Wednesday, August 31, 2005


There is so much sadness coming forth from New Orleans and the other areas along the gulf. Last night I got choked up watching a clip of a man who lost his wife in the flooding. He was trying to describe to the reporter how he held her hand for as long as possible, but it slipped through his fingers and she floated away from him, forever.

Fuck. Human misery is about the only thing that's a sure thing. In this world or any other one.

But, to be sure, where there is hardship there is also joy. When it is night in New York they are lunching in Singapore. When it is summer in Brazil they are shoveling their drives in Fargo.

All this to say that I think now would be a good time to remind everyone that Mentone, Indiana, is the Egg Basket to the Midwest.

This image represents the metaphorical goodness-inherent-in-the-American-people ying to the destructive force of Hurricane Katrina's yang.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005


"He has destroyed the Venezuelan economy, and he’s going to make that a launching pad for communist infiltration and Muslim extremism all over the continent. You know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think we really ought to go ahead and do it. It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war, and I don't think any oil shipments will stop, but this man is a terrific danger, and the United States -- this is in our sphere of influence. We can't let this happen. We have the Monroe Doctrine. We have other doctrines that we have announced, and without question, this is a dangerous enemy to our south, controlling a huge pool of oil, that could hurt us very badly. We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability. We don't need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator. It's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with."

Clearly, this evil man should be killed. He hates America and daily plots our demise.

Monday, August 29, 2005


It looks as though New Orleans will be saved. At least the French Quarter will be; the northern end of the city, just south of Lake Pontchartrain, will probably be a bit wet for quite some time. Who knows? It will probably be days before we know the true extent of the damage. Not quite as Biblical as people were warning, but scary nonetheless.

Sifting through the archives, it looks like I've written about New Orleans twice. Once, apocalyptically. Later, triumphantly.

What will happen.

What I learned in New Orleans.

Friday, August 26, 2005


Hello, can I help you with anything? No? You're just looking? Well, if you need anything I'll just be over here.

Oh my those look stunning on you. Yes, I think they really bring out that sparkle of cyan in your eyes. Yes, cyan. It's sort of a Caribbean Green crossed with a Cornflower Blue. Oh, right, sorry. I'll just be over here if you need anything.

You know I'm trying to be quiet and let you browse but honestly, honey, those are just drop dead gorgeous on you. I mean, let's be honest, you have a sort of narrow face to begin with, and these frames really enhance your cheekbones, pulls them out a little, brings out the natural shape of your facial structure, really adds something, I think, and the way the top of the frame just sort of drapes over your eyebrows, it's like a Holbein - Jeremy, did Holbein ever paint subjects wearing eyeglasses? No? - well you know what I mean, very classical, very masculine, timeless. Oh my goodness, I am so sorry. My apologies, you just go right back to picking out some frames. I promise you I'm done sticking my nose in your business. Just holler when you're ready.

Jeremy, come over here. Right now. I have to show you something. Remember when we got those Jai Kudo frames in the other day and you said, "Oh my these frames are beautiful but will they ever be as beautiful on someone's face?" and I said, "maybe one person, maybe one lucky person has the perfect face and only their face could possibly match the beauty of these frames and possibly even enhance that beauty?" Do you remember that? Well, come over here because that one person in the whole world just tried on those frames and isn't it like a page out of Italian Vogue or something? I mean, it's like a Dolce and Gabbana wet dream, it's like the Final Solution, I mean I know that's kind of offensive and this customer here might even be Jewish but the point is - I mean, the point is if there were to be a master race, then that would mean that quality, human quality could be quantifiable, right? Or to be more succint, that there could be a perfect fucking human being, and that this person would be him, specifically in these frames, and that that was what Hitler was talking about, and obviously I'm not advocating the eradication of lesser races, like Hitler, but rather the exultation of perfection, the worship of ideal beauty. I would get down on my knees and bow to it if I could but I don't want to make the customer - I'm sorry, what's your name? Mark? - I'd rather not make Mark uncomfortable. And of course, Mark, anything you need, I'll just be right over here. Yep, right behind the counter.

