Not long ago, a friend, his two adult kids, and I visited the St. Louis Zoo.

If you’ve never been, the STL Zoo is (in my opinion) very impressive for a smaller-sized city. Many cool exhibits.

We walked around for a while, then came upon the gorilla pit. It’s mostly fenced in, but there’s a small enclosed area on the path, with a plexiglass window.

There was a big gorilla sitting in a rubber tub about five feet from the window. Of course, several people (mostly kids) were gathered around to take a look.

The gorilla was just sitting there, mellow. He’d slowly look off to his left at the sky, then slowly look to his right and glare at the people behind the window. He repeated this several times.

It was interesting to see a gorilla up close, but let’s face it, after about a minute of watching the equivalent of a Chuck E. Cheese robot, it’s time to move on.

We walked out of the enclosed area a little further down the path, around the pit, and could still see the gorilla; he was up on a hill with his back to us.

Then he got up, looked at the people, picked up the tub, and viciously slammed it against the plexiglass.


Everyone behind the window jumped back in horror, and dozens of kids ran out of the enclosed area. Most were screaming; some were crying. One girl ran up to us and said, “I’ve seen Planet of the Apes. They know how to use machine guns!”

I learned two things that day:

First: Everything has its limits. All God’s creatures. That gorilla was clearly having a bad day and snapped.

Second: In five years or so, there are going to be a lot of STL teenagers in therapy (“I keep seeing the monkey smash the glass!”).

I grew up mostly in Carlyle, IL, in the 70s. I was raised Methodist and had to go to Sunday School and church every Sunday.

One of the other churches in town was the Second Baptist Church, which was predominantly African-American.

There must’ve been a mutual agreement on visitation, because one Sunday, when I was about 10, folks from their church were invited to our church, and vice-versa.

My parents told me about it and asked if I’d like to go. Of course I said yes. Had to be better than my boring church.

So I went to a service at Second Baptist Church. I don’t remember my parents being there, but a few other members of my church were there, so I wasn’t the only white dude.

Wow. First of all, there’s an energy to everything. Anything spoken or sung is passionate.

The music is rockin’. And the choir is totally into it.

The minister is enthusiastic and invokes the spirit in you. He gets many “amens” from the congregation.

It was surprisingly different than my usual hum-drum hymns and mundane minister.

In summation: If you get an invite to attend an African-American church, go. It’s fun.

Morning Scare
Wake up and be terrified before your daily commute

Hannity’s Hologram
Ranting hologram of the beloved host, who died of gout in 2023

The Evil Speaker
Revealing the malevolence of Speaker of the House Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

The Confederacy Lives
Reliving the good ol’ days of southern pride and owning people

Down with Brown
Divulging the ugly truth about the murder-crazed brown people

The Big Hoax
In-depth discussions about God’s plan to fry the planet

Spot the Liberal
Game show; host James Woods goes into city streets and challenges contestants to spot wacky liberals

Bombshell Bonanza
A lot of uneducated blondes sit around and talk trash

Atheist Baby-Killers
Exposing the godless liberal agenda to wipe out humanity

The Ingraham Headlock
Laura Ingraham gets guests in headlocks

Not White Power Hour
So totally not about white power, we swear

Border Crisis Central
Updates on how the wall has slowed illegal immigration by .00002%

The Dummycrats
Loops of doctored videos showing the dumbness of the dems

Crimewave USA
Reporting every single crime in the USA

The Second Goddamn Amendment
For firearms fetishists and angry people in general

Tomi Raw
Tomi Lahren spouts ignorance while completely nude (top-rated show)

Here are some little-known facts about the 45th president of The United States.

He once ate 50 hard-boiled eggs on a prison bet

He can create or destroy his own bone spurs simply with the power of his mind

His digestive system processes fats and oils into high-quality diamonds

He auditioned for “The Apprentice” wearing only a dunce cap

His total net worth is a gazillion rubles, give or take a few

His wife has appeared nude in several children’s books

He was bassist in the short-lived death metal band “Killer Komrade”

He is a current member of the New York Syphilis Association, Letches In Jesus’ Name, and Universal Golfers For Hate

He knows Vladimir Putin’s nickname for his wang

He thought he discovered Atlantis, but it was just a clam

He set every sports record at his high school through a complicated series of bribes and bake-offs

He frequents McDonalds because he only eats at Irish restaurants

His children have degrees in Sheet Metal Bending, Flower Extermination, and Hot Yoga

