Thursday, January 23, 2014


"You have one responsibility: to be a dickhead. How hard can that be? All you have to do is make sure your head is a dick, and it's attached to your neck.'
~Robin Williams as Patch Adams, Patch Adams

'You ever hear of the saying "you run into an asshole in the morning, you ran into an asshole; you run into assholes all day, you're the asshole."
~Timothy Olyphant as Raylan Givens, Justified

You know. I'm not all that concerned anymore if you don't like me and I'm not talking about the Facebook liking, I'm talking about what liking used to mean. 

Nowadays liking something is just a button you click on Facebook and much like everything else in the modern social-network-saturated times the meaning of the word has changed. 

Take the word friend for example. The word friend doesn't mean what it used to mean. Now it just means someone you share cat photos with on Facebook. I would wager 40% of the people who see your posts on Facebook are people you have never met or probably never will meet. We accept people as friends and send out request to them so we can be friends as a way to network our businesses or interests. Nothing wrong with that. It's just the use of the word friend that is misleading. 

I certainly never ever want to be someone's friend on Facebook because of some sense obligation. We shouldn't fall into the trap of 'Well we work together so we should be friends on Facebook.'

We never talk and when we do its awkward, like we've bumped into each other at a cocktail party after discovering one of us slept with the other's wife or husband or daughter or son or mother. 

Today we invite friends to like our pages. 
We used to invite friends over for pizza and a movie. 

and that's 'Jody' with a 'y'
Copyright 2014
All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


The following story is true. I haven't changed any names. Mostly because the main character is me. The minor characters will remain nameless and therefore their identities are protected.


Inherit The Wind II
We've all farted at one time or another. 
Best opening to a short story ever. Right? 
Don't try to deny it. It's a normal human function. Anyone who says they've never farted is lying. Everybody does it. Everybody poops...goes through red lights...masturbates...and everybody has, at one time or another, watched one of those Ernest movies.

My wife and I were out a few days ago.
We decided to have lunch at one of our favorite spots. It was a good meal. I remember distinctly I hadn't eaten anything too spicy. I'm not a fan of hot and spicy any way. We had a good, basic lunch. I felt fine afterwards. That is to say, I was satisfied not full. I certainly wasn't bloated or gassy. 
That's why what happened in the half an hour after we had eaten is such a mystery.
Somewhere between paying the check and leaving the restaurant the disembodied soul of some evil Aztec God, seeking its vengeance on the world, somehow, entered my body. 
At first, I was fine. Life was good. I had no idea of the evil that was coiling itself around my insides. 
Sometime a little later, in the car, on the way over to Kohls, I burped. I probably asked to be excused and made a joke about more room out than in.

I don't like shopping in big stores like Kohls, especially on Saturdays. I just wanted to get that on the record with the hopes my wife will get the hint and stop asking me to join her on her shopping expeditions. 
Nothing against Kohls, mind you. I just don't like crowds and people and crowds of people and large groups of people all crammed together in a hot department store. 
My mood was suddenly off and it wasn't just that I was about to enter a crowded department store. Something was wrong. There was a storm brewing. Something was terribly wrong.

My wife is a commando when she is shopping. I usually just let her go and follow behind her like a pouty 9 year old. I'm pretty sure most men can empathize. I dragged my feet and stared at the ground as she said something about a 'pretty purse' and 'Oh! Look at those shoes.'

On this particular visit my wife had to stand in line, a very long line, for customer service. I'm like a shark and I have to keep moving. I told her I love her and I would see her in an hour or two. I was just going to look around. 

She said something to me about shirts but I didn't hear her. The growling in my stomach was getting louder. I worried that people might hear and I decided it would be best to find the least populated area of the store. 
I will say for the record that I did not have to poop. I just know.

This was something else and I didn't see the sense in walking all the way to the men's room and probably standing in line and more than likely opening the stall door only to discover that the last guy, who probably just won an all-you-can-eat-chili contest, and suffered from explosive diarrhea, had left only a second or two before I selected Stall Number 3.

