& Recently . . .

UPN or Made Up? by Geoff Wolinetz

Andrew Vachss, creative factory

Ned Vizzini, chill squipster

J. T. LeRoy, young Turk

Why Cheese?

Dispatches from the V.I.P. Lounge by Daniel Maurer

Polish Fact

Temperate with cold, cloudy, moderately severe winters with frequent precipitation; mild summers with frequent showers and thundershowers.

Learn a Foreign Tongue!

Learn Yiddish!
Der Tog nokh der Morgn.
The Day after Tomorrow.

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September 29, 2004

UPN or Made Up?

“Kevin Hill”

Kevin Hill is a hotshot attorney and a hotshot bachelor, until he inherits a 10-month-old baby girl. As he struggles to adapt his lifestyle in order to take care of Sarah, his law firm starts to cut back his workload because they feel he’s unfocused. Kevin, insulted by their actions, quits and lands a job at an all-female boutique law firm that is coincidentally more understanding of his situation than he expected.

“The Impersonator”

This all-new reality show showcases the country’s greatest impersonators, as they tackle characters from former president Bill Clinton to game-show host Wink Martindale. Each week, the contestants perform a set of stunning tasks designed to display their ability to adapt their voice on the fly and at the end of each episode, one unlucky contestant goes home. Rich Little hosts the show, which will provide a voice-over contract with Disney to the winner.

“Second Time Around”

Despite putting on a loving display for their old marriage counselor, Jackson and Ryan are shocked after he writes an article claiming they still face the same problems they had the first go-round, but when they confront him, Jackson and Ryan realize he may be more right than they’d like to admit. Later, when Jackson decides to join Nigel’s country club, Ryan is coerced into pretending she’s more of a high-society socialite than she is in order to impress the committee members; not wanting to conform, Ryan plays the role to the extreme and sabotages the interview process.

“The Queen Latifah Show”

Jacqui (Queen Latifah) is a girl that always been “one of the guys,” but after a friend gets her a spa day for her birthday, Jacqui all of the sudden catches the eye of Jacque, a hotshot stockbroker and a longtime object of her affection. But when they finally go out to dinner, Jacqui finds out that Jacque may not be all that she thought he was. Later, Jacqui will learn how to embrace her new found beauty without comprising her “just one of the guys” attitude.

“Half & Half”

Half-sisters Mona and Dee Dee have only one thing in common: their father. Growing up separately, these two virtual strangers suddenly become neighbors in the same San Francisco apartment building and experience the challenges of sisterhood for the first time. Mona, a budding music executive, was raised to be an independent woman who does things in her own free-spirited and sometimes sardonic style. By contrast, younger sister Dee Dee is a privileged honor-roll college student searching for her own identity. Now in their twenties, these two vastly contrasting women are discovering the advantages and joys that the special bond of sisterhood offers. But their relationship is not without its problems, as they often clash on everything from morals to money to men. Meanwhile Spencer, Mona’s best friend, becomes the conscience of the group and helps build a bridge between the women.

Crappy shows really on UPN: “Half & Half,” “Second Time Around,” and “Kevin Hill.” Thankfully fake crappy shows: “The Impersonator” and “The Queen Latifah Show.”

September 28, 2004

Andrew Vachss, creative factory


1. Man alive! You crank out creative product like you’re hepped up on speed. What’s your writing schedule or routine look like, and how do you thwart writer’s block?

Andrew Vachss

I don’t have a schedule, much less a routine. Writing isn’t my job; it’s an organic extension of my real work, another weapon in the only “holy war” worthy of the name. My life is triage—I respond to whatever needs my attention at any particular time, be it a case, a crisis, or a campaign. I don’t have an agent, don’t sign contracts for books, don’t do proposals or pitches, and don’t accept advances. Thus, no deadlines. When I finish a project, I turn it in. For me, there’s no such thing as “writer’s block.” Writing is (part of) my job, and it would never occur to me not to show up for work.

