Browse Category: Social Commentary

Voodoo Peeps Reprise

In praise of Easter, the ubiquitous Peeps, and, well, the desire for revenge – I give you “Voodoo Peeps.”

This tasty little tidbit was written in July, 2003. Like Peeps, it’s one of my favorites.

If you’re really angry at someone today, maybe this article will prevent you from murdering them. Happy Easter.

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“Voodoo Peeps”
(originally posted here: Heron Flight Rand-O-Blog – July, 2003)

Ever feel like biting someone’s head off? Have a few people on your scene who deserve to have their heads chewed off and spit out like a piece of rancid beef? Would you do it if you knew you could get away with it?

Well… Until you come up with your plan for the perfect head chomping crime, I’ve got a little diversion for you. VOODOO PEEPS! These little peckers are oh so willing to vicariously give their lives in place of the big peckers in your life who really deserve to have there heads gnawed off. And it keeps you out of trouble!

First, start with a fresh box of marshmallow Peeps at Easter time. Remove the wrapping and put the box away somewhere. Forget about it until July, when the Peeps are perfectly stale. (They’re best that way!)

Let those peeps stale for a few months.
Let those peeps get stale for a few months.

Then, when some fowl excuse for a human being gets your tail feathers all in a knot, remove one of your little Peep friends from the box. (Note: Though you are peeved and all in a huff like a hen who just laid the mother of all eggs, be gentle in removing the Peep so as not to tear the guts out of his fellow beside him. You will need him at a later date for sure. Jerks of a feather flock together. If you have one jerk in your life, more are bound to follow.) Carefully position the Peep within your finger tips, using your pinky as a perch for your sugar-feathered friend.

The perfect Peep
The perfect Peep

Step three, the most satisfying part of the process: With gusto and delight, with soaring abandon, yet with precision, bite the hell out of his little soft body and rip his head right off his mallow shoulders! Do it as a starved buzzard who hasn’t seen a rotting carcass in weeks! Birds do not have teeth, but you do! Do your carnivorous worst! Bare those canines! Chomp down! Fill his jugular with all of your venemous anger!

Off with his head!
Off with his head!

But! Before you swallow, savor the moment! Toss his little egg-head around within your cheeks! Allow his sticky little cranium to migrate from one side of your mouth to the other! Suck his little brains out and feel your frustrations flock away as so many startled sparrows!

Is that a Peep in your mouth or are you just happy to see me?
Is that a Peep in your mouth or are you just happy to see me?

Ingest and smile!

Nice beard.
Nice beard.

Feel better? I knew you would! (A little birdy told me!)

May the purple Peep of happiness send droppings of peace upon you always! (Send pieces of droppings on you always?? Nah!!)

You Just Have to Make It Through

Did I hear that correctly?
Did I hear that correctly?

I was eating lunch in a diner today – because that’s what we people in Jersey are known for: eating in diners. It was my escape from the stress of the office. I thought I would do a little journal writing, a little reading, enjoy a cup of soup and a sandwich (which ended up being lentil soup and a chicken fajita wrap – with fries (see my last post about stress eating before you bitch me out for indulging in fries)).

TIME OUT.

Did you notice that parentheses with parentheses thing there? Is that permissible in writing? I mean, I do it all the time in my work as a programmer, aka: “developer,” aka: “software engineer,” aka: “FREAKING MASTERMIND GENIUS!” Not to be referred to as a “coder.”

if(salutation.equals(“Coder”)){
return(“Bitch, please! That’s like calling a runner a jogger!”);
}

Back to what I started with…

So, I was sitting at my table at the diner, nursing a Diet Coke (aka: schlepping my brain with aspartame), and I heard a woman at the next table say,

“You just have to make it through this life. Then everything will be okay.”

Now wait a minute! What kind of empty platitude was that? It inferred that “this life” is merely something to be endured, something to be weathered. Just lean into the wind and keep your eyes closed against the rain. It will all be over soon and then everything will be okay. That also assumed a lot about the afterlife, assuming there is an afterlife. Her statement contained as much dogma as the proclamations of the most radical religious zealot, with flippancy in place of fervency. THAT was faith: stating an eternal premise without a note of hesitation or a flicker of thought.

And what was the person possibly suffering through to whom she was offering this pithiness, who, I realized when I looked up, was on the other end of the phone into which the lunchtime philosopher was speaking? Cancer? Betrayal? Poverty? Good God! Maybe the trials and tribulations of old Job had revisited this poor soul! How harsh and hopeless was their condition that the only consolation that could be offered was, “You just have to make it through this life?” I couldn’t help but feel a measure of sympathy for this person.