Ok, I'm sorry, I really hate to do this but Mark? Yes, Mark? I'm going to have to ask you to leave the store. Um, do I really have to tell you why? Do you see these other people around you, these other people trying on frames? Well how do you think it makes them feel when you put those frames on you're wearing right now? Oh, really, you don't have any idea. How about "completely inferior"? How about, "hideously ugly"? I'm trying to help people here, Mark. I'm trying to make them look as good as they can and you traipse in here and put those frames on? Those frames which just happen to be our most expensive design and for good reason I mean, by God, they're like a Lamborghini on your face. Not literally, of course, I just mean that those frames, on your face, they go beyond just inanimate ornamentation. It's like they're an operable machine, a high-performance factory of style and taste. Those frames, on your face, well it's not even hardly your face at all anymore, is it? Those frames are just so transformative it's like - ok, so when I'm looking at your face it's like looking into the future - a good future, yeah, I like what I see, I see little reflective pools and harmony and goodness. Jeremy, have you ever wondered what it would be like to be alive during Jesus's time and to have seen him in person? You haven't? You heathen!! Well I have, I mean just imagine, all that peace and tranquility and the fact that this man is the son of God. What would that feel like? To look into His face, a face that holds so much wisdom and beauty? Well guess what Jeremy? I don't have to imagine that any more. I know what that's like. I'm looking into a face like that right now. And let me tell you, Jeremy, it feels gooood. God, does it feel good.

Mark, I take back what I said earlier. About you leaving. That was just a joke anyway, I like to play around a little. I can get carried away. But to be honest with you, I was dead serious about the Hitler thing and the Jesus thing and that is definitely the last thing I'll say but if you'd like me to ring those up just let me know and we can also get you non-reflective, tinted, scratch resistant, holographic, x-ray vision lenses at a very minimal charge to put in those when and if you're ready. You're the best, Mark. Thanks so much for stopping in. It really was my treat. Here's my card. Love you.


God decided enough was enough, and through the actions of His prophet, finally put an end to her efforts.

Thursday, August 25, 2005


If I were to tell you that I am the "sheepish" looking fellow in the above photograph, who would you guess I am?

a) Boy on far left
b) Boy second from right

There is, actually, a correct answer.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


This song goes out to all the ladies.

Baby, you know that I love you
Even though you're not a baby at all
As a matter of fact, you're my girlfriend.

And there doesn't seem to be any way
To impart to you how much I love you.
Well, baby, who is not really a baby but is my girlfriend,

I just want to say
That my love for you is a metaphor,
It's a rushing stream of tranquility,
It's a perfect sunset on the beach of Tahiti,
It surpasses all levels of believability,
This love for you,
That I've already mentioned is a metaphor
For how much I love you.
Which is a lot.

When I gave you those roses,
They were a symbol of the love I felt
Which is slightly different than a metaphor.

And when I told you you looked like a queen
That was a simile, because we both know
That you are no queen. But you are a queen to me.

We will go through stormy times, just as we
Will actually go through storms, in our car,
But baby, who is not really an actual baby, but my love,


I know people use figurative language
To describe their feelings to one another
But I love you so much I just don't want to do that

How can I be honest with you, if the things that I am saying
Are meant to be other things, like metaphors
Which confuse me because I take things so literally?

Like for instance if I were to tell you that your love
Wraps me in comfort and warmth, like a nice blanket?
Because to me, that's deceitful, because you're not a blanket but are in fact a person, a human being, and


Tuesday, August 23, 2005


Do not fuck with me.

Thursday, August 18, 2005


Los Angeles (AP) -- In a surprise move this morning, popular internet blogger The American Mastodon has decided to simplify his name. "We had to move the American out of the equation. It was for the fans. We had to simplify it. Mastodon is more personal. We are entering into the age of Mastodon. It's a new era," the blogger said in a recent interview with "Access Hollywood" to promote his upcoming hosting duties on his blog, The American Mastodon.

Mastodon — whose monikers have included Masty, the AM and Puffy, says Mastodon is "a little bit more personal. I've let down my guard. I'm fully exposed. We are going to have a lot of fun with it. It is the return of hip-hop, rock 'n' roll, all that shit. I'm a superstar and everyone's gonna call me Mastodon. I'm going to start talking in the third person everything. From now on, that's how I'm gonna roll."