Mr. Vachss is the author of 18 novels, many graphic novels, and much more. His Web site is The Zero(5.0laf).

Ned Vizzini, chill squipster


1. As the editors of Y.P.R. approach the age of 30, we increasingly find ourselves in fits of white-hot jealousy and berserk outrage when we learn of young success stories. Looking back on your (slightly) younger days, were you a bratty little twerp, or were you cool and confident? Basically: what’s it like to be a teenage literary rock star?

Ned Vizzini

I was never really a teenage literary rock star. I did write for New York Press and go to their parties when I was 15, but “literary rock star”? I don’t think those words go together—writers don’t get to be rock stars. We don’t get recognized and we don’t get many girls (although it’s tough to be a writer and not have a girlfriend; we tend to attract them and they tend to be very smart and cool). I was always very focused on writing and getting published and staying in touch with my readers, so I didn’t really have time to be a bratty little twerp. As for being cool and confident, I’ve never been that. I’ve been hyperactive and confident, maybe—guardedly confident. Timidly confident.

I ain’t no rock star. Even the rock stars aren’t rock stars anymore. I’m just a stressed-out little nothing trying to make my way in the world. I happen to have published two books and to not have a day job—but believe me, there are lots of perils in living that way. I’m kind of jealous of you guys—you’ve got a .org.

Mr. Vizzini is the author of Be More Chill and the host of Feed the Young Writers, tonight (September 28th, 2004) at P.S. 122 in New York City.

J. T. LeRoy, young Turk


1. “Terminator”? What kind of a pen name is that? Please explain/defend yourself.

J. T. LeRoy

I was tricking on the street and it was a name these other boy kids gave me as a joke because it is so opposite my personality.This guy would always come around and ask for Terminator. I really liked the name. It was my street name. It made me feel powerful like I had a knife in my pocket. It was like trying on another persona.

Actually there were a few Terminators that hustled... a whole army of us. Some used to tag around the neighborhood and once an interviewer asked me if I had done it. It was pretty funny. Wish I could've taken credit for it, but I had a handwashing thing, spray paint woulda drove me nuts!

That’s how I identified myself at the time, that was my life. My first story was published under the name Terminator. I guess also being on the street and all it would not have been smart to be more specific about my identity in case I wrote about something that pissed someone off.

J. T. LeRoy is the author of The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things, Sarah, and Harold’s End. His Web site is JTLeRoy.com.

September 27, 2004

Why Cheese?

Cheese-Fancying Readers of Y.P.R.

In our (now antiquated) submissions guidelines, we asked writers to include with their work a list of three reasons why they liked to eat cheese. There was no good reason for asking this—or if there was we've forgotten it. In any case, we've got all this raw data that is not particularly interesting (except, maybe, in that it exists at all) or useful, but it is collected. So, if you're really, really bored or really, really curious about why people like to eat cheese, enjoy. (And, if you are, in fact, really, really curious about why people like to eat cheese, please do tell us why that interests you: i_like_people_who_like_cheese @ yankeepotroast.org.)

  1. The mouth feel.
  2. The saltiness of it.
  3. Everything’s better with cheddar.

  1. Yellow.
  2. Melty.
  3. Milky.

  1. A woman needs calcium at all points in her life.
  2. What would nachos be without it?
  3. Three words: Polly-O String Cheese.

  1. Peanut butter on nachos tastes terrible, especially if you’re using those lime-flavored chips.
  2. Eaten in mass quantities, cheese can have a binding effect, which, for someone with my “condition,” can be extremely appealing.
  3. If you eat the real milk-based kind, it makes vegans mad.

I like cheese because:
  1. Cheese is the only weakness of the evil bacteria living in my esophagus.
  2. I only eat foods with double vowels in them (I go to Ikea a lot).
  3. If I didn’t chew on cheese, I’m sure I’d start smoking again.

  1. Any food with holes in it—what’s not to love? Damn, sister, cheese!
  2. It comes in a wide array of colors ranging from blue to orange to white and back again.
  3. You can use cheese as a scapegoat for any unpleasant personal odor. Not many other foods can stand up to that.