Do you know what she said next? After the person on the phone spoke and she listened, presumably… after I waited in suspense and rehearsed all the tragedies listed in the above paragraph… after my lentil-filled spoon stopped in mid-air before my open mouth…

She said,

“Ok. So, I’d like to make an appointment for a mani-pedi. For two people. Thank you.”

Oh, come on! Jesus Christ, lady! You were on the phone with a nail salon?! (No, that’s not using his name in vain! I mean that as a prayer! Because SOMEBODY needs to straighten out this woman’s view of life and death and compassion! I mean, Jesus Christ!)

Well, that revelation demanded a reassessment of my beliefs about the suffering of old Job on the other end of the phone line. Cancer was quickly replaced by human trafficking. Poverty was usurped by money laundering. Heartbreak was displaced by prostitution.

I shook my head and thought, I just need to make it through this life. Then everything will be okay. Because, Jesus Christ willing, there won’t be any stupid people there! And if there is lentil soup on the menu, that will be paradise!

When We Were Rock Stars

We were in the KISS Army and we meant business.
We were in the KISS Army and we meant business. (Click the image to read the story.)

In keeping with the current “Throwback Thursday” theme that is all the rage with the kids these days, here is my contribution: a (true) story I wrote in 2001, thirteen years ago! (Did I really just say 13 years?)

Even though it was written after the internet was well on its way to being a ubiquitous staple of everyday modern life, this story is showing some signs of age, a little rust here and there. For instance, iPods were not invented and CDs were still all the rage. (A little Googling revealed that the first iPods hit the market in October of 2001.) Also, this gem of a story hit the internet 2 1/2 years before MySpace opened its doors and 3 years before Facebook began its intended world domination. (What’s MySpace?) This story was published during the era of “online journals.” We didn’t have “blogs.” Blogs didn’t catch on until after some of us toyed around with “weblogs” first. Same difference, “blog” just sounds cuter. There was Diaryland back then, a site were you could sign up for a free online diary. It was pretty basic and you had to “host” your images elsewhere. But there are some of us still around who went hardcore and built our own websites. We told our stories, recounted our days. We made image galleries, resizing photos and making thumbnails and html pages and we “ftp’ed” all of it to our servers (for which we either paid a monthly fee or we got free hosting, for which we had to tolerate ads on the headers and footers of all our pages). Facebook has combined all that and, unfortunately, has conditioned (reduced) us into primarily writing brief statuses and witty comments. Who writes stories online anymore? Who has the attention span to read them?

But, you know what? All that great stuff aside. Growing up, what the hell was an internet? Who thought about the “World Wide Web” in 1975, except the Army? Who cared about computers? We had bikes, and footballs, and BB guns, and the outdoors, and imaginations. And, as a rite of passage into our teenage years, we all discovered the true opiate of the masses: Rock-n-roll.

I want to go back! I will willingly turn in my iPhone, walk away from the entire internet without even glancing over my shoulder, hand write all my letters for now on, if… if you will let me go back to those years when I first discovered rock music. I don’t want to go all the way back to the days of GI Joes and playing hide and seek. Not that far back. Just back to the days when I first grew my hair long (when it was still an act of rebellion), when girls lost their cooties and became the most intriguing of God’s creatures, and Led Zepellin had just released “Stairway to Heaven,” and the sound of electric guitars and drums brought me to life. I want to go THERE.

This story from January 30, 2001 is about the beginning of those days for my cousin, Patrick, and me. I miss those days. I miss my cousin. (And some of the trouble we got into.) This story is a reminiscence of those days.

Read it here.

And…

Well…

I didn’t really mean all that crap about giving up the internet!

Hand me my iPhone, would ya?

A Jersey Man Walks into a Bathroom

image

The Setting:

Entrance to a men’s room in New York Penn Station.

On the right – an apparently homeless man digging in the bathroom garbage, shoulder-deep.

On the left – Sam Snyder, not obviously homeless.

In the middle – a second possibly homeless guys.

On observation, none if the actors know each other.

Middle guy, tapping the homeless guy on the arm: “Do you know that Jesus Christ loves you and died for your sins?”

Homeless guy, now only elbow-deep in trash and obviously annoyed at being interrupted: “What?!”

Middle guy, now hesitantly: “Do you know that Jesus Christ loves you and died for your sins?”

Homeless guy, definitely annoyed: *incoherent mumbling with vigorous head wagging*

Sam Snyder, pondering: Why did middle guy pick that other man to say that to and not me?