& Recently . . .

Jay-Z's "Do Re Mi" by Nick Jezarian

I'm a Red Hot Chili Pepper!

Lo! Bread of Affliction: How to Flirt with a Guest at the Seder

Dear KTU by Josh Abraham

A Glimpse into the Domestic Life of my Least Favorite English Professor by Nick Jezarian

Top 10 Things That Sucked about My Day (In No Particular Order) by Jason Kucharsky

Polish Fact

Local long-form name:
Rzeczpospolita Polska
(The Republic of Poland)

Learn a Foreign Tongue!

Learn Latin!
Mea culpa.
My bad.

Y.P.aRt Gallery

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April 28, 2003

Jay-Z's "Do Re Mi"

D’oh—it ain’t a motherfuckin’ deer, it’s something
Homer says when he runs out of beer
Rhymes with queer, jiggaman1 rockin' phat beats in your ear

Re—the light I shine on your broke ass
With my ice-laced wrist2, Corona with a twist
Twisting bitches like ya sista, when H.O.V.A.3
leaves they blow kisses

Me—it ain’t a name I call myself, it’s a Chinese restaurant
I’m just out for delf4, I got more names to call myself,
That me is a name that y’all talk about,
That two-letter shit don’t have enough clout
For what I’m about. I’m the highness, the king of ROCAFELLA5,
You all fucked up looking like a French cruellah6

Fah—I agree with that Ho, Fah is a long way to run
To get my gun
And shoot my gat in the air for fun, people look and
pray to Shawn Carter7 like Aztec fools prayed to
the sun8
Fah, Fah Away was a dope movie
All I want for Christmas is a Uzi and a Jacuzzi filled
with floozies9

So—the doctors gonna need to do that when I fill
your body full of lead
Jiggaman makes it so easy, I’ll even give you platinum
thread to patch your bullet holes on the rizzzy10

La—la bouche, la rouche, crunchy cheez doodles, la floof LALALALA layla, I’m just a playa
L.A.—the other coast, I eat toast11

Tea—I move more tea12 than the party in Boston
I’m flossin, take two lumps and get jumped
T, a letter in the alphabet

1 An alias Jay-Z calls himself. It refers to his proficiency at jigsaw puzzles.
2 Jay-Z doesn’t really have ice on his wrist. He’s not Iceman, he is simply referring to the 5,000 carats in diamonds on his Swiss Army Watch.
3 H.O.V.A is another Jay-Z alias which implies his Nova Scotian background, except with an H to throw people off.
4 Delf is slang for "self."
5 Rocafella is Jay-Z’s land of make believe, an idea inspired by Jay-Z’s addiction to "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood."
6 Prounced KREL-AH, Jay-Z makes a clever play on the once popular donut, the French cruller
7 Jay-Z's birth name.
8 Jay-Z feels that Aztecs were fools because they didn’t carry .9mm on their persons to protect themselves from Imperial invaders
9 Jay-Z doesn’t really want an Uzi, but it rhymes well.
10 Jay-Z is a philanthropist who offers his victims only the best treatment after he blasts their asses with one of his many guns. The police have been unable to figure out how many murders Jay-Z has actually committed but according to his songs, his body count rivals the population of Muncie, Indiana.
11 Everyone contacted had no idea what Jay-Z was talking about here. May God have mercy on his soul.
12 Tea refers to marijuana. According to his publicist, Jay-Z only rolls phat-ass blunts for medicinal purposes.
13 No one has any idea whether Jay-Z is asking a question or making a statement. Silly rapper.

April 23, 2003

I'm a Red Hot Chili Pepper!

by Anthony Kiedis

I'm a Red Hot Chili Pepper!
Call me Dredd Scott Willy Schlepper!
How 'bout gred plot zilly fleffer?

Kiss it now!

Bling a ling a dingding yow!

Gimme that fork! Eat some pork!
Groucho Harpo Zeppo Chico
Fiji Guam Puerto Rico

Suck my feet!

Wocka wocka robble robble
Watchutalkinbout, Willis?

I know why the caged bird will whistle
Poopsie floopsie this steak is just gristle!