I promise to lavish your desk with my favorite cheeses... muenster, provolone and cheddar. But I must confess I don’t like any of them all that well.

Cheese: I like to eat cheese because I am lactose intolerant. I like to eat cheese because I am lactose intolerant and cheese forces me into fits of vomiting and violent diarrhea. I like to eat cheese because sometimes when you are out to dinner or a guest in someone’s home and they are not exactly people you know terribly well, in that case, fits of vomiting and violent diarrhea might not be the most appropriate place to take the conversation so instead you smile a bit and say yes I like to eat cheese and then quietly excuse yourself to the bathroom.

I like lots of cheese melted, covering, stringy in a large pan of lasagna.

  1. It is the only food group outside of wine and crackers.
  2. It comes in yellow or white or both.
  3. Some cheeses are green but you can still eat them; I particularly like their toes.

Uno: Mold is one of the four basic food groups in my home, though not by choice.

Dos: Blue cheese, Stilton, and Roquefort have pleasing striations of mold that provide a lovely color complement to the greenish blue hair on the celery in my crisper.

Tres: Cheese is creamy.

I do not like to eat cheese; I find it has more of an effect if snorted.

  1. My toes don’t know what to do with it.
  2. Either I eat the cheese or the cheese eats me.
  3. The thing to do is eat cheese and not be afraid of cutting it.

My reasons for eating cheese are: 1) because I’m not lactose intolerant; 2) because I know people who ARE lactose intolerant and like to gloat like a bastard; and 3) because the Gods of Dairy demand it.

I like cheese because it cures the shakes.
I like cheese because it coats the throat.
I like cheese because cheese likes me.

Three reasons I like to eat cheese: Snob appeal and because I am lactose-obsessive. Oh, and it tastes good, especially brie.

Three facts about cheese: Sometimes cheese is yellow. Sometimes cheese is not. I don’t like blue cheese.

I like cheese because
  1. It melts.
  2. It’s a great camouflaging device for Taco Bell.
  3. A cheeseburger is just a hamburger without it.

Why I like to eat cheese:

Reason 1: It enhances the flavor of everything except my weekday breakfast food (Frosted Mini-Wheats ®).

Reason 2: With the right mysterious organic material and a warm, damp environment—and plenty of patience—I can make my own.

Reason 3: It goes perfectly with beer (I’m a pretty refined dude like that).

As to the three reasons why I eat cheese, well, it’s all so simple, isn’t it? It melts, it sounds funny when you say it, and it’s incredibly fattening.

For the record, I’m lactose intolerant and enjoy cheese only when I’m feeling cruel and self-deprecating. And Pepper Jack preferably, then.

I like cheese because it is yellow, white, and brown—and often in the same bite.

I would tell you all sorts of things about cheese, but I’ve given up discussing dairy products for Lent. Sorry.

I eat cheese for the following three reasons: location, location, location.

As for cheese, I don’t care how fucking runny it is.

The cheese-eating reasons: it keeps me alive, it keeps me smiling, it keeps me sexy.

Paper beats cheese, although scissors beats ’em both.

There cannot possibly be three valid reasons to like eating cheese.

Three reasons I like to eat cheese:
  1. Sometimes it is yellow, and sometimes it is white. And sometimes, yellow cheese is white, in the North.
  2. It makes a great snack. Not so great a meal. I like snacks.
  3. When you say it, you get to say “e” for a really long time. And if you say “eat cheese” you get say “e” twice.

I like cheese because it is rotten.
I like cheese because it sweats.
I like cheese because I can eat it molten.

I like my cheese the same way I like my men: smelly, bitter, and in individually wrapped slices. Do a lot of people tell you they like to cut the cheese?

I can not say that I have often reflected on why I like cheese, however under duress my three top reasons are as follows:
  1. It melts better than most metallic substances.
  2. It satisfies my desire to travel to the moon.
  3. It rhymes with ‘jeeeeeeeeez’.
I would go on, but my provolone omelette is on fire.