Mastodon, above, who previously had been known as The American Mastodon, is seen here grazing on foliage.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005


If you'd like to read something funny, read this: Pete Rose Haircut.

And if you'd like to read another thing that is funny, read this: Then he added, “You have your life and your work, and you should get the two as confused and as mixed up as possible. Make it all one fabric. Vincent van Gogh did that. Hank Williams did it, Allen Ginsberg, Bukowski, those kinds of people did it.” He thought about it for a moment, lit his cigar, and added, “Anne Frank, of necessity, did it.”

And if you'd like to read something that is neither funny nor good, read the latest New Yorker short story (but why would you?): "Thicker Than Water"

And if you'd like to hear my potentially new and groundbreaking theory of evolution, let it be said that I spoke with my roommate and not only has the idea been suggested in a recent book, but it has been called "not plausible" by some, you know, scientist or something. Well, fuck them. You know, they used to make fun of Edison and Einstein, too. But who had the last laugh there? Who?

That's right.


Today on my way into work I came very close to hitting and killing a man with my car. That man was Peter Falk. He was wearing jeans and a denim shirt, and on the back of his shirt was a large, embroidered eagle. He looked at me dismissively and expectantly, as though he is a man who is almost constantly close to death at the hand of errant drivers, and then disregarded me with a slight flip of the hand.

Fuck him.

TV's Columbo, above, owns a shirt with an eagle on it.

Monday, August 15, 2005


This weekend, as I was flying back from the Heartland, or what some refer to as God's Country, after spending the previous two nights tossing uncomfortably on a smallish motel bed and the night before that flying to a variety of airport destinations, I had what is referred to as a revelation, though knowing as I do that I am not an incredibly brilliant man, only marginally so, and knowing also that biology and evolutionary theory is not my field of study, the genesis of my brilliance can hardly be called an epiphany on the scale of a Newton or Darwin, though if it is to be so then I am not one to arrogantly refuse accolades or awards or a tenure-track position at one of our country's great schools of higher education.

And have you noticed how when the body is sleep-deprived the mind drifts in and out of mentual acuity? Sure, there are the confusing moments, like when for ten minutes my mind became stuck on what seemed to be the incredibly complex - though nonetheless imagined - etymology of the word "calamity". Calamity. It does not mean what it seems it should mean. What should it mean, then? A fun-house parlor game. A stiff drink. Something other than " an event that brings terrible loss, lasting distress, or severe affliction." The word has a ring of jocularity to it. Calamity.

But regardless there are also moments of calm and steadiness; of a perfectly altered perspective, a sharp focus. And it was during one of those moments that I devised my brilliant thesis of evolutionary change. One that will no doubt revolutionize the current curriculum and also unite Evolutions and Creationists, will enjoy the knowledge we have accrued and leave hope for further advances of study.

Unfortunately, at the moment I am entirely exhausted and am having another "Calamity" moment. I should not have brought that up again. Calamity? Regardless, I hope to regale you later with my theory. In the meantime, let me just say that it has surely been proposed and rejected outright before, and my small moment of brilliance was little more than a misfiring neuron, the same sort of spontaneously devised ethos that often visit craftsman and bricklayers and all those others whose minds, while not entirely occupied by their owner's profession, find busywork crafting philosophies and histories of invaluable worth, beliefs which are almost uniformly idiotic and wrong.

Life as endless calamity.

Friday, August 12, 2005


Dr. Elliott Jonas
Director, Department of Geriatrics
Oakland Municipal Hospital
Oakland, CA 94609

Dear Dr. Jonas:

It is with great pleasure that I write this recommendation to you on behalf of the American Mastodon, who has alerted me of his wishes to serve as a resident in your hospital. For the past four years, I have had the distinct pleasure of teaching the young Mr. Mastodon in no less than five classes relating to geriatric health and elderly care. I can say with forthright conviction that the young Mr. Mastodon shows great promise in this area of medicine, both because of his unerring measure of rock-solid intelligence and his deep reserves of compassion and sympathy. I cannot more highly recommend an individual to serve as another doctor's apprentice and protege; indeed, were I still a practicing physician I should desire the post myself.