Zibba zabba jibba jabba
How now brown cow
Zei gezunt

My lyrics make no sense
But I sing songs in pluperfect tense
Look at all my participles dangling
I knew a Chinagirl named Ang Ling

Aeroplane roller coaster
By the way I broke your toaster

Tippi Hedren!

Plop plop
Fizz fizz
Gnip Gnop
Gee whiz!

New Hampshurbation!

Flapjacks hot cakes Slip 'n' Slide
Inky Blinky Pinky Clyde

Heidi Klum's got a great body
When I'm thirsty I drink a hot toddy

Zigga doodoo jam!

I need more smack.

April 17, 2003

Lo! Bread of Affliction: How to Flirt with a Guest at the Seder

(So Long as He or She Is Not Related to You, by Blood Anyway)


We Will Pay for This in the Afterlife

Let's hide the affikomen, if you know what I mean.

Let me fill your cup, if you get what I'm sayin'.

That bread sure looks unleavened, if you catch my drift.

What a big shank bone, if you're thinkin' what I'm thinkin'.

Darkness is my favorite plague, if you're followin' my train of thought.

I can part the Red Sea, if you can read between the lines.

I'm ready to let my people go, if ya down wit dat.

I like it flat, hard, and tasteless, if that makes any sense?

Mmmm! I love horseradish, if that turns you on. Does that turn you on?

I've got four questions, if you can stretch your imagination a little.

Ma nishtana, baby.

These [matzoh] balls are firm and tasty, if you are not thoroughly offended by this vulgar double entendre.

What can I buy for two zuzzim, if I haven't lost you yet.

After this seder ends, let's finish off that bottle of Manischewitz and engage in sexual intercourse, if you lack the mental capacity to grasp the abstract notion of a cheap metaphor.

April 16, 2003

Dear KTU

WKTU 103.5
P.O. Box 630
New York, NY 10277-1747

Dear KTU,

You fine gents truly are the beat of New York! And how! Now and again, whilst puttering along the Belt Parkway in my brand new motorcar, I'm wont to roll the windows all the way down and turn the radio transmitter's volume-amplification knob all the way up. That way, neighboring motorists can hear what I'm hearing, and likewise enjoy the wonderful musical selections of the New KTU, 103.5. The beat of New York, indeed! Oftentimes, fellow motorists will toot their car-horns at me, wildly wave their unclothed arms through the openings of their own down-rolled windows, and nod their heads in syncopation with the beat of New York coming through my radio transmitter's speakers. What joy to ride upon our nation's fine motorways, sharing communal musical appreciation with one's fellow travelers! Huzzah!

This past sunny weekend I was motoring eastbound with my lady friend, Priscilla, listening to your fine beat of New York, and enjoying the feel of cool Brooklyn air. Your disc jockey played a ribald new tune for us, and Priscilla was simply enraptured! Her hips shook, her feet tapped, her fingers drummed! Even though she had not previously encountered the song lyrics, she gave her best go at singing along! "Oh dear me," she exclaimed with sinful glee upon the song's end, "I do believe I have me the shivers!" Well, milady's fingertips went tickling and exploring, and I became a most distracted motorist.
Crash! Bang! Ouch! I do say!

A twelve-motor-car smack-up ensued. Many motorists found themselves ruptured and hemorrhaging. Motor traffic on the motorway was halted like the Polish naval fleet facing bifurcated tributaries! And how! Huzzah!

I do say that's the most delicious tune your jockeys have played yet. Nothing gets Miss Priscilla in the mood for rough-and-tumble like that silly little jingle! I'd be willing to pay top dollar for an audio-phonic recording! Perhaps you fine folks could assist me in pinning down its title and artist. Its melody appeared to go as such: "Bum bada bada bum bada da dada da dada, bada ba ba da da, Shake that ass!"

I thank you for your helpfulness, WKTU. Play on, you plucky jockeys!