  1. To keep cows employed.
  2. I have grandparents in Wisconsin (for all I know).
  3. In a still vain attempt to overcome my lactose intolerance. (Oops! Gotta run!)

Three reasons I like to eat cheese:
  1. Radical defiance of my body’s lactose intolerance,
  2. It’s so darn good, and
  3. It seems like something worthwhile.

Oh, and I like to eat cheese because it makes my farts stink, it makes me sleepy and it triggers my irritable bowel syndrome.

I like cheese because: Pizza would be awful without it; it’s Atkins-approved (Yeah, right. If someone says “no/lo carb” to me one more time I’m gonna kick them hard), and it’s one way of catching mice if you live in the city. (I do.)

Cheese is good. I like it on Packer fans’ heads. I don’t like it on toes.

Three reasons I like eating cheese:
  1. It is delightfully squishy—like the bread at the supermarket they won’t let you squeeze.
  2. The smell of it stays on your fingers all day. You can shake someone’s hand, and they will come away knowing you’ve had cheese.
  3. Cartoon mice like cheese. How many other things in life afford you the opportunity of pretending to be a cartoon mouse without social scrutiny?

  1. I spent time in Wisconsin.
  2. I wrote an essay on Swiss cheese once.
  3. I want to go to the moon.

And about the cheese: reason: 1) it’s great with olives (not so with pickled onions), 2) try it grated in the centre split of a hot dog with chili and barbecue sauce plus, of course, fried onions and 3) the reässurance that despite the high calcium content protecting teeth for all those many, many uses, the teeth factor detracts from the fat content which should be ignored when considering brie is nothing less than sublime.

  1. I peel back cheese strings and pretend they’re pompoms, do the cheddar cheer.
  2. I like to smush cheese between my teeth and gums.
  3. Saying the various names of cheese makes me feel sexy, or intellectual, or both... repeat after me, slowly in a low, husky, kinda C.F.M. voice: Gorgonzola... Edam... Gouda... Cool, eh?

  1. I get it free from The Man.
  2. It tastes better than soap.
  3. It’s often nontoxic.

  1. It’s easy to slice.
  2. It’s a traditional family snack.
  3. It’s ideal in grilled cheese sandwiches.

The author’s interest in cheese is varied and cannot be contained within three simple dictates. As a random sampling, he would have to say he holds cheese close to his heart because:
  1. His heart is where the cheese is going to wind up anyway, so why not give it a brief preview of the neighborhood.
  2. When it is kept out of refrigeration and wrapped tightly in plastic, it produces a patina of sweat that gives the cheese, regardless of type or strength, an alluring shimmer.
  3. Eating it rightly makes him feel like a big shot.

O.K., I like cheese because it’s not healthy; because it wouldn’t be a cheeseburger without it; and I like to melt it to boiling point and drip it on my enemies.

To “eat cheese” is to rat somebody out.

I eat a lot of cheese because I’m a vegetarian, because it has a lot of calcium, and because I like it.

Yo, cheese. Three reasons. First, two words: melted on a stick. Right? Mmmm. Second? Cheesy s’mores, the perfect Hallowe’en treat. Graham cracker, chocolate, cheese slab, marshmallow, graham cracker. Mmmm. Third, it has something to do with Babe the Pig... wait, it’s coming to me... a voice... the “Behold: The power of cheese” voice is in the movie Babe. See? So six degrees of Kevin Bacon goes like this: Kevin Bacon; Bacon=pig; pig=Babe; then the part about the voice; then the Cheese guy and the “Behold” thingy and WHAMO! You guys are related to Kevin Bacon.

As to cheese:
  1. It melts real good.
  2. Macaroni wouldn’t be the same without it.
  3. Wallace likes it, especially Wensleydale.

  1. Cheese can be dunked in coffee.
  2. Cheese is often found between the legs of unwashed convicts.
  3. I like eating cheese because I am (admittedly) Caucasian.

Eating cheese sucks.

