Adam sat in a sterile, vacant limbo, the walls unsettlingly white and empty. The loneliness and despair of the place peeled sound from the air, leaving only the ringing in his ears, a field of crickets chirping accusations, reminding him of Tommy Keeler's bloody fate. Adam saw his tiny fists charging into the air, cutting molecules to bits as they flew toward their target and freezing for a moment, contemplating the late Keeler's face, searching for a reason to blast it, explode it into a juicy red mushroom cloud. What if he could have talked his hands out of it, stepped away from the fight, walked away peacefully with the talking dog, the world a motionless picture behind them? He and his new friend would escape, exploring, looking for a new photo to step into, a new world without bullies or anger or deadly fists. Fate dangled magical possibilities in front of him, but only offered him the cold reality of punishment.
May 2005 Archives
It’s amazing to me how life can turn on a dime.
Years pass in a parade of seemingly endless and monotonous days. Then, something happens. It can be anything, something infinitesimal, but every moment afterward is different.
It can come in the form of a phone call or a simple thought. No matter how it comes, it’s as if flood gates open and everything good rushes in and everything bad rushes out.
A little late for Mother's Day, I know. but what mother would not like this image slipped into their Mother's Day card next year? The saga is complete, just like the new craptacular Star Wars trilogy.
a rare studio shot using a co-worker as a model. First in a series of two. Guess what part two is called.
Behold, the return of MNINW with part 6. Not to be confused with Leonard Part 6. It would be really helpful if you read parts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. Or read it by itself. You'll probably get the gist without the other parts. NOTE: This one is rated XXX because it is celebrating its thirtieth birthday in Rome. The words 'boob,' 'cooch,' and 'bass music' are used so tread lightly.
The filthy gang of boys led by Tommy Keeler rumbled down the hillside toward Adam, their yelping mouths smiling wickedly underneath dull, close-set eyes. Adam watched them descend, a sweaty, heedless avalanche of hooligans, and the shock of impending humiliation and pain turned the frail boy to stone. He stood still, a statue waiting to be desecrated, the talking dog cowering behind him.
The slope gave way to flat land and Tommy Keeler slowed to cocky walk, the other boys following him in a 'V' formation, lending him their mobbish energy. "This is a dumb place, to hide, A-dumb." Keeler's cohorts praised his vapid wit with their chuckles. "That's yer new name, A-dumb. Like 'd-u-m' dumb."
The talking dog couldn't resist. "Learn to spell, moron," he barked from behind Adam's legs. The talking dog regretted it immediately.
We Star Wars fans have tried so hard to hide our disappointment over Episodes 1 & 2 that we’ve actually convinced ourselves that they didn’t suck. I even dishonored Club 11 by giving them positive reviews. For this, I am deeply sorry. I couldn’t help myself. I have no objectivity when it comes to Star Wars. I grew up on the originals and I wanted to be Luke Skywalker (and then Han Solo when I started growing pubes).
Today was my liberation day. I can now admit that the last two movies blew the solar wind because Lucas has finally delivered a film worthy of the "Star Wars" name. Episode III is dark, unrelenting, and heartbreaking. Most impressively, even with the end of the story exposed over 25 years ago, the film never once loses its intensity.
Unfortunately, Episode III is not without its faults. It still has some painful Lucas dialogue and a Frankenstein scene that makes one cringe. Yet, after the last two crapathons, the faults of this episode seem minor.
I can see why those with no attachment to Star Wars may not like this film. Obviously, they are all dirty communists and have no valuable input for our society. Any true American Star Wars fan will be happy and relieved that Lucas finished the series with a classic.
Living up to the expectations of dorks like me may have been the greatest challenge of Lucas’s career. It is now his greatest accomplishment. Thank you George. Thank you for having the balls to make everything right again. And thank you for making sure that 30 year old virgins can blame a woman for all of the problems in the Universe. BEST PREQUEL EVER! On a scale from 1 to Club 11, Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith gets a Club 11.
The following memo pertains to new nomenclature being introduced. Please note these changes and adjust as necessary.