Josh Abraham

April 15, 2003

A Glimpse into the Domestic Life of my Least Favorite English Professor

Professor Grantsome Web stood in front of the automatic doors of a Kohl’s store waiting impatiently for them to open. They had broken his determined stride yet again. For three years, he has been frequenting this store and has been in a dire, and to this point fruitless, attempt to time his stride perfectly so that his momentum won’t be deterred in the slightest as he walks through the doors. Without fail, however, they have sensed his perverted drive towards perfection and have thwarted his advances. The doors must be mistimed, he thought to himself, if only I could get my hands on the throat of the culprit who deliberately changes the mechanism each time, I’d throttle him. Perhaps even finish him off with a bludgeoning.

Web would return home after this trip, as always, and write a belligerent letter to the manager of the store about Kohl’s lack of order and standards; as well reporting the manager to the corporate headquarters for his intolerable mischief. Web has proven resolute in his cc-ing, being certain to add, among others, God, his lawyer, all the regional managers of all Kohl’s across the United States, and his local representative to the list. Occasionally, he adds Ignatius Reilly as a gas.

Finally in the store, Web strode without delay to the Home Appliances counter and dropped a box labeled “bagel slicer,” written with a Sharpie in his own perfect penmanship, upon the countertop. A simple bell with a sign reading “Ring once for assistance” sat upon the counter. Web rang the bell ceaselessly until a young woman, an Kohl’s employee, approached and removed the bell from Web’s grasp.

“Ask not, young lady, for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.”

“Listen, sir, I don’t even work in this department so lighten up, okay?”

“The hapless nymph with wonder saw, a whisker first and then a claw,” Web widened his eyes and hissed at the clerk.

“What? Can I help you with something or not?” The clerk was clearly annoyed. This was further amplified by the fact that Web stared longingly at her ample bosom, which was still heaving from her long dash from health and beauty supplies to fend off the source of the incessant service bell.

"An equal pound of your fair flesh taken in what part of your body pleaseth me."

“I’m calling my manager.”

“Oh, tsk.”

“Excuse me?”

“Ahem.” Web reached deep into the pocket of his green and yellow herringbone sport coat to retrieve a large pair of metal-framed glasses. He placed them on his bulbous nose and startled the Kohl’s woman as his eyes were magnified to three times their actual size.

“Never mind that I lust for you as you’re a nymph” Web continued, “and never mind this bagel slicer to boot. I no longer have any need for its services. I’d like a full refund. Immediately. Without delay, that is.”

“Where’s the original box? We can’t take this back,” the clerk said.

“Yes, you can.”

“No, we can’t.”

“Yes, you can.”

“No, we can’t.”

“Would you happen to have the receipt for this purchase?”

Web stalled for time. “That’s despicable. This isn’t the Iron Curtain here, don’t attempt to make me disappear because I choose to challenge your claims of “satisfaction guaranteed.” I’m clearly not satisfied here. Now ante up, Buttercup. I shall not be deterred.”

“Well sir, I’m afraid I can’t refund your money, and we’ll see what my manager has to say about this.”

Web pondered this momentarily. Then his face filled with rage as he shouted, “ ‘Unjust laws exist, shall we be content to obey them?’ Thoreau.”

The woman closed her eyes and took a deep breath. She walked behind the counter and pulled two forms from beneath the register.

“If you just fill out these two dispute forms, I can process them and try to get you a store credit, if you promise to stop returning things every week. It’s also assuming this is a model of bagel slicer we carry.”

“Absolutely not,” Web said.

“Excuse me?”

“No, I will fill nothing out and you’ll like it. I demand retribution.”

The clerk removed the bagel slicer from the box and noticed that the blade was entirely mangled, bent in half, and its casing was cracked. Thick black grease that smelled alarmingly similar to fresh tar on a hot August day oozed down the sides. The clerk wrote down the information from the box, simply scribbling, ‘bagel slicer…. Bad,’ and called her store’s manager for assistance. As they waited, Web tapped his fingernails impatiently upon the glass, never removing his magnified eyes from the clerk’s pimpled face.

“Sir,” she asked, “did the blade come bent like this?

Web stopped tapping his nails.


Then he began tapping again, louder and faster than before.

“Then did a bagel do this?”

“Of course not, you buffoon.”