Dispatches from the V.I.P. Lounge

Dear Brian,

I have been inside the V.I.P. lounge for fifteen minutes now. It is lonely without you. So much noise, so much movement, so many Kangol hats. I have been preparing for this moment for so long, but I never knew it would be like this. I have met a man who tells me he has been here for three hours. Can you imagine, Brian—three hours! He is very nice and has been helping me, showing me the right way to hold my Crystal, etc. I have not been here long but already I can feel a sort of solidarity among the Very Important People here—but that does not mean I don’t miss you horribly. I am sorry that the bouncer Pedro didn’t let you in with me, but I told you not to wear that Indian camise, it is just not very flattering on you. Say hello to all of my friends out there in the main room, tell them to keep on dancing.

Much love,

Dear Brian,

I have been in the V.I.P. room for two hours now and I have so much to say. It is like nothing I have experienced before. I don’t think I can begin to describe it to someone who has not been here; the others say they have the same problem. The flashing lights, the futuristic wall decorations, the free cosmos the Vietnamese busboy keeps bringing me. I think of you often, but I must stay here. I hope you understand. They have just put on “Back that Ass Up” (the bass is amazing here, not like in the main room at all) and a man in a Prada tracksuit says he is going to get me real absinthe as soon as his driver is back in cell range. Imagine, Brian, your girlfriend drinking absinthe! I do miss dancing in the main room with you and the others, but I feel like this is the place for me to be right now, I know you will understand.

Remembering you fondly,

Dear ???

Five hours. So wasted . . . Random guy’s hand . . . left thigh . . . Who let dogs out?


Dear Patron of Club Excalibur,

It is with our most sincere and heartfelt sympathies that we must inform you that your girlfriend,     Kitty     will not be returning from the V.I.P. lounge. Because Club Excalibur is sensitive to the fact that your bereavement may leave you eager for any available information about the tragic loss of your girlfriend, we feel it is our duty to inform you that she     jetted with some playa     while she was     (conscious / unconscious)     .

If you wish to talk to someone about your grief, please call 245-1221 and press 1 to reach a Club Excalibur grief counselor. You will be charged $2.95 per minute but you will also receive $1 off your next $13 drink at Excalibur (bottom-shelf liquors only).

With sincere empathy,
Pedro “Crusher” Camacho

September 14, 2004

Conversations with My Mother Which Suggest She May Secretly Be a Primatologist

“All right mom, I’m taking off to go see Travis.”

“So then ‘Travis’ would be one of your core friends for whom you have no romantic feelings and to whom you can relate because of shared identification as being homosexual.”

“Uhh... what?”

“9:25 p.m. … subject… quote... taking off… end quote… to visit ‘Travis.’ ...platonically(??)”

“Mom, what are you writing?”


*   *   *

“10:07 p.m. Subject consuming hot beverages outside a café with homosexual male friend, ‘Travis.’ Two females sit beside the two males and participate in conversation, at times laughing. Female presence: possible indication of gay males’ desire for female communication unfulfilled romantically.”

“Did you follow me here, mom?”

“Naturalistic observation henceforth terminated due to discovery of the researcher by subject.”

“Why are you talking into a tape recorder?”


*   *   *

“11:42 p.m. Subject should be in bed. Researcher has changed locations to a spot underneath an adjacent table and is fighting an urge to condemn subject for smoking.”

“Who are you, mom? Jane Goodall?”

“Subject has again spotted the researcher. Appears livid. Possible normal expression of adolescent resent for parent in the midst of burgeoning self-identity.”

“Am I an ape to you?”

“Subject continues to vent his rage towards the researcher. Fascinating.”

“Could you just like, maybe, try to relate for once instead of examining me under some sort of cold, myopic lens?”

“Ow. Headache.”

“Are you incapable of that?”

“. . .”


“Go to your enclosed habitat.”

September 13, 2004

Hal Sparks, funny person


1. Who do you encounter more often, fans who think you're really queer as folk or fans who think you really love the 80s?

