Roads?! Where we’re going we don’t need roads.
I know that you are very busy getting paid to be funny, but do you have time for some pro bono work? It’s been several months since blog has heard your thoughts on trackpants (see here, here, and here). Not much is new on my end, I still get paid to turn ideas into Silly, Cumbersome, Homonymic Turns of Phrases, Acronyms, and Dictates (SCHTOPAD). It makes ideas sound more important when you make them SCHTOPAD.
The only real news is that I have discovered time travel. I’m pretty sure.
How did I make this discovery? As you may recall from my ol’ blog, I have a bit of showering problem. My apartment in Sierra Leone has a shower that works just fine. Or, at least that was what I thought until I was in Europe over Christmas and went on a shower binge. (binge: i.e. what would happen if you were locked in an apartment with peanut butter and barbeque sauce.) I had forgotten some fundamental facts about showers. Such as that they should be enjoyable - the shower a place of solace in which to plan out the day, explore great thoughts, test the limits of human pruning.
When I returned to Sierra Leone in January, I could no longer hide from my poor decisions. In hindsight I should have realized that my shower had a certain Zero Dark Thirty-y quality to it. I shouldn’t have had to remove the showerhead from the hose to get the shower to work. I shouldn’t have had to angle my thumb over the nozzle to approximate pressure. My shower shouldn’t look like a dank torture chamber.
I decided that I had to move. Rinse, lather, but not repeat the same mistakes. I had no idea that in my move I would discover time travel. That was a nice bonus.
Here’s my new shower:
Yes, that’s a shower. And a time machine. Let me walk you through the features, which are all entirely necessary for a shower to have.
- It has speakers
- It has jets, including a built-in bidet
- It has disco lights
Most importantly, for the time travel bit, it has a flux capacitor. See below:
It’s hard to decipher, so let me explain the features that enable me to escape the anchoring grasp of temporality. Now, there are a few buttons that are just your run-of-the-mill features to enhance your time-traveling experience. Such as the button which allows me to receive phone calls:
Or a button that lets me play music. Or this button that dispenses omega three fatty acids:
Or a button that racks billiard balls for me:
These are all nice, but what we are really interested in is the button which thrusts one forward through time:
The loofahs are also important. But, as yet, they are entirely manual without a button that operates them.
Now. Here’s how it works. You wake up, ready for another day of SCHTOPAD stuff, saunter into the showering unit and slide the outer vestibule shut. Power on the shower and adjust the heat. When the mirror has fogged sufficiently and Huey Lewis is blaring on the standard shower speakers, press the shit out of the time travel button, and hold onto the loofah.
When you exit the shower in the distant future the world will be almost unrecognizable. Your bedroom will be enveloped by a fine mist, prompting you to gasp for oxygen. Your cheerful roommate will have turned into an angry man who rants about you ‘using up the hot water’. There is an apparent water shortage in the future.
I can’t take all the credit for having created time travel. I’m merely the time traveling equivalent of a capuchin shot into space. No, real credit must go to whatever Lebanese genius designed the ‘Crystal Sanitary Ware’ shower and thought it prudent to give it disco lights. He is Doc Brown to my Marty McFly. Ironically, he is probably being chased by Libyans, too.
Sean Turns 30, Get’s Crotchety and Fights ‘The Man’
By the time he was 30, Alexander the Great had visited Persia, was gay, and Great. I turned 30 last week, haven’t seen Persia, am not gay, and am Middling at best. In addition, I had a pop-tart for lunch yesterday. However, I have now set my life on a course of Action. This much I have in common with Alexander the Great.
Course of Action: I have recently declared war on the United Nation’s security apparatus.
And I am happy to report that I am winning my war. I should note that ‘winning’ is according to rules that only I have agreed to…the United Nation’s security apparatus being a multi-headed nincompoopish hydra that can’t agree on anything, let alone the rules of our war.
I should back up….The UN has several buildings around town (think: Chick-fil-A) and to enter you have to go through a ‘security check’. This is fine. I fully support security checks. What I don’t support are joke security checks applied haphazardly or in an un-egalitarian manner. I don’t take joke security checks very seriously and this is why I have decided to wage an impish war against the United Nation’s security apparatus. Which I am winning.
Why are the security checks a joke? Good question, Josh. Let me walk you through the process.
Case 1: Wherein you approach a UN building on foot
You walk up to the building gate. It’s pretty ugly and soul-sapping but you figure, ‘I’ve got a meeting to attend….can’t go around it, can’t go under it, guess I’ll go through it’.
In theory, you show an ID badge to a guard and hang it around your neck, sign a security log, and have your bag inspected. The guards, if they even look at the ID badge, do so as though if they stared at it closely it would burn their eyes. Which, because I’m so white, might very well happen. The log supposedly keeps a record of who enters, but none of the guards look at it and only care that you fill out all the fields: name, organization, date, time.