“Then what exactly happened?” the clerk pressed.

“ ‘Justice means minding one’s own business and not meddling with other men’s concerns.’ Plato. Furthermore, what I do with my bagel slicer is my business and absolutely none of yours ”

Again, Web stopped tapping and leaned over the counter so his huge eyes came within inches of the clerk’s face. She could feel the heat of his tuna breath staining her cheeks and was frightened the fluorescent lights above might magnify through his lenses and fry her to a crisp like an ant through a magnifying glass.

A tall staunch man with moustache appeared, the store’s manager. He spoke with the girl for a moment, so that Web couldn’t overhear. While she informed the manager of the exchange, Web danced a drunken tango with an imaginary partner to the Muzak above.

“Okay, sir, can I help you?”

“ ‘Some men are born mediocre, some men achieve mediocrity and some men have mediocrity thrust upon them.’ Heller. Which one are you?"

“Whatever, man. All I know is, mediocre or not, according to our store policy, you can’t get an exchange here, nor would I give you one if you could. We don’t even sell this model, nor have we ever. I’ve told you this the last five times you’ve been in here.”

“And you call yourself a man of commerce? I want a refund, and I want this woman fired.”

“For what?”

“For my bagel slicer, of course.”

“No,” the manager said, “why do you want her fired?”

“For insolence, and for her insatiable propensity to pry into customer’s lives. Are you too blinded by her nymphet tunes?”

The manager handed the box with the bagel slicer back to Web forcefully and apologized to him for not being able to help. He also informed him that he would call security if he didn’t leave immediately and if he ever dared to step foot into the store again.

Grant stopped his waltz to take the bagel slicer. He grabbed it indignantly and stuck his yellow tongue out at the clerk and her manager.

“You do realize, I hope, that were we in the Middle Ages, I would have you both burned at the stake for your indiscretions.”

The manager put his finger to his chin and pondered this for a moment. “No, you wouldn’t.”

Web hugged the bagel slicer close to his body and turned to walk toward the front of the store. As he did, he mumbled under his breath, “Peasants.”

Without fail, the automatic doors failed to open and Web waited impatiently while they slowly slid aside. Web screamed in horror as he disappeared into the parking lot.

“Hail, horrors! Hail, infernal Kohl's! And thou, profoundest Hell!”

Web would return the following Thursday to begin the process all over again.

April 14, 2003

Top 10 Things That Sucked about My Day (In No Particular Order)

6. Oprah discussed the war with Iraq; many women were waiting to hear what they should think. Also, I was home and watching Oprah.

2. The toilet paper at work was downgraded to half-ply. With visible wood chips.

10. My accountant told me the only reason I would be getting a return this year was due to the fact I fall into the same tax bracket as unemployed single mothers. But would they date me?

8. While rummaging through a drawer in search of a girl’s number, I came across a photo of myself when I was young, thin, and happy. The number she gave me: Not her number.

1. I decided to quit cigarettes again, but saw: "Limited-Time Offer! 3 Packs for the Price of 2!" So, moral of the story: a good bargain trumps healthy lungs.

5. I checked my balance at a bodega's ATM to see if a check had cleared. I got hit with a $2.50 cover charge, which in turn thwarted my exact-to-the-penny mental balancing and caused the check I was checking to bounce.

6. The lady at the Chinese take-out place asked me if I was my father’s brother or son. Also, they were out of moo-shoo pork.

3. That's all I can think of. But I'm sure there's more.

April 11, 2003

To the Chap Who Finds This Bottled-Enclosed Message

To the chap who finds this bottled-enclosed message:

Hello there, good sir!