Hal Sparks

I encounter more 80s fans than "Q.A.F." but I think that's because VH1 is in 80 million homes and Showtime is in 25 million. It's a numbers game. The real question is which fans are more... fanatical! I would say the 80s group wins again. But maybe that's cause most of them are younger... again it seems to be a numbers game.1

1Editor's note: Notice how the subtleties of the interviewer's question (i.e., "Do people think you're gay or nostalgic?") totally flew by Mr. Sparks's nuance detector. Love ya, Hal.

Mr. Sparks really likes the last few decades of American pop culture. His Web home is halsparks.com.

Patton Oswalt, funny person


1. Hey, you're pretty funny dude. Could you tell us a joke?

Patton Oswalt

Yes! I'm a professional comedian. It's fun, always having jokes and funny stories to tell. I love making people laugh. Thank you for asking!

Mr. Oswalt is a professional comedian. He loves making people laugh. His Web home is pattonoswalt.com.

Todd Barry, funny person


1. Does male pattern baldness directly amplify one's sarcasm?

Todd Barry

I was sarcastic long before I saw any signs of M.P.B.

Mr. Barry is a standup comedian all over the television set. His Web home is todbarry.com.

Marc Maron, funny person


Dear Mr. Moron,

1. What was your immediate emotional response when you noticed that we accidentally misspelled your name: Did you instantly forgive an apparently honest typo, as you’ve surely encountered dozens of times before, or did your blood boil with repressed rage from years of schoolyard taunts?

Marc Maron

I always assume when someone writes Moron instead of Maron that it’s intentional. I immediately go into attack mode. Before I even read what the letter said some part of my mind was preparing to feed you your ass with words. Then I go to the typo scenario, which is different only in the tone. I point out the typo, address the points in the letter, but ultimately your ass gets fed to you with words for such a stupid oversight. That all said, good luck with your pamphlet or online ’zine. I’m sure it will have a tremendous impact on the people you choose to annoy with it. Remember, always B.C.C., so no one needs to know just how sad and desperate the situation really is.

Mr. Maron is a standup comic, actor, and writer who has appeared in countless clubs, in film, and Off Broadway and is the author of The Jerusalem Syndrome (based on his one-man show). He is currently co-host of “Morning Sedition” on new radio network Air America. His Web site is marcmaron.com.

Kim Needs to Talk

from: Kim Bosch [kbosch@uoguelph.ca]
to: Y.P.R. [ypr@yankeepotroast.org]

My dear Y.P.R.,

Can you give me $48,000 dollars? Canadian dollars? I ask only because I really need the money. You see I would like to try and go to school in N.Y.C. Funny really. APPARENTLY it costs a SHITload to go to school in the U.S. Maybe I’m prematurely ejaculating with hope here, since I have yet to apply or even get in anywhere.

Let me tell you about what’s going on with me . . . let me, rewind.

In May I finished my undergrad and now I’m working in Scarborough (Toronto’s ’hood). Office shit. I won’t bore you with the details… but I will say this: I’m the youngest person who works here and everyone is trying to suck the life out of me in hopes that it will smooth their wrinkles.

I’m living with my parents in the rural suburbs of Ontario. It takes me an hour to get to work everyday. My father postulates everything out loud:

Dad: {{{Drinking a can of Coke}}}
Me: Did you know that Coke is in trouble for putting saccharin in their fountain drinks?
Dad: Saccharin?
Me: Yeah, it causes cancer in lab rats.
Dad: Oh… well, that’s O.K. I’m not planning on rubbing it on my skin.

My mother is alarmed when I make both too much and too little noise. If I’m making TOO much noise she worries that I’m restless and constipated, but if I make too little noise she worries that I’m dead. And she likes to do things… things like coming into my room to take the laundry from my laundry hamper at 7 a.m.

My Irish boyfriend is now living here for good. With me. At my parents’ house. This is both great and scary. However I find myself feeling boxed in at times, like when he’s teaching himself to play “Here Comes the Sun” on his guitar… OVERTOP of a CD playing in the room already. Plus immigration shit sucks. Things like fingerprints and proving our love for each other to governmental strangers.

