fertility in the coming year

“Your head, it’s fun.”

Someone just sent this note to me. I’m glad to know that somebody is having fun with what’s in my head. And, I’m happy to provide the service.

As of right now, I have no plans of closing my head, so stop pushing. There’s plenty to go around.

As I was leaving the house this morning, I noticed four brightly colored condoms in front of my house. They were in a nice little stack, right near the road.

Each condom, full of juice, had a knot tied in the non-tip end. I was thankful for that.

I wondered for quite some time what the scenario might have been that saw them deposited here. I suppose the most likely is that someone, perhaps a frat boy, decided to clean out his car (or was it a van) before heading back home to the suburbs to see his parents for Thanksgiving. I also thought, however, that they could have been dropped there by one of the prostitutes that strolls up and down our street at night. Having never been with a prostitute (that’s one of the few things I’m proud of), I don’t know how theclean up usually happens. Is it the prostitute’s job to take the condom off and to dispose of it? Is that a value-added service covered in the price of entry?

However they got there, I’m trying, in my mind, to see it as a good thing, at least symbolically. Couldn’t it be that this is a good omen, predicting fertility, productivity and success in the upcoming new year? (I know that in reality it probably only foreshadows more hookers and frat boys fucking on our front door step, but I’d like to think it’s something better than that.)

OK, that is all I want to say about the condoms in my front yard. I don’t want to fixate on them. If I do, I won’t be able to leave the house again.

mirth of a nation

I got a copy of the book More Mirth of a Nation in the mail today.

The editor sent it to me, I guess, because I was asked to submit some writing for consideration earlier in the year. I guess it wasn’t mirthfull enough for them though. They decided not to use my stuff. My friend Gregory Hischak got in though. At any rate, I felt like I would mention that it’s out and that Hischak’s work may finally get the wider audience that it deserves. His name’s not on the cover, but he’s right in there along with Steve Martin and the rest of the gang. He’s actually got like an entire section. Check it out if you get a chance, or at least go to Greg’s site. It requires a better vocabulary than markmaynard.com, but I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

As for my not making it, don’t feel bad. It wasn’t something I was pursuing. (I don’t pursue very often. I’m more of a sit, wait and complain kind of guy.) They just asked me to send some stuff, probably because Hischak had put in a good word. Linette and I were talking about it last night and she said that even if my stuff was well-written, which it’s not, it probably wouldn’t be considered mirthfull. (She didn’t say it that harshly, but that was the gist.) Mirth, she says, implies that you’re coming from a more literary place. My humor, I’m afraid to say, is a little more pedestrian. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but it’s true.

Believe me when I tell you that stories about picking up the used condoms of strangers on the ends of sticks and running through your yard with them probably don’t qualify as “mirth.”

It’s no coincidence that my writing was turned down for Mirth of a Nation, but favorably reviewed in the smut newspaper Screw.

A tiny teardrop rolls down the man’s chubby cheek as he realizes that he’s more Howard Stern than he is Mark Twain.

would they rather he liked ugly women

“What would [the prophet] Muhammad think?” wrote Isioma Daniel. “In all honesty, he would probably have chosen a wife from among them [the contestants].”

That’s what a reporter in Nigeria wrote a week or so ago about the Ms. World pageant that was scheduled to be held in his country.

Seems innocent enough, right?

Well, guess what? Now, over 225 people are dead as a result of the riots that were set in motion by that comment.

Can you imagine that? People are DEAD because some Nigerian Larry King decided to go off on a riff and interject some wit into a stupid little column about a beauty contest.

As if that on its own isn’t ridiculous enough, here’s the apology that ran in the paper shortly afterward.

You’d think that they just said that Mohammed liked to _________ his own ________.

(I was about to post something truly hilarious there, but then I started imagining a Muslim death squad being dispatched to hunt me down.)

I just find it interesting that here, in the modern world that I know, we can confront objectionable things, like the writing of Larry King and unpleasant images of our religious figures, without feeling the need to set ourselves on fire and chop each other’s heads off.

Does anyone remember how many people died during the bloody riots that followed artist Andres Serrano’s first show featuring his photo Piss Christ, the photo of the Lord Jesus Christ submerged beneath gallons of stale, brown urine?


That’s right. Can you believe that. If it was “Piss Mohammed” though, we’d all be saying goodbye to our loved ones. It would be the end of the fucking world.


24 is on tonight. I always worry that I’ll die before the next episode of my favorite TV show airs. It hadn’t occurred to me until just now, but that’s weird, isn’t it? I don’t worry about dying in general. I worry about death interfering with my TV watching.

Goodnight moon.

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One Comment

  1. Kevin Festov
    Posted August 14, 2009 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    It’s taken me a solid month of looking, but I found it. I knew if I went back through every post, I’d eventually find Piss Christ. I KNEW IT!

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