He once found buried treasure, but was robbed by buccaneers and democrats

His casinos failed only because gambler Sammy “The Shark” Mancini got on a hot streak at the craps table

His childhood dog, Total Loser, was struck by lightning then run over by a steamroller

He climbed Pike’s Peak, fell off, climbed again, fell off again, then ate a burrito

His love of money is surpassed only by his love of playing Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots

He once shackled his children to the radiator for accidentally setting fire to his porn collection

He can often be found in his bedroom cranking the Kris Kross hit “Jump”

He has been seen several times pourin’ out a 40 for his homies

He prefers plastic silverware because there’s less chance of poking an eye out

His blood pressure is roughly the equivalent of a puma on steroids

His family can be traced back to Pangea

His sometimes-slurred speech is due to a childhood mishap involving a blowtorch, a raisin, and the Pope

He drinks 36 Diet Cokes a day, and crushes each can with his butt cheeks

His admiration of China is based on Mickey Rooney’s character in “Breakfast At Tiffany’s”

His I.Q. is exactly twice that of his golf handicap

He distrusts dry cleaners, so he showers in his suits

He has 500 pounds of Trump Steaks in his freezer

His favorite movie is “Encino Man,” his favorite TV show is “Keeping Up With The Kardashians,” and his favorite book is “Mein Kampf”

He is an avid caber-tosser and won third at the Dayton Regional Toss-Off in 1992

He has been known to adopt shelter animals, then release them into the wild

He has an abnormal thyroid that sometimes makes him spontaneously do the hokey-pokey

He was insecure about the size of his hands, so he had larger hands grafted on

He shaves with a straight razor lubricated with the tears of infants

His gold-plated toilet has been shat in 42,810 times

He often contributes to such charities as The Golf Digest Fund, Save The Billionaires, and Homeless Republicans United

His mother liked to call him “Little Donny Bag Of Hammers”

He once cured himself of rickets by immersing his body in gun oil

His signature hair is a result of Prell, yellow dye #13, vigorous massaging, and daily prayer

He was briefly a sportswriter for his college paper, but was fired for poor grammar, fabricating statistics, and huffing crushed Sweet Tarts

He sleeps on a bed of nails surrounded by yachts and pixies

Of all his wives, he likes what’s-her-name the best

I played guitar and sang in bands from about 1979 to 1989. I have no really outrageous stories, but here are a few I remember.

Just Say No

One time a friend and I were going to buy some LSD (ah, young and stupid). Black Pyramid, I believe.

We went to the guy’s house and he said, “you’re not gonna believe this, but I put the hits in the cellophane from a cigarette pack, put them in my wallet, and accidentally ran the wallet through the washer.”

He showed us the cellophane. There was a big black smear on it.

He said, “I don’t know if it’s any good. You can lick the cellophane and see what happens. If you feel something, just give me a few bucks.”

That night, in the van on the way to a gig, my friend, the other guitarist, and I ripped off pieces of the cellophane and licked the smear. After a half-hour or so, we all agreed we didn’t feel anything.

We got to the bar and began hauling in and setting up. Still not feeling much.

About halfway through the first set, though – holy shit.

The bass drum was breathing. The goddamned drum was breathing. My guitar was wildly out of tune (it wasn’t). In between songs I’d frantically try to tune it. It just got worst. The singer was yelling at me to hurry up.

I should note that this was in the redneckiest of redneck bars in southern Iowa. The dancing hillbillies were freaking me out.

I got through it, and learned a lesson. Water has little effect on LSD. Also, don’t take roughly the equivalent of four hits.

Drunk and Stupid Again

We had an outdoor gig once, a big barbeque or party or something. We were set to play in late afternoon. The drummer, other guitarist and I brought the equipment and got ready to set up.

But when we got there, the bassist – who had been there all day, with several kegs – was hammered. Like, ready-to-pass-out hammered. So hammered he couldn’t play, and thus we couldn’t play.

So the rest of us got drunk too and ending up leaving the equipment out in the (eventual) rain. Some of it got damaged.

What a bunch of idiots. Didn’t even get paid.

Sweet Home Shut Up

All the bands I played in played in the Midwest, so if you were a cover band, you were wise to know a Lynyrd Skynyrd song or two.