Case 2: Wherein you approach a UN building in a car
You wave and are let in.
Case 3: Wherein you approach a UN building in an inner tube
Stop living in dreamland, Josh. That’s how you get in the World Bank.
The process is a joke. I began to wonder if you could get past the security check if you produced a rectangular piece of plastic, scribble anything with a pen, or game the system of cunning bag-related questions. And so my impish war began.
Since launching my war, I have shown the following in lieu of an ID badge to pass security: a business card, my US driver’s license, someone else’s business card, my Brussels Air frequent flier card, and, I shit you not, an ‘invisible card’.
When asked to sign the security log, I have signed as: William Shakespeare, Whitey McBlanco, and Ban Ki Moon. I have represented: NASA, the White House, Bob’s Clam Hut, and Hollywood.
On the bag inspection front, I am happy to report total victory. I discovered that when asked if I have a computer in my bag, I say no, there is no bag inspection. Turns out that every time since then I have not had a computer in my bag.
Like Alexander marching towards India, I’m not exactly sure what is the end goal of my campaign. To amuse myself? To change the system? If I could just get the UN security apparatus to agree to some terms of a truce, I think we’d be fine. Maybe if they posted signs that said “Security Check-ish, If You Feel Like It” or the guards handed out slices of pizza or somehow justified their jobs, I’d be fine. But until then, my war continues. Alexander died at 32, I think if this bullshit continues I might do so as well.
Captain Crunch, Anti-Defamation League
Josh and Sean Don’t Live Together Edición Especial Español: Josh y Sean Vivan Juntos (Brevemente)—Again!!¡¡¡
Sometimes, lightening strikes twice. A mere seven months since we last lived together (briefly), we are delighted to announce that from May 18th – 25th we lived together (briefly (again)) in Madrid, Spain and its environs.
As you may recall from our previous 2002 blog, “Josh and Sean Live Together, but Blogs Don’t Exist Yet…¡Que Raro!”, this wasn’t the first time we had lived in Madrid. To recap, this is mostly what it was like the last time we lived in Madrid.
Imagine the nervous anticipation, the hushed expectation that we could rekindle some of that Madrid 2002 magic. Those days of summer before Sean grew a beard and Josh gave up that bowl cut.
Internet, not only did we rekindle that magic, but we upped the stage production value for a bloated sequel! Bloated on account of way too mucho wine, cheese, and jamón. In between food comas and heart palpitations, we put our heads together (in a more platonic fashion) and took stock of our lives since 2002.
A few observations:
- Whereas Josh 2002 would go weeks wearing the same dirty “American Idol” T-shirt (to the point that his host mother, looking at his greasy appearance, asked him if it was raining outside), Josh 2012 seems to have acquired a taste for “showers” and “non-musical-TV-based wardrobe.”
- Sean 2012 gleefully paid for a $10 dinner at Casa Mingo, while penniless Sean 2002 could only watch as “friend” Angus Fredenburg ate delicious roasted chicken, stuffed with Manchego cheese and an extra 10 Euro bill as “fiscal seasoning,” right in front of him.
- Whereas Sean 2002 had flexible definitions of “shelter” and “bathroom facilities” (occasionally sleeping outside of bus stations with the homeless and travelling to the airport to go to the bathroom when locked out of his house), Sean 2012 demanded—and received—ready access to a ceiling and toilet at all times.
- Whereas Josh 2002 was placed directly in remedial Spanish lessons, Josh 2012 (following years of study and travel in Guatemala and South America) was able to converse fluently with locals. HAHAHAHAHA! Just kidding, that one’s the same. Nobody understood a word of what he was saying.
However, not all was retrospective, for life, like Spanish picketers protesting austerity measures, marches on. We built new memories, even though we knew we would soon be re-not living together.
We took pictures in front of old-looking buildings:
We passed sacred ice cream cone batons on the Camino de Santiago:
We ate ice cream (again) and made funny faces (again)—but in a different environment!! (No, but seriously, how much ice cream did we eat in Spain? We only took pictures with ice cream… Is this a frozen custard-based call for help?)
Suffice it to say, we had a hell of a time. Or, put more eloquently by Sean’s indefatigable thumbs:
Sean and Josh
Compañeros de piso temporarios
España, Mayo 2012
Hard Day’s Work
I normally try to shield you from talk about the tedium of work—except when it involves fat men in tracksuits, obviously. However, there have been some significant developments, and I find myself hard-pressed not to tell you about my increasingly stiff working conditions before you erect any formal work story barriers.
