Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Dear Ice Cream Man

I am fairly certain you are the last of your kind, and I intend to hunt you as such.  You may have thought you were clever, moving just fast enough so that the children with their tiny, inferior legs couldn't catch you.  You made sure the loudspeakers broadcast the dulcet tones of "Turkey in the Straw" loud enough to freeze the languid movement of all the fat people sitting on their porches, fanning the summer heat away with a ham hock.  Perhaps you gain your strength from that look of utter failure on people's faces when they realize that there is not enough time to go inside and get money, then flag you down, thereby calling into question the choices that led to them being overheated and ice cream deprived.

I can only imagine you've been holed up in some dank warehouse, subsisting off of rocketpops and Ninja Turtle headcicles with gumball eyes since 1993.  I can only speculate what led you to venture back into the land of us sun dwellers.  You would think that seeing your truck with it's bright pictures of Froggy Pops and Chocodiles, I would be filled with the lightness and laughter of children. 


I was filled with the murderous bloodlust and animal single mindedness of children.  I was minding my own business, driving to work in this sultry wasteland of humidity and pain, and you pulled off a side road and drove slowly in front of me.  The only logical choice I had was to steal your clothes and truck and to become the Ice Cream Man, as Kevin Costner foretold.  It seemed so easy in that moment, to abandon the life I had slowly built and no longer wanted, and to live a carefree life of a frozen treat dispenser and change collector.

I lost sight of you as you pulled into the rich development, ready to sell your top shelf Choco Tacos and Haagen Daas to the spoiled urchins.  Should we meet again, be prepared to fight to the death, for there can only be one.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Dear Artists of the World

Why won't any of you illustrate my graphic novel?  It is going to be great, and you are the only ones who are standing in the way of my greatness.  I can do plenty of things, but drawing has never been one of them.  Most people I try to draw have a Forrest Whitaker eye, and are somehow both slightly melted, yet bloated, again somewhat like Forrest Whitaker. 

No, I don't have any experience writing comic books.  Why do you people keep asking me that?  I write the words, you draw the pictures, and we get the money.  I am talking shots and strippers, renting a pony just for the hell of it kind of rich.  Actually, I will just posit this one phrase- Erotic Clown.  I found one in a New Jersey phone book one time, and curiosity has plagued me ever since.  We would have the money to make that happen. 

Sure, when you ask me what it is about, I set up a really great first scene, then kind of peter out after explaining what would amount to about three or four very nice looking splash pages.  I am excited about this, and so should you.  It'll be dark, but inspirational.  Yeah, I know that's how everything is described nowadays, but this is going to be different, even though I can't explain how. 

I will explain one more time- it takes place in a run down hospital in Smyrna, Delaware, and features a character that is obviously me, and a cheerleader with a brain tumor.  That's all I really have right now, but that is all we need.  I shouldn't have to explain why this will be the best thing ever.  I shouldn't have to try to talk you into this.  You haven't fallen into traffic or choked to death on soup yet, which means you are smart enough to know I am a genius and that you should want in on this.  Applications will be accepted starting.........now.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Dear Stephen Sommers

Let's be frank.  You are simply not good at your job.  You made that bad Disney adaptation of Tom Sawyer that was 90 minutes of Elijah Wood being roughly 85% eyeball, interrupted with a scene of Ron Perlman eating chicken necks.  Deep Rising was abysmal if only for the fact that you were under the delusion that Treat Williams was a viable lead actor.  My attorney tells me we can't discuss GI Joe- Rise of Cobra since litigation is still pending to try you as a war criminal for slaughtering the childhood dreams of millions. The only glimmer of promise in your career was The Mummy, which you attacked with all the deranged glee of an arthritic Kodiak bear that has learned how to use a crossbow.  You actually made that into an enjoyable, if brainless, summer movie. 