William Shakespeare once said, "A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse!" Now, two things strike me about this statement:
1) I never knew Shakespeare was a king, but I guess he must have been, otherwise why would he say such a thing? I was never schooled in the succession of the English monarchy, but he must be in there somewhere. I know he's not William the Conqueror because he looks too fruity to conquer anything, but I'm sure they've had dozens of Williams on the throne over the centuries.
2) I never really understood what he meant by that -- that is, until just now.
After weeks of tweaking the site and uploading stories from our old forum, Pork Pony, I've finally gotten around to posting some of the photos that appeared on the double P, namely those by Frog. Here's a list:
The following is an edited version of two actual conversations I had with my nieces, Sarah, 3 years old, and Emily, 1 year old. I would leave the conversations unedited but I would have to include things like Sarah randomly screaming “BODYSLAM!” for no reason and a fifteen minute showdown between Sarah and Emily involving who can copy what noise the best. As for the showdown, Emily usually wins as she doesn’t play by the rules. The essence of the conversations are still very present in edited form. In case you are wondering, the car was a Dodge Neon.
Here are 3 short stories for your perusal. The first and third ones were lucky enough to make it onto Pork Pony, though they are somewhat disturbing, so viewer discretion advised for them. The middle one was written sometime between the death of PP and the birth of Unloosen. Ever notice how short my short stories are? I simultaneously rule and suck. Enjoy!
It's not necessary, but it might help if you read part 1.
Sick with children, the colossal red-brick building sneezed and the entire fourth grade shot out of its doors. 122 ten-year olds exploded onto the green hillside, kicking dust and mud onto the beastly edifice. They were like a happy load of buckshot, a swarm of jubilant disorder, all of them running, tripping, jumping for freedom. All of them except for one; a really little, skinny one called Adam. This one shuffled from the building, his frail, brainy body moving in slow motion while the other children blurred past. He stared at the grass as shoe-drawn currents ripped through it, fatefully tearing and snapping select blades, leaving others to stand the test of life for at least a few more moments.
Adam shrank into the grass, got small like the ants and climbed aboard a prime leaf, the perfect launchpad. He waited and watched, ready to surf the next hapless wave that followed in the wake of his new classmates.
"Heads up! Heads up! Heads up, uh, Adam? Heads up ADAM?" He looked up, but it was too late. Whack! A kickball to the side of the face and Adam dropped to the ground. Tommy Keeler, a miniature lumberjack with hair the color of vacuum-cleaner dust, ran over and grabbed the ball. Adam held his burning right cheek and hid his pain, keeping Tommy Keeler in his periphery, afraid to look him in the eye. Third-grade legend taught Adam that to look Tommy Keeler in the eyes in a time of weakness meant certain death, or at least a wedgie.
The last seven days have seen more entries from our old web site Pork Pony added to the archives. There isn't much more PP text to put on the site, so photos will be posted very soon, most likely over weekend. Reread these stories or read them for the first time; either way, they'll make you laugh, think, or cry tears of confusion. Be sure to read Karl and Me by Joe Blevins, without a doubt one of the funniest things that was ever published on Pork Pony.
Karl and Me by Joe Blevins
A Cannonball For Mother Nature and The Legendary Mystery of Exploding Andy by Chris Leavens
A Licensee of Satan Lives in My Blue Recycling Tub by David Kendall
Afterschool Special by Tom Weaver
The Horrible Secret by Jason Kornblatt
Every Club11 movie review Mike Wargo wrote has been added.
Every Gimble masterpiece has been added.
A pile of Intelli exists here and more is on the way.
In addition to all of the old stuff being added, I've redesigned the section pages in an attempt to make them a little more user-friendly. I've also begun to add bios and section descriptions, again to make things a a bit more comprehendible. If you have any suggestions concerning ease-of-use issues and/or readability, let me know. I'm always looking to improve.
More new stuff's on the way. Rumor has it both Chris Woodward and Craig J. Clark have stories in the works and I'm currently polishing off Alone with the Talking Dog, Part 2.
I was driving to work the other day and realized that I was lonely. I am 23 years old and I have little in the way of any enjoyment in my life. I get up. I go to work. I come home. I watch TV shows pre-selected for me by the American Family Association. I go to sleep. Adding church on Sundays and deleting the work part on the weekends, and sometimes the getting up part as well, my life is like the conveyer belt at the supermarket -- always going in circles with some sticky substance occasionally getting spilled on it.
