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Box of Lies

So one of my pet peeves are unmanned marketing boxes, often disguised as methods of winning tropical cruises or another unlikely prize.

I couldn't tell you exactly why I do it, or even what the point of it is. What I can say is that a few years back I started to stop by those boxes, write gibberish on one of the cards, and put it in the box. I do zero thinking about what goes on the cards, I just put pen to paper and scribble words until the card is full.

It didn't occur to me to snap pictures of the gibberish until a few months ago. So here is some of the nonsense I've been adding to transparent boxes at a mall near you.

"Enter For a Chance to Win A $5,000 Mall Shopping Spree"

Once upon a time a wizard banished 500 Lions to (a) mirror universe for the sin of being too greedy. The lions found an old machine capable of shattering the crystaline wall that held them back from the edge of the world. They broke through and robbed a bank.

"Enter For a Chance to Win A $5,000 Mall Shopping Spree"

(This is about a hobo with gills)

I grew up a poor and disadvantaged Fishman. I dug through trash and dumpsters for anything breathable, cold coffee, chicken blood or even rotten milk. That lasted until one day when I found a man selling fake watches. He took pity on me and bought me a Coke. Then it was back to the garbage for me.

"Custom Remodelers, Inc"

Complexion of red hot pokers destroys all it sees. It does not know mercy. It does not like Milk. Don't feed it hay! Do NOT!


BALROG the Weather Spirit destroyed my above ground pool! I shall avenge it by using my claw of Earthen RAGE to smite his four mothers back to the vortex that spawned them.

Be it resolved.

My resolution for this year is pretty simple: "No more eating thirds helpings"

I feel like most people don't need this rule in their lives. Either they mentally stop themselves from eating an unnecessary amount of food, their body gives them subtle clues that they unconsciously obey or maybe they just physically cannot just keep eating well past the point of any nutritional justification.

I, however, am the rare type of champion that can power through all of these obstacles and more! My mindless super consumption cannot be stopped by normal means. A lot of the times I just don't think about it. More than often I have found myself, seemingly a passenger in a body car that is rolling into the kitchen.

"What the hell am I doing in here?" I'll say outloud, hoping to establish out some sort of communication with whoever is actually controlling my actions.

"Why are we opening that cabinet that we logically know hasn't had snacks in it for weeks?"

"Why are we continuing to eat these tasteless, stale crumbs of 6 month old Pita Chips?"

Clearly, no logical barrier or physical one can withstand the Kool-Aid man bursting force of my gluttony. So I am hoping that, as has worked in the past, that the velvet rope of resolution will present a symbolic barrier where all others have failed.

Otherwise, I think I might just have to get accustomed to the fact that I am a gigantic fucking pig. (Don't worry, I don't mean this in a strange body image way, I am honestly horrified by my zombie like food trances.)


In preparation for making a New Years Resolution, I took mental stock of my feelings towards eating animals.

I was somewhat surprised to find that they had shifted, not just in my willing to eat them, but also in my desire to eat them.

In short, I feel better about eating cows, but have almost no longing or desire to do so. Still feel bad about pig unless I know where it came from, which is too bad since I really crave them.

Chicken is grossing me out more than last year as the lingering taint of some of the things I've read haven't fallen off, but this is largely counter-balanced by the fact that I have the habit of eating a lot of chicken. So as long as I don't think about it to much, chicken is just fine...

Which is again, a maddening mishmash of nonsensical rules.

For some reason, the lingering revulsion of chicken processing methods reminded me of this study a few years ago about how conservatives' brains have a higher "disgust sensitivity".

The scientists helpfully point out that maybe this is why conservatives are against gay marriage. Since it is a well-known scientific fact that male gay marriage involves twice the number of male butts than "normal" marriage, or as Rick Santorum recently pointed out, that it was impossible to think about the issue without also considering the hypothetical case of upwards of three or four male butts all rhythmically eroding the ability of those of opposite genders to love.

In the case of the grossed-out conservative, it would seem that the hypothesis is that anything over the disgust threshold simply short-circuits the ability to empathize on the nuances of the issue. You can talk about medical visitation, estate transfer rights, tax benefits all day long, and all they'll presumably hear is expermiental jazz comprised of three notes: "penis", "poop" and "butthole".

I kid them, but I can't help wonder if I am entraped in a similar net of moral short-circuits that make normal meat eaters scoff at me. Is my concern that pigs are too intellectual to be confined and subjected to factory farming conditions sound a bit odd? I mean are the farmers supposed to give them sudoku puzzles or something?

It is clearly an odd objection, but with the similar difficulty that it seems an impassable barrier to me getting past it to the utopia on the otherside where the biggest quandry is to mesquite or not mesquite?

The answer seems easy enough, that in this case, my car is just pointed the wrong way. These matters of disgust all seem like the frosted glass across the doors of our messy primal instincts. You enter the room, you do a thing, and then you leave without over analyzing what just happened. This is the way things were meant to be.

It is like going to a cocktail party to discover the home owner has set up his dog with a tophat and monocle, as if he were the host. The next step at that party is to relax and enjoy it, and not point and wonder at how the dog could have possibly folded thin layers of ham around pickles.

In the end, we're all the dogs in the top hats, and the most polite thing to do is to not point this out to one another, because, for one, we all secretly know it and two we very much want to be invited back to these sorts of parties again.

What is it good for?

Last night I attended a small retirement party acknowledging the end of my father's twenty year tenure on the local school board.

Among the attendees were school board members past and present, and their stories of how they got "recruited" to run.

Nearly every time it was the exact same story, X slots were open, Y people were running, Z of those people were nutjobs. It was at this point that almost everyone in the room got brought in. Chosen largely for their reasonableness.

Taken one way, it was almost as if it was a cabal of people secretly determining the outcome of each school board election, but after listening to them, and meeting them, it was much clearer that they took it as their social responsibility. Their sacrifice for the community of plugging a warm bodied hole before vermin invade it.

I'm kind of down on representative democracy right now. The definition instilled in my in junior high of it being a mechanism for selecting the greatest among us to inspire us to do more than ourselves is quickly dissolving.

But seeing these people, a vocal mix of Democrats and Republicans come together under the common banner of keeping "the crazies out", I found particularly inspiring.

This, this is one thing that maybe representative democracy as currently structured can be good at.

And by "crazy" let's refine that down to "Idealistic", that is, someone who is more concerned with the purity of their personal view of the world than reality.