Normally, I wouldn't even bother addressing you at all.  You and Uwe Boll could continue to swap notes on how to sear pain into the hearts of moviegoers, and I would continue arguing with the clerks at the local Acme.  Now neither of us gets to do what we want, because you had to go out an make a movie of my favorite book, Odd Thomas.  Sure, it might not be War and Peace, but it makes me very happy, which puts it in rare company nowadays.  It is a movie that needs a deft hand to paint its subtleties, and perfect casting to really get the characters right.  Also, there are no gunfights through 98% of the movie, not even people holding out their index fingers at each other and saying "Peeeew!  Peeeeeeew!"

Reading what Dean Koontz, the book's author, has said about the screening he saw, and seeing the cast you have assembled, I have a faint hope that you might not ruin this, and that is what terrifies me.  You've given me hope, most likely as a way of building me up before you tear me down with some montage of Kathy Griffin and  Ben Stiller dancing to 80's tunes.  This scene has no bearing on the movie, but which you no doubt feel captures what you think is the true essence of the movie.  Why do I think you would do this?  Because you had Wolverine fighting Frankenstein monsters, Treat Williams surviving a 100 foot drop on a wave runner, and Brendan Fraser's toupee barely surviving The Mummy Returns.  You are as subtle as a fart in a spacesuit, and usually just as pleasant.

I won't make any veiled or overt threats about what will happen if this movie is horrible.  I will simply hire Elijah Wood to give you bambi eyes until you die from shame.  He's done it before and he will kill again.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Dear Sirius Satellite Radio

Frankly, your programming has been lacking ever since you decided to start swapping Larry Cirwin's Celtic Crush all around the schedule.  That's not why you are getting this letter.  It just explains why I wanted to stop your service in the first place. 

I received a letter in the mail explaining that my one year subscription was running out.  According to this letter, if I did not act, my subscription would soon end.  Not wanting to listen to your awful DJ's, I elected to not act.  On the day you predicted, I got in my car, and only received silence from your stations.  All of my presets were gone, and I lived a happy life.

Move forward one year.  I got a new letter from you, telling me that my yearly autorenewal would be charged soon.  This piece of mail explains that I was last charged a year previously, the same day that the Sirius radio in my car stopped getting your service.  I went back through my credit cards, and you had charged my account, through a debit card that I had replaced.  Understandably, I called your customer service.

The first person I talked to wanted to see the letter telling me that if I didn't act, I would lose my service.  When I told him it was gone after a full year, he basically told me I was out of luck.  I asked why the radio service would have been stopped if I was being automatically renewed.  The only thing I was told is that I should have called to have the radio signal renewed.  So, basically, I should have called to turn on the service I didn't think I was paying for, since I was lied to.

I called back.  The next person wanted to see the letter too.  When I pointed out that the service shouldn't have been turned off if I was paying, she agreed that it made no sense.  However, there was nothing she could do for me.  The third person also agreed that if I had been charged, there never should have been an interruption in service.  I was offered a credit for the final month of service that I never wanted, meaning I was still out over $150.

I hope you can understand how awful and shady your business model is.  I get a letter telling me that I will lose the service if I do nothing.  I do nothing, and you still charge me.  Had I heard the radio still playing in my car, I would have called to investigate and cancel the charges and subscription.  Luckily, you turned it off so I couldn't find that out, and then your one customer service rep has the balls to tell me that if I had an interruption in service, I should have called to fix it.  I never knew I paid, and never wanted the service. 

Three days after I got off the phone with the third customer service rep, very angry an upset, I got a call from your company.  You didn't want to lose my business, and wanted to give me a year's service for much less than what I was charged in your con artist, BS idiocy a year before. 

Congratulations.  Your company makes me physically ill, and I am glad to let everyone here know how you ripped me off.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Dear Trump Taj Mahal Poker Room

(This is a special guest post from my friend C-Gar)

I have a fair amount of experience playing in card rooms and home games from New Jersey to Nevada. In the course of pursuing this hobby, I've met some of society's shadiest, irritating and untrustworthy characters, and like in any other group, there are also undesirables. But your players stand above all others as shining examples of what would happen if feral sewer ferrets became humanity's overlords.