Phew. Sorry to be so blunt, but I could only talk in code for so long.
Oh dear. The honesty is just exploding out of me now.
Sean. Before this gets any messier, what I want to tell you is that…I have moved to New York City to research photos of men with boners. For a living.
Details to come, but please sit down as you’re considering this strange turn of events. Because in my line of work, I’ve learned that penile crispness can happen when you least expect it—and someone will ALWAYS have a camera.
Sr. Boner Analyst
Josh. Let’s Go.
Over the weekend the Obama campaign sent me (and only me) a barrage of e-mails, including one where I thought Obama was a bit too lazy and blunt:
Sean — I need you with me on this one. Tonight’s deadline is our biggest yet, and I need everyone pitching in. Give $15 or whatever you can.
Let’s go, Barack”
The deadline was his financial reporting to the FEC. Now, personally, I think he shouldn’t be procrastinating and waiting right until the deadline to submit his report. I’m not going to help him do something that he’s had mooooonths to do. It also makes him sound like a needy mafioso. Anywho, I got to thinking about how other Presidents would have handled the situation differently and sifted through my old e-mails. You’ll never guess what I found!
Sean — Wheeze. Money. Wheeze/Cough.
Let’s go eat pudding,
Sean — Remembrance of honor past shall not dissuade us from the duty at hand nor grant us respite from those who would see our Endeavor perish. Please give me four score twenty dollar bills.
Let us go and stand fast so that we may stand true,
Sean — Ask not what bumper sticker you shall receive, but ask what shall receive you bumper sticker. Ich Bien Ein Presidentenplatz.
Let’s go to the moon,
John F. Kennedy
Sean — Yes, I have been your President for the past four years, why do you ask?
Let’s go Red Sox,
Sean — Gild my age.
Let’s go beat some mugwumps,
Holding Out For A Hiro
Oh my—hello. It’s just that, well, you’ve caught me at an awkward time. As you know, apart from that one time we lived together briefly in Harlem, we haven’t lived together for a while…And, you see, some things have changed about me that you should know about.
- I passed a monumental life landmark last week and was shocked to discover that it is considered “creepy” and “a pathological display of regression” for 30-year-olds to celebrate their half-birthdays at Chuck-E-Cheese.
- While you might remember me as a long-haired party animal, I now end most days at 6pm passed out on my couch, covered in peanut butter crackers and books tracing the history of phallic fruits.
- It becomes increasingly difficult to make friends when you are just as likely to change the conversation to the fact that there are over 600 entirely different varieties of bananas in India (!!!!!!!!!) as you are to spontaneously fall asleep into a crumpled snore pile at the dinner table.
The moral of the story, Sean, is that I’m afraid I might be getting old. And at this juncture, I find myself in need of some advice.
Would you be so kind as to pass these questions on to Sensei Hiro? (I have pre-translated them for his—and your—convenience).
- Fwhat schould I doo wiff(le) mai rlife?
- Schould we rLet It Be, rlike the Beatrles said, ore rLet It Brleed, rlike The Roylling Stoynes sed(th)?
- Didt uu k-now tat bahnahnahs reprodoosse asexxually, and theirfour rliterallie EVlERlY bahnahnah you eet is geneticarlrly eyedenticarl to evlelry uhthur???? (!!!!!)
Thanks in advance for clearing that up, Hiro.
This nap’s for you,
Oh, Right, We Have a Blog
It’s been a while since either of us have written. I’m looking around my apartment in Freetown, Sierra Leone…don’t see you….guess we still don’t live together.
Remember when we were cohabiting in Harlem in October and you laughed at my suitcase full of socks? I dare you to ask me now how many pairs have survived here in Sierra Leone. Two. Who’s laughing now? Me. Who is over conscious about their exposed toes now? Also, me.
Ready for a segue? Socks are great. Hey! Doesn’t the word ‘sock’ sound a little like ‘saki’? I have a colleague here named Hiro, from Japan. Segue complete.
I now present to you, Things Hiro Has Said To Me:
Sean, have you ever rloved woman? Rearlly rloved?! You know?!
Sean, run from woman. Probrlem. This my money! Why she take?!!
Even the woman you rlove will a change you. This kinds things happen arll the time.
On Cultural Stereotypes:
Hiro: Sean, you want Coke?
Me: Sure, why not?
Hiro: American! Arlways Coke. I rlike!
Later that day….
Hiro: Sean, you want Coke?
Me: No thanks.
Hiro (tauntingly): No, you want Coke. You rlike! Is right here.
Me: Ok, if you insist…
Hiro: See. Coke. I read your mind! So funny.
On Election Logistics:
Me: So, when the generators arrive, how will they determine the distribution plan?
Hiro: 50 generators come.
