I consolidated the stories about Fred.


...long live, Hill Blocks View. I miss writing. But the thought of one more round of "welcome backs", or obsessing over stats, or thinking of the clever response to a comment, or the obligation to read everyone else's blog... not so much. So I'll try and write. No pressure. If you feel the need to respond, you can email me. I like email. flipaul@yahoo.com

Friday, November 30, 2012

How I Solved A Problem, That Probably Didn't Need Solving.

I love to laugh. But with the deaths of Douglas Adams and Dave Barry, (Are you sure? I'm pretty sure he's dead. I haven't seen any beer or bad music books lately. I guess I'll take your word for it. But I'm pretty sure he's dead.) I am left with a disturbing lack of funny books to read. Luckily, I have the internet. There are some clever blogs out there writing some seriously funny stuff. (Serious, as in copious, not as in solemn or staid. 'Cause that would be oxymoronic.) One of my favorite bloggers... bloggists... blogites(?) writers that write on blogs; is me. I totally crack myself up.

   But one thing I am missing by reading my own stuff, is the sense of surprise, the unexpected turn of phrase or a clever plot twist that the non-me enjoys. This has been the bane of many an author, and undoubtedly why so many former writers have killed themselves, that and the substance abuse problems and the self esteem issues. But I, for one, wasn't going to take this conundrum lying down. I came up with a brilliant plan to counter this historically unsolvable riddle.
   Like any truly great plan, my plan included generous... large... insanely stupid amounts of alcohol. What I decided to do was drink myself into a drunken stupor and then write the next Great American Novel, (possibly an Average Armenian Novelette, at the very least a Substandard Peruvian Short Story), while under the influence. And then when I was done I would have a brand spanking new novel, that I was reading as a neophyte.

   So night after night, for the love of my craft, I drank myself into a black out state. And I wrote. Like a feverish drunken writer guy... that was really drunk. And morning after morning I woke up feeling like death itself, but knowing that it would be worth it when I was able to read some heretofore undiscovered gem of writing mastery. Sometimes I would leave myself cryptic notes, about some subject that I needed to research, or the status of the project. "Find out about Egyptian mythology", "You are a cleaver... wity... inteljent man", "Te-kill-ya; ahahahhahaahahha... urp".
   Finally the much anticipated day arrived. I awoke to find a note stapled to my forehead stating simply, eloquently, "f*cking done." I picked up the stack of papers in eager anticipation, put them back down and ran to the bathroom to puke out my guts. After taking a shower, and half a bottle of aspirin, and a little twelve hour nap, I tried again. I gathered my manuscript and sat in a comfy chair and began to read.

   HOLY CRAP! It was exactly what I had set out to create. I had no idea what was coming up next. Nobody could. it was ... just... it just makes me cry a little bit. It was awe inspiringly, unimaginably, completely, utterly, in every way, unreadable. Apparently drunk flip is an even worse punctuater than sober flip. In addition, drunk flip is obsessed with clowns, poop, and aliens, (oh and all caps, evidently drunk flip yells a lot.) I left myself with a 400 page tome of, what in retrospect seems completely obvious, drunken rambling.
   I included a small excerpt, lest you think I am just being to hard on myself.


 I would say that this experiment was an abject failure, if I didn't have the benefit of some lovely fist size holes in my drywall walls and a charming case of psoriasis. Maybe I should try Opium next time.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Keep Your Enemies Close, And Your Dog Closer.

Dogs can do amazing things. Every day the internet extolls the virtues of some incredible dog or another. The news is full of the exploits of heroic, dauntless canines. Man's best friend. Well, I got news for you; not all dogs are that great. You know how dogs can sense cancer? And then they let their owners know that something is wrong by dialing 911 or spelling out YOU HAVE LYMPHATIC CANCER with Scrabble® tiles or something. Hell, I think I even heard about some valiant pit bull that performed a mastectomy on her doting owner. Well, I just got diagnosed with advanced skin cancer on my buttocks and crotchal region, on account of how I never wear pants, (if God would've wanted us to wear pants he wouldn't have given us special parts that love to swing around in the breeze,) and guess what my dog did?! Nothing. Not one damn thing! Didn't try and alert me to the growing menace in my loins with a series of morse-codelike barks, and during our weekly charades game didn't even take the time to hint that I might be soon losing some of my favorite parts. He didn't even try to hook me up with one of those hokey psychic healers down at the flea market. That ungrateful bastard! I mean I've loved that dog since I found him guarding the local meth lab/chop shop and stole him away from his abusive owners who terrorized him with Porterhouse steaks and fluffy pillows, and this is how he repays me? The only sense that I got that something might be wrong is that he, if possible, spent even more time than usual licking his own private areas. How am I supposed to take anything away from that, dammit?! Now if he had spent more time than usual licking my areas, that would be wrong, but I could've gleaned something from that. But no. And now I'm on butt chemo. And all of my crotch hair has fallen out, and I have to wear a little pubic toupee to cover up my shame, but sometimes I just don't have the energy to make it look natural, so I put on a little bandana and it looks so sad down there. And what is all the more tragic is that all of this could have been avoided if my selfish jerk-face of a dog would've just done his doggy diagnostic due-diligence.

