normal ocurrence. There weren't any donuts. Literally. there were about two muffins and some bagels in the whole store. Surreal.

3/31/99 Hope It Was Fun: Sometimes you shouldn't read too much into an isolated piece of evidence. You know how you sometimes see individual shoes by the side of the road? I parked my car, opened the door and, on the pavement right at my feet, was a pair of spandex jogging shorts. What's your theory?

3/29/99 Evolution Gone Weird. Two pigeons started making a nest on my fire escape. They were remarkably close to the color of the peeling beige paint. I was developing elaborate theories about chameleon birds until it occurred to me that they were also the color of ordinary dust.

3/27/99 Ain't Love Grand. The idea of "Feng Shui", approximately, is that certain places draw certain energies. We were bar hopping and we saw a couple making out like they meant it in a nook next to the bar. These were not kids either- I'd guess early 30's. A couple hours later, on the way out, there was a different couple, also thirtyish, making out in the exact same nook. Feng Shui? You decide.

2/13/99 Weird Dreams. This is a minor thing, but I dreamed about Aliens (the Team Giger/ Sigorney Weaver type) three nights running. The weird thing about this is, they weren't nightmares. I don't remember too much about the dreams. I'm sure the Aliens were being their antisocial selves, but not to me or any of my friends, so it wasn't a problem. I have no idea what this means.

2/4/98 Dilbert Isn't Fiction. From a memo: "Attached are the new official logos for (company name.) They are for unofficial use only."

1/19/99 The Things In The Storm Drains. I had a real moment last night. In Jersey they pave the streams. You laugh, but it's true. This is a vain attempt to stop or slow down the flooding of every basement in Jersey when it rains. So we have a storm drain/stream under my street. Every couple years I hear these godawful critter noises coming out of them. This one sounded like a small predator killing another small predator. It was too low and hoarse to be a cat, and I don't think rats make that noise. It was a loud noise and it echoed. In the best New York "somebody else's problem" tradition, I ignored it.

1/7/98 Generics Go Wild. My girlfriend went to the drugstore and reported it, but I hadda see it for myself. CVS brand generic antiskip diskman. I dunno, for me that's kind of like a drugstore brand car. Four doors, four wheels and a little CVS on the front grill.

1/3/99 The Preppy Lifestyle: What You're Missing. I saw a couple of my mother's friends today- one was visiting the other. When it came time to leave, she took four tries to find her coat. She wasn't drunk or stupid, it was just that they both have a closetful of nearly identical coats. And their daughters dress like them. Of course, I have a bunch of sweaters from these guys too- maybe I'll just shut up now.

Aged Kibble:
Too much fun. I was working late and broke for chinese food. At 10:40 on a Thursday night, at my desk, I got the following fortune: "You have a keen sense of humor and love a good time." Yup yup.

Most maltargeted online ad. I had to click on this one. "Your bookcase has an opening. Fill it. " I have stacks of books on every flat surface in my apartment, and some with a gentle tilt. I haven't had an opening in my bookcase since 1983.

On the web, nobody knows you're not a lesbian. I have had people go to my bio and assumed Sandy to be a female name. I'm not the Nightmare Lesbian of Doom, I'm just some guy with a web page. I mean, it's nice to be nominated to the Elite Webring of Reluctant Goddesses by K. P. Kaligari but I just wouldn't feel right about accepting.

Implied commentary. The local alternocrap radio station played the following series of ads: Topless club ad, Giuliani pitching "no sales tax" week, condom ad. I love it. (For those of you not from here, Rudolf Giuliani is an old-style bluenose who is 'cleaning up' New York City by shutting down a bunch of strip clubs. He also picks on the homeless, taxi drivers and other easy targets.)

American Express- Unified Corporate Policy. A friend of mine told me a story about when he was in England. He needed to buy something and they didn't take checks or credit cards- just cash or Traveller's Checks. So he figured, he had an AmEx card, they are always putting up these ads about how friendly and American they are when you are in evil foreign countries surrounded by evil foreigners. So he went down to the local American Express branch and tried to buy some American Express traveller's checks with his credit card. They didn't take American Express.

Worst Goth Ever: In Dallas last summer, I was hanging out in a coffee bar called Insomnia, where the "small" drinks are 32 oz, watching the children of the night hang out. One of them had a truly terrible look. It was over eighty degrees at 1 in the morning. However, that's no excuse for wearing:

Vlad Drakul meets Henry Rollins, and they have nothing to say to each other.

Back to monologues.