All posts by Vince

Another lousy regret

I could have beaten that video game. I could have but I didn’t. Why? Too much work, man. Once you get to Tyson, Punch Out! is a really hard game, at least if you don’t use the cheat codes. Nothing is as intimidating to a ten year old video game nut than those big, lightning quick badasses the game throws at you in the final stages. Soda Popinski, The Sandman, Super Macho Man. And of course the King of the Ring himself.

Even making it to the final match was a huge deal. Before anyone had done it, Tyson was a myth, a holy grail. No one could even get to him, no one ever had, not even the game’s designers. Then one night, my friend’s brother “got to Tyson”, and my friend called to say “Guess what? My big brother got to Tyson! Wanna come over?” And I said no. Maybe that’s why I never bothered to beat the game: my false pride displayed at that moment kept reasserting itself – I was above Tyson. Plus, it had already been done, you know, that particular mountain had been ascended. There were other, newer, cooler new games to beat.

But probably it was mostly that I was scared to death of Tyson. That fucker was so fast!

I tried playing Mike Tyson’s Punch Out! again a few years ago, and I was terrible. I couldn’t remember any of the opponents’ patterns, and what I did remember was exactly the opposite of what they actually were. Glass Joe kicked my ass like six times. This was around the time I discovered I had become terrible at all video games, great and small, even (especially) ones at which I had once been indisputably the master. Kid Icarus, Metroid, The Legend of Zelda. When I was 11 I ruled, and now I sucked at them all, and even more at the newer, faster, brighter, more aggressive games they’re marketing today. Super Mario Kart? Forget it. My female friends kick my ass at that. My reflexes are molasses.

So I’m left here with my $4,000 gigahertz-up-the-ass-mostly-for-game-playing PC, waiting impatiently for the release of SimCity 4 (the time between Punch Out! and SimCity could usefully be called The Rise of the InterCaps in VideoGame Titles), and I’ve become the dorkiest of dorks: the “mature” video game player. What’s next, flight simulators and massive “joysticks”?

God, I want a Playstation 2 for Christmas! I want that youth back! Gimme it back! Just for one day! I swear I can beat them all. I swear it.

Batting practice

Sometimes before I sit down to “write” (about twice a year), I loosen up with a little batting practice – just, you know, writing whatever comes to mind. Usually this nonsense goes straight in the trash, to be followed shortly by whatever serious, feature-type bit I attempt to write afterwards.

Once in a while the results are just embarassing enough, though, to publish shamelessly. This is from mid- to late-2000, judging from various personal subject matter clues. The subconscious is a frightening thing.

Before We Begin:

I vomited up the little bits. It was the technicolor of Supreme Sea Spray, my old favorite juice flavor.

Consider it done, Your Highness.

Yes, the payment has been made.

Unfortunately, your breath stinks too badly for me to even consider doing that right now.

Vicarious consumption, eating patterns unblemished by ruin.

Thousands of times, yes.

No, I never have. When did you?

Cars kept passing us, I thought he was going to actually stop in the middle of the road.

Even on the second date, you wouldn’t?

God, I hate this kind of cornice piece. Look at that fucking dental molding.

The crows kept making noise outside the window, and I couldn’t finish. I looked right in her eyes and I couldn’t finish.

Reset color geom size center.

Warp and weft, man, warp and weft.

She dove under and the current just carried her right into its mouth. Bit her in half, they said.

It’ll sting you, that’s for sure. Don’t go in there.

This bottle’s mostly full. Use this one. No, use this one. It’s pretty full.

I hate the way your butt pokes out of those jeans. Get some real pants for God’s sake.

This money’s not worth the shit it’s printed on.

I haven’t escaped, I’ve just been forcing myself to stay in there this whole time. Wouldn’t you?

I mean, look at her. She’s like teeth on a chainsaw blade.

The rain keeps blowing in the blinds and they keep knocking over the things on the window ledge.

Her hair. Nothing is like her hair. Her hair is like Nothing.

Lose the robe, baby, let’s get this show on the road. Ok, lights!

Haven’t you got the foggiest idea how long it took me to get those in there?

Read all about it

From the files, circa 1999. What began as a freeform writing exercise ended up as a pretty blatant rip-off of The Onion, if anything so blatant can even be termed a rip-off, as opposed to a misguided homage or pastiche or whathaveyou.

Eco-Librarian At B-School Is My Confidante, Says Disgraced Oil Executive

“Comfort Zone” Celebrates Grand Opening
New Adult Themestaurant Promises To Keep At Least 10 Feet Of Distance Between All Occupants

Mallady, My Lady Opens Off Broadway, On Crapway
New Street To Serve As Haven For Cliched Fluff Of Musical Theater

Stethoscope Probes Pope
Pope: “There’s nothing wrong down there.”

Halibut Lodge Formal Complaint Against Jokester’s Cheap Puns
Comic Tom Fullery: “Why Do I Crack Wise About These Fish All The Time? Just For The Halibut!”

Bottle Opener In Second Drawer To Right Of Sink
No Wait, First Drawer To Right Of Sink. How About Under Sink. In Cabinet Above Sink? On Top Of Fridge?