   And dogs can sense earthquakes right? You heard about that, haven't you? Well I live in Southern California and my crack-head of a dog didn't give out one little peep to warn me about the recent "Big One." He didn't wake me up in the middle of the night, or drag me under a doorjamb, or outside where it was safe. Nope. He just left me passed out in the bathtub. Stupid dog. You only hide in the bathtub for tornados. And alien invasions. And, I'm pretty sure, droughts. But not earthquakes. G'ah, everybody knows that. The Earth starts having an epileptic seizure and he just lay there at the entrance to the bomb shelter and gave himself some, apparently, much needed pelvic grooming. (Oh great, we're gonna be buried under six feet of rubble, but at least your twigs and berries will be all presentable.) That dog is just no good, I tell you.

   And the final straw might have been when he failed in some of the most basic and ingrained of doggy abilities. Recently my friend Tony "The Drug Dealer" Medellin, came over to my house to sell me some, uh... Girl Scout Cookies. And my, so called, loving dog allowed that dirty crook, low life, double dealing, sneaky thief of a scumbag, cookie dealer to just march into my house and sell me counterfeit cookies made with oregano instead of, um... other stuff that is also green. And he sold me some other cookies that were made with ground up aspirin and not pure columbian coc..a-nuts like I was promised. And then when I discovered that I had been duped, Tony "The Drug Dealer" Medellin pulled a big damn gun out on me and one thing led to another, (those things mostly being that I cried, I wet myself, I cried some more, I changed my pants, I got scared and accidentally wet Tony, I got shot in the leg, we both cried; he's very sensitive, he told me he had to run because he had a brunch date with that weird guy from that show, you know, that guy whose all nerdy and bald and he likes heavy metal and he looks like sasquatch with dork glasses, and anyway) I was laying on the floor bleeding. And did my BEST FRIEND at ant point stop taking inventory of his nether regions long enough to offer assistance? Nay. Did he, as dogs are known to do, alert me to the facts that there was a dangerous man in our humble abode? Nay. Did he sniff out contraband or lack thereof in Tony's cookies? Nay. Did he sniff out the gunpowder on Tony's Desert Eagle 44 Magnum and let me know the whackjob in my kitchen was packing? He did not.

   So you go ahead and read all that feel-good crap on the internet about dogs and their fabulous feats. You go home and look at your dog at believe that he has your best interests at heart. Your friend will never let you down. Yeah right. Until he just doesn't feel like saving your life. And then he'll just sit there, smugly tongue bathing his unmentionables as you suffer and die. Just like Nero fiddling while Rome burned, but with a tongue instead of a fiddle. And another thing instead of Rome. And also he's a dog. An evil selfish dog.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Black Friday, Inappropriate Cat Names, And Dream Blogging. Or, The Unfunniest Post Ever.

Woohoo, Black Friday is here! Black Friday is here! I love Black Friday! It's my favorite holiday of the whole year. You can have your Thanksgiving, with it's quaint family time and outdated sense of gratitude. You can have your Christmas with it's spiritual significance and glow of the transcendent warmth of the human spirit. Your Independence Day, Veterans Day, Memorial Day and Labor Day and the patriotic love of country all the oddly specific fashion rules that accompany them.

   For me, it's all about the Black Friday. Yessiree, I Love Black Friday. Not so much for the super-duper deals that accompany them. Or even for the opportunity to purchase gifts for my loved ones, heck, I don't even like my loved ones.
   For me Black Friday is all about lines. Long, long lines. Unmoving lines of crazy unwashed shoppers. Angry sardine-ish lines of consumers waiting for dubious deals on electronics and socks. And now I don't have to wait for Friday! I can wait in line, on Thursday. Insane lines of Wal-Mart people...
   Man, is this NOT funny. Whoo, line after line of unfunniness. This is what happens when you have an idea and try and flesh it out and it doesn't work. The original thought was, "Man if you loved lines, Black Friday would be heaven." But, wow! Did I fail at bringing that to life. I'm sure lots of people will think that I am making some grand statement on the evils of consumerism and greed. But I wasn't. Just an odd thought that crashed and burned.

   Well, while I'm not being funny, I will share some other odd thoughts with you. We bought a little black kitty at the shelter yesterday. We already have a Cat, but we were walking past the shelter window, which our town has wisely placed in the mall, and my family gave a collective "ahhhhh," at the group of cute kittens in the window. We ended up bringing a little black kitten home, partially because black cats have a low adoption rate, and partially because I just liked her.