Then my life changed. I saw it. It was right there, written along the barren stretch of highway that I have driven a million times before.
It was a sign! Adopt-a-Highway!
(A generic therapist office that looks exactly like you think a therapist’s office should look. I am sitting on a sofa facing a therapist who is seated.)
Me: I am back!
Therapist TBD: Back? Back from where?
Me: Well, almost back, I am not quite there yet.
Therapist TBD: Can you clarify?
Me: I’m back, doctor, well almost back, to the person I used to be.
Therapist TBD: I don’t understand.
Me: Sure you do.
Therapist TBD: I assure you that I don’t.
Me: What have we been talking about these past several months?
Therapist TBD: Nothing, these sessions haven’t happened yet, remember?
Genius. Genius occupied every sentence, no every word in those letters, but now those letters were gone, torn to shreds, sitting in front of Adam in a box. Adam cried for days after he opened that package. Michelle wanted no more of Adam’s company nor did she want the company of his letters, the letters he wrote, the letters soaked in genius. She wanted to spend more time with Pierre, her new man, that guy who took her salsa dancing. Adam would have gone salsa dancing. Why didn’t she ask him? Why did she push him away as if every physical advance was an illegal assault? After all, he could reconsider; the "give-me-some-room-let’s-be-friends-for-a-while" thing might work.
Adam asked his talking dog to explain it, but the talking dog could not explain it. The talking dog just paced around the couch waxing poetic about the pants he had just bought.
Last night, a very serious ghost visited me. He attacked with ethereal howls and windy slaps all the while coating me in the stuff Egon called ectoplasm. The ghost wore a grim face, not unlike that of John Tesh's brother-in-law during Tesh's infamous "let's have a family reunion so people will be forced to listen to me play my heart out on the piano" days. I fought back and rocked the specter's face by adding more Pork Pony stories to the archives.
God Is Dead & Mountain Dew by Chris Woodward
Frank's Demise by Joe Blevins
The Society of People Who Look Just Like Me and The Way My Sink Gurgles by Craig J. Clark
The Ebony Wizard and Time Canyon, Episode 4 by Tom Weaver
Somewhat Fit by Jason Kornblatt
I'm actually nearly finished adding feature stories to the archives, so photos, Intelli, Stu, Reviews, and other bits are just days away from joining the hallowed halls of Unloosen.
To say Steve never knew what hit him would be incorrect because Steve did, in fact, know what hit him. What hit him was a dart. Steve knew this because he plucked it from the back of his neck and looked squarely at it before he fell unconscious. What Steve didn't know was what he hit when he fell unconscious. It turned out to be a wheelbarrow full of peat moss, which he actually upended, but he didn't find this out for some time.
I see many a strange thing in my travels as a coal region photojournalist. This one fried my tiny brain.
Delving into the Pork Pony archives has been a treat. Many of the stories read like hyper-smart comedy sketches that never happened. Read through the archives and you'll see what I mean. I'm guessing the new stories that make it to these pages will be even better as a result of maturity(read: age), practice, and the mounds of "smart cheese" we've been obligated to eat. Added yesterday:
My Name Is Not William, Part 5 by David Kendall, Jr.
Your Cheating Pants by Joe Blevins
Time Canyon, Episode 3 and A Fictional Character's Rite of Passage by Chris Leavens
Outgoing Messages and Playing With Fire by Craig J. Clark
I added a pile of stories into the archives yesterday. I'm still working my way through the Pork Pony archives in chronological order, hitting the featured stories (fiction and non-fiction) first. I'll be adding in entires from Stu Says, Club 11, and Intelli-head in the coming days. I know the photo archives are highly anticipated as there was plenty of great stuff in there from Frog and one Jackson Anderer, but populating the photo section takes a good deal of time, so please be patient.
Take, Take, Take by Craig J. Clark
Unlock the Inner Player, Chain Mail Jacket, and Time Canyon, Episode 1 by Chris Leavens
Time Canyon, Episode 2 by Tom Weaver
Among the Nuts by Jason Kornblatt
I took this photo about a month ago in Chinatown, just north of downtown Los Angeles. It's a big rotating sign above a cake shop. The bluish-gray background is the sky.