And of course the pressure of marriage. That everything would be much easier if we got married. And my biological clock is causing me to have dreams about tiny little Thumbelina-type children who I squash within the first hours of their birth, only to have them come back to life, horribly disfigured, asking me to change a diaper they aren’t wearing…

And a brother who still, at 25, farts on my head.

Where am I going? What am I doing? Where have all the flowers (of my youth) gone? Don’t answer these questions… they’re hypothetical and beneath both you and I.

Back to life,
Back to reality.


September 09, 2004

Three Quick Ones

Really Tough Improv Suggestions

You are . . .

. . . a potted plant.

. . . the tailpipe of a car with the engine turned off.

. . . a bowtie.

. . . a discarded toothpick.

. . . frozen stiff in a block of ice (without any kind of funny look on your face—in fact, no one can see you, but you’re in there, way down deep, somewhere).

. . . mold.

Every Third Word in the Answer to the Question “What Is the Meaning of Life?”

____ ____ godhead ____ ____ Manitoba ____ ____ foreskin ____ ____ redemption. ____ ____ agony ____ ____ ocelot ____ ____ Wimbledon. ____ ____ should ____ ____ mankind ____ ____ Spielberg ____ ____ infinity? ____ ____ sublime ____ ____ libidinous ____ ____ Microsoft ____ ____ rebirth? ____ ____ [glyph representing the Artist Formerly Known as Prince] ____ ____ ecstasy!

Rethinking the Potential Consequences of Two Bad Habits

Cross your eyes: go blind.

Masturbate: stay that way.

September 08, 2004

How to Make the Most of This Desert Island Experience

You don’t need a friendly volleyball to keep yourself sane. (It’s a known fact that most volleyballs are introverts, anyway.) Any practical castaway will tell you that the main regret is not loss of companionship, but loss of TiVo. How does the savvy shipwreck survivor keep himself busy in these crazy times? Now voyager, read on.

Mr. Stranded Builds His Dream House
You’ve searched the island and seen neither hide nor tail of anything breathing (human or otherwise). Now it’s time to build yourself the sort of home you’ve dreamed of having (when you were five years old). Lucky for you, palm trees are easier to uproot than your mainstream suburban elm or oak. Construct a bamboo roof, coconut crockery, and swinging vines to take you from the bathroom to the kitchen (not that there’s much of a difference between the two). Imagine if there were living creatures around to see this! You would be the envy of The Joneses (or in this case, the Swiss Family Robinson.)

Save Time in a Bottle
There’s many an eBay enthusiast who would pay good money for a bottle of desert-island sand. Quite possibly there’s a landfill in your little spot of paradise, and it’s your job to claim it. After all, time is no object. If you do find some bottles or cans, it will be in your best interest to fill ’em up with that primo desert-island dirt. Both a time waster AND a lucrative business venture.

Mime Your Way through It
Why waste time and energy talking to yourself, when you can waste even more time and energy miming every little thing you do? The same applies to every little thing you ever wanted to do, be it climb Mount Everest backwards or single-handedly operate your own fast-food franchise. The world is your oyster, which is coïncidentally one of the only foods that you could logically serve at said fast-food franchise. When you tire of oysters, you can mime yourself up a couple o’ sloppy joes… and in turn mime yourself a new career as lunch lady.

The Story of Your Life
It might seem a daunting task to write out the story of your life in sand with just a stick to guide you. Just think what Leo Tolstoy might have done had he been a castaway! Consider every square mile to be just another page, and get cracking. If the tide rolls in and muddles your masterpiece, don’t fret. After a few months of tirelessly attempting this endeavor, you will be out of your mind (or on your way there). That way, even if no one ever does rescue you, your hallucinations will provide the potential for a rich fantasy life. Supermodels and pink bunnies, here you come! Just stay away from the rabid ones… and the bunnies can be a little edgy sometimes, too.