   After I got her home, we started coming up with names for the new cat. Shade (that was mine) didn't seem to fit. Panther, Sneaker, and Julie were passed on. Then this morning my oldest son said, "Hey, let's name the cat,  Friday. We bought her on Black Friday and she's black. It's perfect." But the thing is; can you name a black animal Friday, in this day and age? I just don't think you can. I'm sure most people haven't even read Robinson Crusoe, but somebody will have and think that you are, at the very least, racially insensitive. So I guess the cat will be named Pepper, or Slinky or something.

   Also, also. I keep having these dreams in which I come up with some brilliant idea for a blog-post. Several months ago I dreamed that it would be hilarious if I wrote about how, in revenge for Egypt being so high and mighty about how they domesticated the cat, the whole world rose up and said, "Oh yeah? You're not going to think you're so clever when we return the cats to you." And the whole world started giving Egypt back all the cats in the world, dropping cats out of bombers and firing them out of cannons and throwing them like grenades. It was so funny, picturing all these little kittens blanketing Egypt with their cuteness. It wasn't nearly as funny, or feasible, when I awoke.

   Then last night I had another one. I decided it would be funny if I started wearing little ceramic stag heads on a necklace and wrote about it. Little miniature versions of mounted, stuffed dear heads that hunters are so found of. But the funny thing is that I wasn't going to wear them all thugish like the bangers do. No; I was going to play it straight. Nice, clean ceramic deer heads on a sedate wood necklace. None of this garish fat gold chains and funky tagger lettering, and the deer wearing sunglasses that the gangsters are so fond of.  How is this even a blog post?! But in my dream, it was the best one ever. My subconscious is even morer weirder, and lesser funnier than the awake me is.

   Maybe I'll attempt the Black Friday thing again tomorrow. I'll try it in my tried and true, fake dialog. It won't be funny either.

Also, also, also, I am writing as Sloth over at Sinquiry. Where you can go and ask the cardinal sins for advice. It's kind of like The Screwtape Letters, but less Oxford educated. And spiritual. And more profane, I imagine. I won't be profane, I'm still PG. And you really shouldn't ask sins for advice, that's just wrong.  But, here's the link, http://sinquiry.blogspot.com. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Five Minute Rule Doesn't Always Apply.

Would somebody just write down the unwritten rules already?! I have always been told there is a five second rule on things that drop on the floor. Meaning you can eat anything, as long as it has been on the floor for less than five seconds. But apparently there are unwritten addendums to this rule.

For instance, if someone accidentally drops their baby on the floor, it is considered bad form to eat said baby. But they're so tender.

If you are in Lower Crackton and Shaky Pete drops his hypodermic needles, you're not supposed to snack on them. Although, you do get a euphoric sensation, with a side of toxic face rash.

Don't eat anything that comes out of a pet. Unless you have a pig, and he drops a plate of tasty, tasty bacon.

No, on rocks. Especially, hot rocks. This includes both rocks spewed out of volcanoes and meteorites from space. Not nearly as delicious as one would think. 

Hair clippings at a barber shop, are right out. Filling, but has a weird aftertaste. Like sweat, horse mane and soap. 

Don't eat birds. Well, live ones anyway. Technically, they are landing and not falling. Plus they don't appreciate being eaten, and they have sharp beaks and claws which they use with abandon.

Most anything that your kids drop is bad. Sure, they'll drop a cookie or an ice cream cone occasionally. But it's mostly just toys, wrappers, and boogers.

Don't try tools at the local construction site. Especially power saws; they bite back.

I wouldn't suggest random pianos and anvils dropped by diabolical coyotes. In my experience ACME doesn't make anything even remotely edible.

No medical waste. Not matter how appetizingly packaged.

Car crashes are verboten. Burning glass gives wicked heartburn.

I have taken the liberty of writing down these unwritten rules for the greater good of the public. Rest assured this is not the complete list, it also includes clothes, hot casings at the gun range, tree leafs, tree branches, trees in general, gauntlets that have been thrown down, basketballs, baseballs, footballs, well any kind of balls really, pretty much anything on the freeway, everything at the dump, and lastly, downed power lines. Hopefully, as it is Thanksgiving, somebody will drop a turkey dinner with all the trimmings and you can eat that. 

On Monday a new blog will debut wherein you can ask questions to the seven cardinal sins. I'm not sure why you would seek advice from the seven cardinal sins. It's kind of wrong, really. Nonetheless, I am helping Sloth out, because he is to lazy to do it himself. http://sinquiry.blogspot.com

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Outsource You? I Don't Even Know You.