No. I was going to be alright. Whatever was churning inside my stomach would settle and I would be fine. 
After a few minutes of walking slowly, like I was carrying nitro-glycerin in my pants, I found myself in The Yankee Candle aisle in front of a large display of their newest scents. 
I was alone. 
Somewhere, maybe over the store's intercom, John William's theme from Jaws was playing.
As I was sticking my nose into a jar of a candle labeled 'Vanilla Cupcake', I heard a sound that made my heart skip a beat.  
It was like a wet growl. From deep within my bowels there was a rumbling. 
Oh God. 
The Aztec demon spirit had decided to wake and seek its vengeance. 
Now we've all been there. 
You have to fart and there is no way to stop it. We all know that if you hold a fart in too long you can give yourself an embolism and die. Nobody wants to be the poor sap who held in a fart so long they gave themselves a stroke. Nobody would ever read your obituary without laughing. Your family would be so ashamed they would never mention your name again. Soon you will be forgotten for all time. All because of a fart you held in too long. 
I wasn't going to be that guy. 
There was no way I was making it back to the men's room and crop-dusting in a busy department store is just too risky. Sure! There is the initial camouflage and anonymity of the crowd of people around but someone will eventually figure out it was you. Your dark, stinky secret will be revealed. 
Then the whole ugly scene becomes the end scene of The Invasion of the Body Snatchers
(The one with Donald Sutherland)
You know the scene, at the end of the movie where Sutherland's character opens his mouth in a silent scream and points at actress Veronica Cartwright because she's not one of them. 
That's what will happen when the crowd discovers you were the one. 
The crowd will join in, chanting 'Farter! Farter! Farter!'
I'm pretty sure someone in the back would shout 'String him up!'
The angry mob will circle around me, glaring with red eyes and turned up noses as they walk through the trail of the air biscuits I've left behind me. 
I had to fart and there was nothing to do but fart. 
I glanced around. The coast was clear. A little voice in the back of my brain told me that I was surrounded by hundreds of candles. The only better place to fart, if I had my choice that is, would be the perfume department where the air is thick with the aromas of many colognes and perfumes. You could hide a body in the perfume department and nobody would know. 
I wasn't going to make it all the way to the perfume counter and, to my horror, I was starting to lose clench control. I'm pretty sure I was dilated at three centimeters. 
I breathed in and out slowly in an effort to control the contractions which were now coming every two seconds. I widened my stance and braced myself on the counter. 
I placed Vanilla Cupcake back on the display. 
And then it happened. 
You ever hear a lion seal scream?
You ever hear the sad bellow of bagpipes being stepped on by an elephant?
I have never farted so loud before in my life. I actually scared myself a little. I quickly turned around to make sure my small intestine and shreds of blue jeans weren't on floor behind me. 
The initial shock wore off and my breathing became normal. A bead of sweat rolled off my nose and landed perfectly into a jar labeled Sandlewood
I breathed a sigh of relief. The storm had passed. The demon from inside me had been exorcised. 
Then it hit me. 
Actually two things hit me. The first was that the storm hadn't gone. I was in the eye of the storm. 
The second was the fart itself. 
It was the worst thing I had ever smelled. 
Holy shit! 
Where THE HELL did that come from?
My God. It was like someone was burning tires and dead skunks. 
'Farts that bad mean only one thing,' the little voice in the back of my brain whispered, 'You'll be dead within minutes. You might want to make things right with God.'
I found it hard to breathe. I thought I could revive myself with the smell of something good and pure so I picked up Vanilla Cupcake and brought the heavy jar to my face. I prayed for relief but the cold glass jar offered me none. The air was heavy with the foul cloud that was encircling me like an invisible boa constrictor.
I lifted another jar to my face. 
Super Sweet Pumpkin? 
Bahama Breeze?
Fluffy Towels?
Midnight Jasmine?
No. Nothing. Oh Sweet Baby Jesus. Had I destroyed my own sense of smell?
Then I realized the truth of the situation. It wasn't me. It was the candles. They all smelled the same. They all smelled like the inside of an abandoned refrigerator. It was beyond awful. I was so ashamed and, I have to be honest, a little proud. I mean on the scale of fart potency, that was a trophy winner. Blue ribbon. The Nobel Peace Prize of Flatulence. 
My pride diminished quickly as I realized that I just single handedly wiped out Kohl's Yankee Candle inventory. 100% contamination. 
There was nothing to do but leave the scene of my crime. I looked for an escape route and calculated the steps that would take far from Ground Zero. I walked briskly away. I walked past two older woman but made no eye contact. They were a blur to me, and I prayed, I was a blur to them. 
I walked through racks of onesies and cute little t-shirts. I think I saw a turtle wearing a baseball cap. I zig-zagged through racks of pretty little dresses made for pretty little girls. I weaved to the left and then quickly to the right and found myself on the main aisle. I was now at least 70 feet from The Yankee Candle display and the cloud of my shame. 
I had successfully gotten away with my heinous crime. Nobody would ever know. 
(Sure.Until now that is)
I slowed my walk and stood up straight as to not draw attention to myself.
Within seconds I blended into the Saturday shoppers around me. I was one of them again. 
Fart? Me? I've never farted before in my life. 
What's that you say? Some inconsiderate person contaminated The Yankee Candle section? 
Oh Lord. I hope no one was hurt. Who would do such a thing? How rude. 
I was standing in front of shelves piled with what had been, at one time, a selection of neatly folded and stacked polo shirts when I heard my wife's voice:
"Are you done?" she asked. 
'Done. What does she mean 'done'?' the little voiced asked nervously. 
'Yep! Already to go,' I answered. 
'I saw some candles for sale back by Customer Service. You want to go back and see if there's a scent we like? Maybe they have that Pumpkin Spice we like-'
'NO!' I interrupted, 'THEY DON'T! I looked...They're all...There's NOTHING. I mean there are no candles we would like...they're all pretty terrible.' 
I was babbling. My mind was racing. I needed to slow it down and reel it back in before she suspected something was wrong. 
'Oh okay. Well. Let's just go then.'
She took my hand, as she likes to do when we are walking, and we made our way to the front doors. 
My wife squeezed my hand and told me she loved me, as she is prone to do and I squeezed her hand in return and told her I loved her too. 
Then she stopped and asked if I was okay. 
I told her I was fine and asked why she was asking. 
She looked into my eyes and said 'You look a little pale is all. Everything okay?'
'Everything is just fine' I replied, 'Everything... is...just fine.'

The End

and that's 'Jody' with a 'y'
Copyright 2014
All Rights Reserved