Monday, August 30, 2021

this really happened

We were sitting on the back porch watching the dogs sniff the ground and each other’s butts. The old dog was looking really good after her bath, all fluffy and golden. It’s a tough process because lifting her into the tub requires some uncomfortable bending on my part. Kate said, “Wow, she looks great. We should shampoo her more often.” I said, “Yeah, but it’s hard.” She understood, she said, “Your back is important.” I agreed. I said, “Yes. It separates my sphincter from my cerebrum.” And without a pause she responded, “With mixed results.” My wife is a genius.

Monday, August 23, 2021

Back to the back of the envelope

Okay, these are just rough calculations, but I figure the total irregularity in our planet’s surface, measured as the sum of the height of the highest mountain and the depth of the deepest trench, to be about 20 kilometers against a diameter of around 12,750 kilometers, a ratio of roughly 638 to 1. Roughly is the wrong word though, because it’s pretty darn smooth. If the Earth was the size of a billiard ball the textural variation would be something like 0.1mm. Mount Everest and the Challenger Deep would be equally indiscernible when you rubbed your thumb across the world.

Monday, August 16, 2021


Here’s a sentence I never dreamed I’d find myself writing: The Stigmatomma pluto is a species of ant in the subfamily Amblyoponinae, endemic to the unburned savannas of central Ivory Coast, which feeds solely on geophilomorph centipedes. Believe me, I’m as shocked as you are. But it’s not as bad as it sounds. Geophilomorphs are sluggish burrowing centipedes. They are not those incredibly fast-moving hairy-looking things that you see them on a basement wall out the corner of your eye and you go “Eew!” and drop the flashlight and bump your head on a joist. I bet nobody eats those.

Monday, August 9, 2021

Prime suspect

Does it really take all kinds? At the top of the heap we got this creepy bald-headed guy who figured a way to get so obscenely rich peddling the products of Asian slave labor at prices low enough to put the final nails in small town Main Street that he could build his own space rocket, a conveyance so priapic in appearance I’m not sure we ought to let the kids see it, while meanwhile down here we got people who can’t afford their blood thinner prescriptions cracking open those black plastic rat traps for a lick of free warfarin.

Monday, August 2, 2021

Notes from under the underground

I hear there’s a new band that plays a nano-genre so narrow that their only single has no flip side and is so obscure you literally can’t find it anywhere. There is not one single human hip enough to be their fan. Anybody who tells you they are is lying. They don’t even have a name, and the members know neither one other nor that they are in the group. For all they know, their tour is coming to your town soon. For all you know, you’ll be attending. This is absolutely brilliant marketing; it’s all about creating a buzz.