As soon as I got into work this morning, there was a note on my chair telling me to go see the boss, ASAP. That's never good. I knocked on his door and he invited me to come in and sit down. 
No, you idiot. Sit in a chair.
Oh, thank you sir.
Do you know why I called you in here this morning?
I think so sir. And I just want to apologize to you. I never meant to start the orphanage on fire.
You what? Nevermind. Not that.
Oh. Then I would like to apologize for flooding the Adorable Pets store and drowning all the puppies and kittens.
Not that either.
For getting the plumbing wrong at the old folks home and inadvertently turning all the toilets into a sort of deadly bidet cannon?

No. Maybe you should stop apologizing.
Yes sir. Sorry sir. Ooh, did it again. Sorry sir. Dangit! Sorr...
SHUT IT! No, I've called you here to let you know that your job has been outsourced.
Outsourced sir?
Yes. Outsourced. To India.
But I'm a plumber sir.
What sir?
I said, barely. You are barely a plumber.
Well, that seems uncalled for sir.
When you attempted to fix my kitchen faucet, I mysteriously had hot and cold running water flowing out of my 60" flatscreen.
I already apologized for that sir. And on the bright side, watching Titanic was incredibly immersive.
If I want immersive, I'll buy a 3-D TV.
Maybe water is the next dimension sir.
It isn't. You also melted my hot tub.
Not my fault sir; who knew you couldn't use a pizza oven to heat a hot tub.
Everybody but you, apparently.
OK, I'm not the best plumber in the world. But what am I supposed to do now?
You said my job had been outsourced.
To India.
Where am I going to work now?
What? How am I supposed to get to India?
UPS. There's a crate in the back.

I don't think this is legal.
Outsourcing has been going on for years.
Jobs. Not people.
I couldn't very well outsource a plumbing job to India, without a plumber. That doesn't make much sense.
But, they have substandard plumbing in India sir.
You're a substandard plumber. That's a perfect match, I'd say.
So I've been outsourced. Who are you going to replace me with here?
A spicy chicken vindaloo and a bag of naan. 
A chicken vindaloo can't plumb.
Neither can you.
So you traded me to India for a vindaloo?
Basically yes. But, outsourcing just sounds more official.
And there you go, turns out this might be my last post for awhile. I'm not sure how long it takes to get to India via ground freight.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Mudslinging For Fun And Profit.

Don't vote for my opponent, he is the worst person ever.
I'm the worst person ever?
I'm worse than Alec Baldwin?
And Hitler and Stalin. Combined.

There you go again, engaging in wild hyperbole. Just slinging mud instead of talking about the real issues.
Issues?! Let's talk issues. You are in favor of euthanizing anybody over 50.
You think death row inmates should have to fight to the death for our viewing pleasure.
More mud.
You think polygamy should be mandatory.
Muddy muddy mud mud.
You are in favor of government funded prostitution and recreational drug use.
Mounds of mud. Marshes of mud. Mega Martian mountains of mud.
You are a satanist.
You're eyes are turning brown, you're so full of mud.
You want to start a nuclear war.
Mud. I ask you again, do you want someone who talks about things that affect you, or just slings mud?
I don't think that word means what you think it means. It's not mud if it's true.

The truth? I don't think you know what the truth is.
And you don't know what sanity is, you nutjob.
Again with the attacks. You people deserve better. Somebody who isn't just running a negative campaign.
Negative? I got all this stuff off of your website. Word for word.
Probably got hacked.
It says it on your flyer.
A smear campaign.
You're wearing a T-Shirt that says it.
I got reverse mugged.
You have it tattooed on your face and neck.

OK. Suppose I do stand for those things. What about you? Where do you stand on those issues?
I'm opposed to ALL of them.
See?! That is such a lazy, pedantic, rote answer. You didn't even give them a second of thought.
You don't have to think about them, they're certifiable.
See?! My opponent doesn't think. All he's really good at, is casting wild dispersions.
Euthanizing people isn't a good idea. Ever.
Not even Zombies? You hear that? My opponent is in the pocket of the big zombie lobby.
There's no such thing.
Lobbyists don't exist huh? Wink, wink. Proof that my opponent is a serial liar!
You are out of your mind.
You would know. I'm sure the zombies tell you who has the big juicy brains and who doesn't.
I am not having this discussion with you anymore.

See?! My opponent is is afraid to talk about the issues.
Zombies are not an issue.
My opponent doesn't think that the undead, eating his constituents brains is a big deal.
This debate is over. I refuse to talk to you anymore.
My opponent is afraid to debate me.
No, I'm not. You're a loon. When you go to the polls, vote for me; Bob Kahn;  I'm not insane.
No. Vote for me; Betsy "McCrazypants" Jones. I'm not a zombie. Plus, my plan eliminates taxes and shrinks the national debt.