From the shiftless derelicts who haven't bathed since the Clinton administration, to those who's devotion to the game of poker has caused them to forgo bathroom breaks and micturate upon themselves, you disgust me. For those who can master hygiene, attire tends to present another challenge. While everyone enjoys a snappily dressed pimp, at some point leopard print and fuchsia becomes a fashion faux pas. And we can all agree that if your chest hair is best styled by lawn equipment, a shirt open to the waist is not the best wardrobe choice.

I would not fault management if this clientele was present all over America's Playground, but they are attracted to the fake minarets of the Taj Mahal like hobos to a pie convention. After years of this, the standards of behavior in the room has started to suffer. Drunken arguments abound, and chairs are tossed like they are blasphemous idols incurring Moses's wrath. Periodically games have to be postponed on account of "noodle vomit" on the table.

To be fair, in recent years management has cleaned up the den of whores that formerly resided just outside of the poker room, but late at night, one can occasionally see a nude couple copulating next to a hot dog stand on the boardwalk. However, even this expression of love and beauty is soiled by your influence as more often than not the act terminates with a naked John running down the boardwalk in an ill-fated attempt to outrun herpes.

Please address these concerns, clean all of your poker chips to remove the Legionella, Gonorrhea and Syphilis that is swarming all over them, and please evict the colony of wild cats living in the men's room.

Karl "C-Gar" Spackler

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Dear Allen's Coffee Brandy

You have a mostly informative website.  You explain to everyone how you are the most popular liquor in Maine.  This explains how I so easily found a bottle in Unity, Maine.  You boast about how your brandy has the most authentic coffee taste.  It was rather striking, I will agree.  You even have a recipe portion, but one recipe seems to be missing.  What you forget to mention is that if you drink a gallon of beer and then polish off a bottle of your fine coffee brandy, you pass into a fugue state where your mere existence mocks the laws of physics and common decency.  Had that been on the sticker, the following may not have happened.

Along with several of my friends, I was vacationing.  Our days were spent on a floating raft city, dubbed the S.S. Chamberlain, in the middle of Unity Pond.  We had beer and cigarettes, and after Kurt was banished to the mainland for insurrection, we were living in a time of relative peace and prosperity.  At night, we adjourned to the screened in porch for further libations and cigars.  Having found the wondrous ambrosia known as Sweetwater Stout, a gallon glass jug of stout that would make Guinness jealous, I was in good spirits.  Over the afternoon, I emptied the jug, leaving myself contented, even jubilant.  Not only did the beer put me in fine spirits, but I had a fine musical instrument for the evening session on the porch. My only problem was that I had nothing to sip in between puffs on my cigar.  Suddenly, I was reminded that I had purchased your brandy.

You had been a concession I made on our trip to town.  My preference at the time was for a bottle of apricot or blackberry brandy, but your product was everywhere I looked.  The first sip was good.  The next was even better.  Somewhere between sips fifteen to twenty, I am told I went from gregarious to contemplative.  Somewhere between sips thirty seven and the end of the bottle, I started talking, and I didn't stop.

Things began innocently enough.  I began calling for "Billy" to chew my food, because my "teefs" were no good.  There was no one named Billy, William, Bill, Will, or Billiam in the group.  Finding no chewing relief through Billy, I began to narrate the scene around me.  This quickly devolved into stories involving anything within my line of sight.  I alleged that Kurt was a homeless Batman who had constructed a Batcave of cardboard, and a utility belt of turnips.  I alleged that the Pope was a squirrel, and we were being duped by his large hat and theater tricks involving mirrors and lasers.  I intimated that Travis had beaten men to death using only his manhood, and that he would do it again given the chance.  All told, I did this for over an hour, while slowly rocking in my chair, staring off into the distance.

I have had many different kinds of brandy and alcohol over the years.  I have had similar amounts, and even had more than this.  I have never done anything remotely similar to these things on any other occasion.  Please reevaluate whatever psychotropic nerve gas you have distilled to give your brandy its authentic coffee flavor.  At least warn people that they will become calmer versions of Gary Busey if they drink your product.  Any forewarning would be sufficient.