Nothing against the band, but they have (or at least had) some HARDCORE fans. I can’t remember how many bars had a resident Skynyrd expert. The night would be over, I’d be tearing down and looking forward to pancakes on the way home, and some drunk dude would be going on and on. He’d know all the details and stats about all the members. He’d seen them in concert several times. You get the picture.

NOTE: If you’re a superfan of ANY band, you can get annoying.

First Gig

The first band I was in was at 15. I, a bassist and a drummer called ourselves “Fission.” We played at the high school talent contest. Our set was Ides of March’s “Factory Band,” “Wipeout,” and Pat Benatar’s “Heartbreaker” (female drummer). I don’t think we won, but it was fun.

Our next gig was playing at the 8th grade graduation dance. So we really moved up to the big time.

Idea for a movie trailer:

Blank screen. The Pogues’ “Worms” begins and plays throughout.

A worm whizzes across the screen. Is it angry? Fleeing? What the heck?


CUT TO: An attractive woman and man.

Woman: You’re not listening to me! I’m talking about the goddamned WORMS!

SCREEN TEXT: Zooey Deschanel

Man: The worms can go fly a kite for all I care!


CUT TO: Worms flying kites.

MONTAGE: People eating fried worms, worms eating fried people, clothes made of worms, big pots of worm soup, worms marching in unison.


(cont’d): HELL ON EARTH??

Big explosion for no reason.



CUT TO: Thousands of worms going apeshit.

CUT TO: Woman and man again.

Woman: What did I tell you about the WORMS?!

Man: Those stupid worms can take a hike.

CUT TO: Worms taking a hike.



MONTAGE: Worms taking hostages, worms taking selfies, worms performing Shakespeare, worms playing billiards, worms screenwriting at Starbucks, a worm riding a donkey.


CUT TO: Big CGI worm battle. An epic showdown with advanced weaponry. A huge explosion and —

Fade to black.

CREDIT SCREEN: APESHIT WORMS, starring Zooey Deschanel, Joe Pesci, Kiernan Shipka, Dustin Diamond, Warwick Davis, and Fluffy the Anaconda. Written by Alan Smithee. Produced by Quincy Jones, Judd Apatow, and Dawn Wells. Directed by Jim Jarmusch and Uwe Boll.

END SHOT: A worm screaming in agony as Warwick Davis laughs.

I’ve been around awhile now, and I’m just coming to the realization that I’ve never been truly passionate about anything.

I played guitar and sang in bands for several years, which was fun, but I never wanted to be a rock star. I did stand-up comedy for a few years; again, no desire to hit it big and move to L.A. to be in movies.

I’ve never been the gung-ho employee-of-the-month shootin’-for-the-corner-office type. I only taught school for one year; that’s all it took for me to figure out that wasn’t a passion.

I can’t think of any political issue that would motivate me to make a sign, put on pants, go outside, and march either for or against it.

I like a few pro sports teams, but I’m not a fanatic, and I don’t lose my shit if the teams do poorly.

I don’t collect anything. I’m not a superfan of any musicians or celebrities. I like movies and TV shows, but they’re just entertainment. I’m not into exercise and pop culture.

And romantic relationships? They’re okay, but I don’t think I’ve ever been PASSIONATELY in love with anyone.

So I’m not sure if I’m just lazy (strong possibility) or it’s the chemical imbalance in my head. I just don’t get fired up.

Maybe that’s why I like Bernie Sanders. Whatever you think of his policies, you have to admit the man’s passionate. He utters passion with every breath in his frail old body. Maybe I’m living vicariously through him.

So hats off to all you folks with true passions. It’s what gives us doctors and scientists and captains of industry and whatnot. And protesters can incite change.

Maybe I’ll find a true passion someday. I can see maybe really getting into old Teletubbies DVDs.

The satirical site The Onion has a feature called “what do YOU think,” where fictional people are asked their opinions about current events. The writers always come up with some clever occupations for the interviewees.