I trust you are safely upon sturdy ground and, I dare hope, doing well. Alas, I am not faring as solidly as you, old chap. You see, I am, by way of a shipwreck, washed ashore a quaint little island somewhere in the vast Pacific, as you may have gathered from the bottle that encased this letter. (Trite, I know, but I had limited envelope options; also, while we’re on the subject, I’d imagine the bottle is now dirt-covered and rock-beaten, yet I hope you see fit to recycle it, if it is indeed still recyclable. Given my current circumstance, I’ve certainly learned the value of preserving limited resources, and I was taught early on by my kindly mum that any good lesson learned should be passed on to others. Many thanks in advance for recycling, good sir.) Now, this island I now call home (geologically speaking, I believe, it is technically part of an archipelago, as there are twin isles due south; indeed they may have been connected in another era, but no more) seems all but uninhabited by fellow humans; there are, however, a number of seagulls taking roost, as well as the expected motley assortment of lizards and bugs. The seagulls tend to make an awful mess of the place, shite-ing upon nearly every surface. I’ve tried catching one in hopes of roasting it for supper, perhaps sautéed in a roux I’ve concocted from crushed twigs, roots, and spiders. But, unfortunately, my legs cannot keep up with the passionate flurry of the seagulls, and my plate remains meatless. O, what I’d give for a cup of Earl Grey and a raspberry scone right now! Ha-ha, the very memory stirs my loins. Er, I digress—good sir, I pray thee, send help. While I am, regrettably, unschooled in the field of astro-nomy/-logy, perhaps if I describe the constellatory patterns in the night-sky above, it would ease your attempt to pinpoint my approximate location. To the east, there is a series of stars in the formation of a smoked mackerel pâté topped with cream. Slightly northward, a configuration of stars that looks like a porcelain bowl of steak and kidney pudding, with a serving spoon beside it. Might this spoon be the "Big Dipper" of note? I do not know. Lastly, the stars just above the south-facing horizon appear, vaguely (and with the support of a hard-working imagination), in the shape of Raphael, the young Dutchman who washed ashore with me. Raphael survived the capsize, the three days as flotsam, the impact upon the rocky shore, and nearly twelve harsh days of hunger, isolation, and unyielding sunrays until he eventually succumbed to insanity and tried eating his own flesh for survival. Alas, he choked on his own shoelaces, because the foolish Dutchman didn’t think to remove his shoes before chomping on his foot! I’d always told him that hubris would be his ultimate downfall. After the fellow’s life-breath had left him, I, naturally, cooked him and ate him (I shared some with the seagulls, as I was full, and afraid the leftovers would rot in the harsh sun without proper refrigeration—but, you see, this was actually clever forethought on my part, as I was fattening up the gulls for future consumption by me). He tasted dry, yet tangy, which wasn’t surprising, as I’ve dined in Amsterdam before. ’Tis true what they say about necessity mothering invention: Once eaten, I sharpened the lad’s bones into makeshift tools. His femur and ribs made a handy hat rack; his clavicle a nice bridge for a pool cue. Sadly, these tools are largely useless to a lone castaway on an uninhabited island, with neither hats nor billiard table at hand. For the record, old chap, I do not make a habit of cooking and eating Dutchmen, or fellows from anywhere else. But, as I’ve mentioned, the gulls are hard to catch. So, based on my helpful hints—an archipelago in the Pacific, under stars that resemble steak-and-kidney pudding, smoked mackerel pâté, and Raphael, the late Dutchman—what do you estimate the odds of pigeonholing my approximate position?

I look forward to meeting you, old chap. I’ll have seagull fondue waiting for your arrival. Good day, sir, and Godspeed!

A Chap Lost at Sea

P.S. I’ve double-checked this note before sending, and it appears that the sun-and-starvation combo has affected my noodle. This letter gives the impression that the writer is, perhaps, a jolly Briton, while I was, in fact, born and raised in Frankfort, Kentucky. Indeed, this ill-fated cruise was my first venture away from my bluegrass roots. Ain’t that some dang irony for y’all?

April 10, 2003

My Huge Head

My name is Jimmy and I have an absurdly large head. It's so big, in fact, I think the most appropriate description might be that it's similar in shape to a humongous melon and in size to a heavy bag. I've heard the term "big head" used in many different contexts and I'm here to dispel the myth that it might be, in some uncanny way, a positive feature. It has not proven to be this for me. Aside from six and a half action-filled years as a mascot for my university's football team, (I was the Carnegie-Mellon Mellon), my ginormous head has made my life miserable.