AUTOS: All-Latin Jukebox Built In To El Camino

EDUCATION: “Bagel” Popular With Math Teacher, Dorks
“Smear The Queer” Popular With Special Ed Teacher, Retards

MEDICINE: First-Ever Case Of Lapdanceriasis Identified, Diagnosed, Treated In Poorly-Lit Back Room

COMMUNITY: “All-Day Event” At Area Racetrack Draws Crowd, Annoys Local Man
“Blatant Attempt To Raise Money For Spousal Boob Job”

HOME ECONOMICS: Lotion Deficit Brought On By Frequent Visits To “Pants Bar”

CULTURE: Unprovoked Hitchcockianism Wrecks Perfectly Good Slasher Pic

SPORTS: Georgia Superstars, King George III, Sweep Nebraska Nipples 86-69

Wander up

Oh, hi there.

I suppose I should have been helping out with the First Seminannual Daily Hey Catch-up Freakout Event, but I’ve been sort of dry on content. Lucas deserves a break, though, so here I go.

Here’s a poem I wrote for a girl one time. I sent it to her and I think she liked it, but things never really went anywhere. Maybe just as well, we weren’t really into singin’ the same kinds of Christmas songs anyway.

Some of you will no doubt see right through this riddle and devine who the recipient, indeed, was. Well, good for you.

“a gross sin lecture”

A recluse is strong.
Select a gross ruin.

Censure a toss girl
a screen-gilt Russo.

Girl, sort us a scene
(a recess girl, not us.)

I run a secret gloss,
a relic russet song.

A nice slug resorts
a nice gross result,

a gross incest lure.
Resist a cruel song,

a cruel sister song
(a ‘cruel’ is ten gross.)

A census store girl,
escorts a lug siren.

Cage, less iron rust =
angelic Eros truss.

(Rig nose-lace truss,
lace sure is strong.)

Sin, rustle corsage,
creating sure loss–

nor is tussle grace,
lost sunrise grace.

“Nuclear Regis Toss!”
sung Sister Oracle.

Clear surge isn’t so
clear I guess (snort.)

Stern social surge,
clang is sour, terse.

Sure, no less tragic.
Tragic lesson, sure.

So resent surgical
sunset, garlic rose

Girl causes Sterno
(‘cause girl so stern.)

Caress it sure, long.
Caress is true, long.

Caress “Senor Guilt.”
Caress, let us groin.

Sure, sign scare ‘lot.
Sure sign lost race.

Race loss isn’t urge,
coarse sunset girl.

Care less, sung Tori.
Care less, so grunt I.

“Less rigour, ascent!”
sung Sir O’ercastle.

“Slur Ocean-Tigress!”
(gross inert clause.)

Care, grit, soulness.

Sure, go sin scarlet.

He so smart

“I smart,” said President George W. Bush.

Today, in front of millions of Americans, President George W. Bush, known to most as “W”, and to some as “GW”, unilaterally proclaimed that he is smart.

“A whole lotta people say to me, behind my back, that I am dumb,” said the president.

“That gets me pretty steamed,” he continued, twisting his mouth and staring at a space three feet in front of his face. “Because I smart.”

“I plenty smart.”

Hit it, Maestro

Closet musicalist, criminal mastermind and US Vice President Dick “The Chain” Cheney conducts the US Armed Forces Men’s A Cappella Chorus (informally known as the Hat And Brim Club) in the third movement of “My Evilness Is Conspicuously Vile” — a four hour epic choral symphony composed by Cheney himself, in what he says was a post-coronary artistic epiphany.

Ashcroft? Shatner?

Oh, this is too much. This is just too much.

The Brits are reporting that “since John Ashcroft became US attorney general last year, workers at the department of justice have become accustomed to his daily prayer meetings, but some are now drawing the line at having to sing patriotic songs penned by their idiosyncratic boss.”

Unlike Shatner, at least John Ashcroft butchers his own material, instead of John Lennon’s. What really got me was not the song itself, which was too boring to even follow, but his lectern grabbing, hand clasping, three-points-of-the-audience hitting style. Straight out of Public Speaking 101.

Give me Bono at the Superbowl any day.


I learned today that in Germany, George Bush is really Rambo, Colin Powell is really Batman, and Donald Rumsfeld dresses up like Conan the Barbarian.

Condi Rice is probably Wonder Woman, but you can’t tell from this.

Meanwhile, Dick Cheney is just your garden-variety knife-wielding maniac.

Textification masturbation

Remember the days of Trash-80s, Apple ][s, and the piracy of BBS? Neither do I, but I just found out it’s not to late to start reliving them anyway, and learning a little about American History in the process.

I always wanted to step into the shoes of a teenage computer nerd with a modem circa 1983 (the life that could have been, if only my parents had had sex sooner) — spreading trite German-sounding humor to the world; painstakingly drawing naked ladies with nothing but the 128 basic ASCII characters as my palette; beating that damn Rom Raider to the punch on publishing the walkthrough for the new Adventure! game. Thanks to a little article in Salon, now I know how and where I can step back in time:

(Note: experiencing this site to the fullest will require a radical reduction in your expecations of web-based visual stimulation.)

Don’t mind if I do

In his just-begun and already half-hearted initiative to promote himself shamelessly wherever he can, and receive his justly unfair share of attention, this new guy will occasionally put appearances, words and pictures in this space.

–this new guy