Here are some of my ideas for professions/job titles:

Squid polisher

Aquatic ninja

Subpoena eater


Perfume farmer

Handshake expert

Gentle boxer

Professional doofus

Uptight sycophant

Children’s stripper

Political scrubber

Amoeba psychiatrist

Competitive cow tipper

Union concubine

Locomotive stuffer

Urban Troglodyte

Amateur rock-skipper

Roller coaster licker

Toenail model

Corpuscle wrangler

Festive buffoon

Rodeo caterer

Swine flu enthusiast

Airport tester

Rhododendron inspector

Potato sack artist

Part-time euthanizer

Acid flashback comptroller

Amphibian rights activist

Movie taster

Upbeat stoner

Scone surveyor

Undercover beekeeper

Water park dentist

Foppish womanizer

Trapeze delinquent

Drinking-straw whittler

Antelope slapper

Musical bailiff

Go-kart fetishist

Business defiler

Hot tub liaison

Situation exacerbator

Manatee tutor

Honky-tonk mime

Oak tree paramedic

Shrapnel grinder

Existential entrepreneur

Brothel cashier

Celebrity bricklayer

Axle grease purveyor

Park bench machinist

Rambunctious roustabout

Shaving cream researcher

Motel haberdasher

Orangutan decorator

Freelance hobnobber

So there we were, the good ol’ USA, cruising along at a nice, progressive clip. Folks were, for the most part, relatively civil and sharp. Politeness and respect were common.

Then a new sheriff came to town. This guy changed the rules. It’s now okay to do many things that were generally considered not okay. An incomplete list:

Be misogynistic

Wired to respect women? Screw that! Now you grab all the pussy you want. Are you a white male? Bonus points! If a woman ever calls you out on anything, just cry and call her a lying whore. Objectifying and being rapey are the new norm.

Be racist

Come on, you know you hate anyone who doesn’t share your ethnicity. Let your Nazi and KKK freak flags fly high. And you’re good people — the sheriff said so. Remember: racial slurs are cool!

Be xenophobic

You no longer have to contain your unmitigated rage against those damned foreigners. Keep ’em the hell out and make ‘em stay the hell out (except white people who speak English). That wall must be built before the criminal drug-carrying rapists get you.


“If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” HA! Goodbye class, hello wicked insults. Slam people to your heart’s content. The sheriff recommends defamatory nicknames like “Crooked,” “Cryin’,” and “Non-Pussy-Grabbin’”.

Be ignorant

Remember when people used to care about knowing things? Yeah, you don’t need to do that. Ignorance is now mainstream. The sheriff loves the ignorant. Stand next to a friend who’s wearing an “I’m with stupid” t-shirt!


The sheriff’s wife has a crusade against this, but the sheriff just wishes she’d shut up and stay in the kitchen (see “Be misogynistic”). It’s kosher to intimidate those weaker than you. Bully away!

Use poor grammar and spelling

Actually, this was always kind-of-okay, but the sheriff often doesn’t write so good, so it’s now acceptable to write however you want. All caps and lots of exclamation points is completely acceptable.

Be divisive

You must have an enemy. It’s all Us vs. Them. There is no middle ground. You’re either with us or against us. “Owning” the other side should give you great joy. The sheriff is a master divider.

Be in a cult

This used to be a big no-no. Remember Jonestown? Ever heard the Scientology horror stories? But now it’s fine to follow an insane megalomaniac, never questioning anything he says or does, slavishly devoting yourself to him wholly and fully.

That’s it for now. Whew! Thanks, sheriff. We can all be truly awful people again.

A few months ago, I had the brakes on my car replaced. The process took a few hours, and my phone bores me quickly, so I checked their magazines.

The choices were car mags (which bore me more quickly than my phone) and a Redbook.

So I scanned the Redbook for a few minutes. Here’s my assessment of both the editorial and advertising content, broken into segments:

1. Hair care products or styling advice

2. Cosmetics

3. Fashion/clothing

4. Diet/weight loss

As I read I couldn’t help but think about what they were selling. “Your hair should be full and lustrous and have a certain cut. Here’s the make-up you should be using, because you need make-up, right? And you need to have this dress and handbag. And you could stand to lose a few pounds.”

It did have an article about how to work on your relationship, which is better than “50 Ways to Please Your Man.”

I guess I was wondering why they didn’t have content about education or reading or health (other than diet tips). I assume those topics are in other women’s magazines. But Redbook, like many others, is geared toward how to look pretty on the outside, presumably to attract or keep a mate.

I know there are men’s magazines like Esquire and GQ that put an emphasis on looking good, but they generally have interviews and discuss culturally relevant topics. And there are about 10 times as many women’s magazines as men’s.

And it’s always bugged me that the cosmetics industry is a multi-billion-dollar-a-year industry. If every woman decided to simultaneously stop wearing makeup, we’d get over it.

Maybe Margaret Atwood sums it up best:

“Vanity is becoming a nuisance, I can see why women give it up, eventually. But I’m not ready for that yet.”