Excellent in the classroom and in the clinic, Mr. Mastodon shows a great propensity for learning. However, he is not merely a rote practioner; in fact, perhaps his greatest asset is his curiosity, which I believe will someday propel the young man to help geriatrics continue to grow as a cutting edge field of care and preventive care medicine.

Though some have criticized the American Mastodon for his excessive curiosity, I believe that he will flourish under the hand of a qualified and exemplary professional, such as yourself. Some, for example, saw only harm when Mr. Mastodon invited a local heavy metal band to a small nursing home on the outskirts of town, chaining the doors shut after the performance started and threatening those wishing to leave with the promise of stopped prescriptions. Indeed, this caused a small furor here in Duluth and Mr. Mastodon was, unfortunately and in my opinion illegally, arraigned on felony counts of hostage-taking and endagerment. If - and this was my opinion from the onset - we instead look at the incident as another case study in possible mood enhancement and pain relief in the lives of our country's older persons, then Mr. Mastodon's "research" proves interesing: could not this new form of "sound therapy" prove to be an efficient method of both improving the lives of older people and also giving them the confidence to live more adventurous later-life lives? I personally don't think it's a question that should so quickly be dismissed, an opinion ultimately not shared by the Duluth Police Department.

There are other incidents I could mention, including Mr. Mastodon's experiments in faux-thanasia, wherein he "psyches" terminal patients into thinking they have died, only to be resuscitated with a new "lease" on life; his research into the benefits of breast augmentation and other cosmetic surgeries for stroke victims; and his "Alzheimer's Story Books" series, in which mentally degenerative older people are shown pictures of complete strangers and told they are family members in various life situations (e.g., "Bobby your son" is now in jail, "Mary your granddaughter" is now a stripper and single mother of two, etc.). Mr. Mastodon then asks the Alzheimer's patients if they remember anything about "Bobby" or "Mary" and records the stories they tell. Not only does this provide, at times, some much needed comic relief for the overworked staff here at Duluth Community, it also gives us a better understanding of the ways we create stories, the neural pathways those stories create, and how family, pain, and shame are ultimately interwined (this last point was not something we thought we would discover during the Story Book series, but after several sessions it became more than evident). Indeed, in all areas Mr. Mastodon has dared venture, he has forged new and unchartered paths.

Some will no doubt continue to insist that the American Mastodon is in possession of a craven - if not criminal - mind. I do not share that opinion. Rather, I see Mr. Mastodon's work as innovative and, though highly controversial, fraught with the potential to solve some of geriatrics' greatest dilemmas. He seeks to engage the patients in their own recovery, and for that I applaud him.

Please call me if you have any questions and, again, I'd like to reiterate my firm belief that no finer a man could possibly be available for the open resident position at your hospital. The young Mr. Mastodon shows great potential in his chosen field and will meet or exceed all of your expectations. Indeed, a father could not be prouder of his son.


Dr. American Mastodon, Sr.
Professor of Geriatric Medicine
Duluth Community Elder Care
Duluth, MN 55808

Friday, August 05, 2005


Which of these words do you prefer to use to describe debris?

A) Flotsam
B) Jetsam

Also, keep on the lookout for a story later today!

Wednesday, August 03, 2005


Via U.S. Mail

Mr. Andy Rooney
60 Minutes
524 West 57th St.
New York, NY 10019

Dear Andy:

You can't stop me, so quit trying. In fact, I'm here. I'm coming. Coming faster every day. Every day slips a little more into me. I'm the future. So watch your back.

Watch your back, asshole.

You can complain about cell phones, cars, advertising, modern art, and fun. But guess what? It's futile. Useless. Sisyphean.

So just shut up. That's what the future is saying to you. Shut up. At least Paul Harvey tells stories. At least Harvey stands in awe, in wonder, of the world around him. "And that little boy who grew up in a mountain shack with thirty brothers and sisters went on to become...Andy Rooney!" You're never going to hear that. Why? Because you're a shit. You're just a shit.