I'm clearly in the minority in this country, having such a huge head. It's like I'm a novelty toy in Spencer Gifts that no one really buys. "Hey look at that guy's head, it's HUUUUUUUUUUGE." Then they move on. There are repercussions for such actions, however: hurt feelings. My hurt feelings. I soon hope to be able to inflict physical punishment as well, as I'm mastering the ancient art of voodoo. How appropriate would that be, a witch doctor with a sickly big head? I'd be like a cartoon character.

For a while, things were going well for me. People seemed to accept my grossly large head until Mike Myers had to make So I Married an Axe Murderer. That brought the fury on again as people saw it was perfectly acceptable in mainstream society to ridicule someone else's dome. If I hear one more quote from that movie I'm going to head-butt someone, smash them like a small bug on the sidewalk.

I would like to squash a popular misconception now: no, the size of my head is not proportionate to the size of my dingy. If it was, don't you think that would be the first retort? "Holy shit dude, your head is enormous." "Yeah, well, so is my penis and your mom loves it." Unfortunately, I am just no good at lying so that comeback is as non-existent as Bea Arthur's sex life.

Frequently, people refer to the size of a person's head in reference to an inflated ego. Well, let me assure you, this head here is so huge, I often can't hold it up myself HGJASHDAKJDSAHLKADF. Like that, right there -- my neck just gave way again, and I smashed my head on my keyboard. My confidence is paper-thin due to the size of my head. So please, I ask the public not to further my condition with comparisons to egomaniacs. I ask you, how can I be an egomaniac when my mother is still recuperating from giving birth to a 12-pound head? She still walks as though she passed a horse just yesterday.

Everyday events are painful for me. Why do I have to sit in the last row of a movie theater, a sporting event, or even a public speech just because I create a solar eclipse for anyone standing within ten feet behind me? I provide shade. If only my head truly were so big to house my big brain. Instead, I get brained easily and often when I play paintball. I tried camouflaging my entire head but to no avail as I couldn't reach my forehead. I have to make a trip to the local firehouse once a week to wash my hair, they hose me down from a distance.

This is my cleansing -- not of my head, but of my spirit. I have heard a few clever remarks but for those most common, I still am repulsed. So I will now salute the most imaginative statements celebrating the monstrosity that is my head.

  1. Excuse me sir, you're going to need to purchase an extra seat for your head.
  2. And would your head like anything to eat as well?
  3. That's awfully heady of you.
  4. Where's your owner?
  5. Full speed ahead.
  6. Do you have your own moon?

Maybe its not so much my big head that bothers me; it's the little things. It's always the little things in life. For example, you think it's annoying when you see someone wearing a snap-fit hat on the last snap? Well, I have to tie a rope from one end of my hat to the other. It looks like a bank's velvet rope.

In this politically correct world, I beseech you, don't forget the heads. Without the heads, there'd be nothing. Even the big ones.

April 06, 2003

Dear N.Y.T.B.R. Pt. V

The Editor
The New York Times Book Review
229 West 43rd Street
New York, N.Y. 10036

April 6, 2003

Dear N.K.O.T.B.,

All through the dark of night, I lurked by my local newsstand, half hidden by the milk crates and the Hefty bags of trash, waiting, waiting, waiting, stealthy but patient like the mighty jungle cat just so I could grab a copy of the Sunday Times in midair as it was tossed from the truck.

I checked the Book Review, before the war coverage, before the job listings.

Still, no mention of me or my book or my rap act.

At this point, it's like an elaborate joke that has misfired; it's no longer worth the punchline, but you guys are way too deep into the ruse to give up now. There is no fathomable reason for you to ignore a book when J. D. Salinger emerges from his Batcave just to endorse my Great American Novel. Salman Rushdie marches down the streets of Tehran waving the hardcover copy I signed for him, and you sit on your high N.Y.T.B.R. throne, laughing, ignoring. Jewel writes a whole volume of good poetry about my book, and you guys are just filling in the Daily Jumble.

I swear, N.Y.T.B.R., I'm almost ready to just stop writing.

Except for letters to you. Those I got plenty of.

Joshua Abraham