On Restaurant Logistics:
Me: Are you getting tired of eating in this restaurant every day?
Hiro: The documents. They coming. That most important thing.
I nod a lot when Hiro talks, not entirely sure what he’s usually saying. Which brings me to English as a First Language days. I have a friend here who takes what she calls EFL Days, days where she kicks back and does little work, because she is a native English speaker. Her reasoning is because she is EFL she is wildly more productive than her other United Nation’s colleagues who can’t spit out coherent paragraphs sprinkled with an array of multi-syllable words. For example, a document that takes her a day to write, might take a colleague with a Hiro-esque command of English a week to write. She is not compensated for her wild productivity and is in fact given more work because she is so productive. It hardly seems fair. So, everyone once in a while (ahem, few days a week) she takes EFL days, where she doesn’t do shit, as a reward for being so productive normally and to lower her colleagues perception of her overall productivity. It’s the United Nation’s equivalent of wearing track pants to work.
Josh and Sean Don’t Live Together Special Edition: Josh and Sean Live Together…Briefly
Please sit down.
IT IS WITH STAGGERING DISBELIEF THAT WE ANNOUNCE THAT from October 16-19, Josh and Sean established abode—together—in Harlem. Their residency was witnessed by close friend Liana Heitin and officiated by Airbnb.com. The reception was held in various bars throughout Manhattan and was consummated over a delicate corned beef gnocchi.
Said one overwhelmed guest, “Wait, but don’t you guys have a blog about NOT living together? Won’t people feel betrayed?” We don’t want to lie anymore, SO WE HAD TO COME CLEAN TO YOU, Internet
After so much time not living together, it wasn’t domestic bliss from the get-go. OK, fine, that’s another lie—IT WAS AMAZING. However, our distance allowed us to make keen observations about the other’s habitation habits, as if for the first time. For example:
- Josh prefers to sleep draped in a damp towel in the fetal position. L.A. IS WEIRD.
- Sean does not understand even the basics of how “THE TECHNOLOGY” works. Africa is weird. (CLICK FOR VIDEO)
- JOSH MOANS as much while taking a shower as he does while eating a fiery lamb sausage. It’s unclear which is more unsettling.
- Sean is able to say things like, “We’re going to do a lot of walking today. DO YOU WANT TO BORROW MY VASELINE FOR YOUR THIGHS?” with a straight face.
- Josh resembles a chemo patient when he wears a hat. Also, HE MAY BE LACTATING.
- Much of Sean’s existence resembles that of a COLOMBIAN DRUG DEALER WITH A MONETARY FETISH. For example, SEAN: “I’m going to need all my change in crisp $100 bills printed after 2006. Yes, seriously.”
Dreams do come true. Ask us, baby, we’re living proof.
Josh and Sean (recently re-separated)
Brains Down in Africa
Sometimes I get tired of Africa. Such as my recent trip to the Kenya Airways office here in Juba. Ahem. Begin scene.
Kenya Airways Lady (KAL): Hello, how can I help you?
Sean: Hello! I am hoping that you can help me with some information. I want to buy a ticket to Nairobi on your website. They list three different types of fares: Economy, Economy Flex, and Economy Super (Duper) Flex. But it doesn’t say anywhere on the website what the differences are between the fares. Do you know what they are?
KAL: It is hard to say.
Sean: Yes, but I was just wondering what the different policies are. I imagine that Super Flex lets you cancel or change your ticket without restrictions???? Right??
KAL: Well, it all depends on which type of fare you buy.
Sean: …..Yes…. Exactly. Now, what are the differences between Economy, Economy Flex, and Economy Super Flex?
KAL: I would have to know your departure date.
Sean: Why would that matter? I don’t have a departure date yet. I’d just like to know the policies.
KAL: Well, the policies all depend on which type of ticket you have.
Sean: Precisely! I agree with you. Now. Let’s suppose that I came in here with an Economy Flex ticket for September 5th. What would you say to me? What can I do with that ticket?
KAL: Well, it would depend; I would need your confirmation number.
Sean: I don’t have a ticket yet.
KAL: If you buy a ticket, I can tell you.
Sean: I’m not going to buy a ticket so that I can find out if I can cancel the ticket…. Look. The Economy ticket is $500, the Economy Flex is $550, the Economy Super Flex is $690…. What accounts for the added price?
Sean: What if I showed you the Kenya Airways website, maybe that will help.
KAL: (Looks at three computers on her desk) That will be difficult.
Sean: You have three computers, can we go on the internet on any of them?
Sean: (Looks around the room, confused) This is Kenya Airways and you work for Kenya Airways, right?
Sean: Thank you for your time.
Sincerely, and not traveling on Kenya Airwaysly,