It’s Fashion Week . . . for Weeks on End
Another favorite of the castaway crowd is to start your own line of women’s fashion accessories. All you need is the hair on you head and the beard on your shipwrecked chin-chin! If you’re rescued, you can sell your dazzling hair follicle creations to posh shops in New York and Los Angeles. Imagine a beautiful woman walking down an urban street, your mustache dangling deliciously close to her cleavage. She pauses to adjust your beard around her waist. Oh, marooned mastermind, what’s not to like?

September 07, 2004

I Was a Virgin Sex Doll

I am an inflatable doll purchased at the Hustler store. The girl who purchased me inflated me, dressed me, then stuffed me into her single-occupancy desk before darting away in stealth.

I am trying not to look conspicuous, because I am an inflatable doll. It appears I am the only doll here, in fact. Lest I be cast as a pariah, I look straight ahead, unflinching. If I look straight ahead inconspicuously, perhaps then the professor will not see me. If he does see me, perhaps I will blend in.

My vaginal cavity is lubricated for the convenience of lonely men. The teacher is using diagrams to explain a pi bond. For an additional fee, I may be outfitted with a voice box which releases a sultry croon when my hand is squeezed. The pi bond has a maximum capacity of two electrons. I am not wearing panties.

The professor concludes the lecture and turns on the lights. I am made of supple plastic resins, and shine. Number of electrons, max, in a sigma bond? No one raises their hand. In the silence that ensues the professor looks at me. My hair is synthetic blond. Can you take that question? My breasts are enormous. Katherine? A large seam where two thin plies of polyvinyl chloride converge in a poorly concealed and bulging excess runs down the side of my head, down and around my arms, my abdomen, my legs, and up the other side. Katherine, I must say you’re looking rather different today. My fingernails are stained red, but translucent, and through them I can see the desk. In fact, you look rather … inflatable? The spout through which I may be inflated and properly deflated is located on my toes. While corporal punishment has been outlawed, Katherine, I think I’m judiciously entitled to make an exception. My inflatable shell has been pierced by a foreign object and my innards are flushing through the puncture wound with a whoosh. You are deflating. I collapse upon the seat and the tile floor. This is how it all ends. In laughter, in failure. I was a virgin sex doll.

September 02, 2004

Deleted Lines from Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Speech at the Republican National Convention

My fellow Americans, I implore you to reëlect George W. Bush, unless, of course, you want to get a Raw Deal.

Vote George W. Bush for your Commando-in-Chief!

John Kerry claims to have spent Christmas in Cambodia . . . but I directed Christmas in Connecticut!

If your front porch collapses and kills eight dogs that support school vouchers, you are a Republican!

If you’ve ever put a tattoo of Ronald Reagan on layaway, you are a Republican!

If you’ve ever stolen clothes from a scarecrow to wear to a pro-life rally, you are a Republican!

If you’ve ever gone to a family reunion to meet women who share your views in favor of school prayer, it’s more likely than not that you are a Republican!

If you’ve ever used a toilet seat as a picture frame to display your N.R.A. membership, there is an incredibly good chance that you are a Republican!

If your doctor bills you in chickens, which you gladly pay due to your staunch opposition to universal single-payer healthcare, you, my friend, are a Republican!

If you own a home that is mobile, five cars that aren’t and a subscription to The American Spectator, I’d venture a guess that you are a Republican!

If biker gangs back down from your mama after she presents evidence discounting global warming, I would go out on a limb and say you are a Republican!

If you’ve ever been too drunk to fish while on a weekend getaway with Vice President Dick Cheney and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, you, for all intents and purposes, are a Republican!

If your idea of quality entertainment is a six-pack and a bug-zapper and your idea of marriage is a union between one man and one woman, you guessed it, you are a Republican!

If you mow your lawn and find a car with a “Ford/Dole ’76” bumper sticker on it, all signs point to you being a Republican!

If you refer to the fifth grade as “my senior year” and affirmative action as “reverse racism”, I’d bet dollars to donuts that you are a Republican!