You don't think I have the authority to say that? Well, I'm the future. I have perspective on my side. Time, too. Nobody likes a grouch. So just shut up. Stop talking about me. Stop making me out to be the bad guy. The world was never perfect, never will be. I'm doing the best I can. You think you're so perfect?

Trim your fucking eyebrows already.


The Future

Monday, August 01, 2005


The following statement was read by The American Mastodon at a press conference held on Monday, August 1, 2005.

This morning, as many of you know, the Commissioner of the League of Baseball issued a statement that I, the American Mastodon, have tested positive for steroids and will consequently be serving a ten day suspension.

Let me start by telling you this: I have never used steroids. Period. I don't know how to say it any more clearly than that. Never. Ever. Seriously, not once. Never have I ever. Am I getting through yet? I don't know how to make it any clearer.

Now, there are some of you in the press who have used this as opportunity to attack me, to say that I am a liar and a cheat. You have said, time and again, in print and on television, "How did this player, who last year was batting in the 8th spot on a single-A team in Nebraska, how did he become the league's leading candidate for the Triple Crown, and not only that, but how is it that he is on pace to shatter the single season home run record, with an astounding 64 home runs already, today, this first day of August, which if he kept up this pace would put him over 90 home runs, and if his team got in the playoffs, maybe even 100." You infer that I was able to do this through the use of anabolic steroids. You go on to infer that today's test results are a justification of your claims.

Let me just say this right now: you are all wrong. Even my mother, who called me this morning crying, asking me how I could have done this and why? Well, I'll tell you the same thing I told her: I didn't do it and I never have. As to the question of how my performance has improved so much this year, I say this: I do not deny that my numbers seem miraculous. And why is that? Well, I'll tell you why. Because what's happened to me is a miracle. That's right, a miracle. I can't be any more plainspoken than that. I can't dress it down any more. What you see it what you get with me, boy. And here's the thing: the Lord God Jesus Christ visited me at the beginning of the season and gave me inhuman powers. So far as I know, that's not prohibited by MLB or sanctioned in any way.

Now, of course there will be some of you who will point to the fact that I have gained 60 pounds over the past year, mostly in my shoulders, chest, and forearms. You ask me how such a feat is possible without the use of anabolic steroids. Well, for one thing, I'm not a doctor. I'm just a baseball player. If you're going to get me up here under these bright lights and ask me to explain the intricacies of the human body, then let's face it, I'm not going to be much help. All I really know how to do is swing a bat and catch a ball. And to be honest, I do it pretty well. I always have. I love this game. You can't really argue with that, now you can you? I love this game and I always will. It's a great game. If I weren't miraculously blessed with power and speed and the insatiable desire to WIN WIN WIN, then I wouldn't know where I'd be right now. Probably fixing pickup trucks back in Sioux Falls. Baseball saved me, man. Baseball is my redeemer. Now why would I do something like what you're accusing me of? That's just silly. I can't be any more forthright with you. I love baseball as much as I've never used steroids. Which is to say, a ton and never.

Now, I realize that there are still those among you who, no matter what I might say, will refuse to believe me. You'll say, "If you are all of the things you've claimed, then how is it that steroids were found in your bloodstream? How is that you've failed this test?" Well, all I know how to be is honest, so I'll come right out and say it: I don't know. Being completely honest is just how I was raised. I don't know any other way. The fact is, you're asking me how steroids got in my system, and I've already told you that I've never taken steroids. So that's like asking me how the earth got here. How we all got here, you know? Am I making sense? Like, I'm just a guy. I'm just a guy who plays baseball. I don't know how the earth got here. I don't know why we're born who we are, why we can't be somebody else? Like, these are just things I don't know. Just like I don't know how steroids got in my body. Some things, in life, they're a mystery. I don't think God meant for us to understand them. I guess this is just one of those mysteries.

In closing, I just want to say to all of the kids of America: nothing good comes from steroids. I, personally, wouldn't know, because I've never taken them, but it seems that in general, people tend to look down on them. There's nothing - and I mean nothing - that steroids can help you achieve that you can't also achieve through hard work, a positive attitude, and relentless determination. Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got to go film a shoe commercial and then pick my wife up at the airport, as she's just come back from a photo shoot on Bermuda for Maxim.

I don't know how I can be any more clear than that.