back home

Thanksgiving was good. There was surprisingly little drama. My dad and I did exchange a few words on the Bush administration, but that was about it… Our wild pit bull from the streets of Detroit, as my mom once described her, didnt gobble up my sisters precious little dog, as wed all feared, and there were no discussions on the subject of Maynard offspring.

My sister, for those of you who are keeping track of such things, has the same kind of dog as Kathy Lee Gifford. Its a yappy, little Hummel figurine of a dog.

As for my statement about offspring, my mom would like for us to produce a grandchild. Shes the oldest of three daughters and both her little sisters are already grandmothers, even though their kids are younger than my sister and me. For some reason, my mom thinks that it’s important for someone to carry on our family name into the future.

I think Ive mentioned it here before, but us Maynards havent really done much of note in America since Lieutenant Robert Maynard killed the infamous pirate Blackbeard off the coast of North Carolina in hand to hand combat. That was almost 200 years ago now.

I did win a Beautiful Baby contest in 1968, but I never lived up to the promise of that moment. At 35, I am now best known for this blog and my crumbling entertainment empire. I was thinking about it about it yesterday as Linette and I drove through Dayton, the home of Larry Flynts Hustler empire. Im like Larry Flynt, only without the porn and the success.

(Actually, I was just kidding when I said that Maynards haven’t done much of note. They were, from what I can tell, hard-working farmers and teachers for the most part. They came over to North America in the 1600’s and they worked to make this country great. Some grew crops, some taught school and one even killed a pirate and chopped off his head. In more modern times, some, like my father, have been successful in business… Lots of them served in the military too… So, I was just exaggerating for comedic impact when I said that we hadn’t, as a family, done much… (So, if you’re a ghost reading this, please don’t haunt me tonight. I said I was just kidding.))

So, back to Thanksgiving. Here are some highlights.

– Linette brought some new shampoo with us, some stuff that shed bought on-line. It smelled like cake frosting and it immediately put me into a bad mood. If youre anything like me, theres nothing like the sensation of smearing hazelnut frosting onto your scalp to really get your negative energy flowing. If anything else had gone wrong on Thanksgiving day, I was prepared to blame Linette and that little bottle of frosting. (As it was though, it was a really good Thanksgiving one of the best ever.)

– I lost the annual Maynard family Scrabble game by ONE FUCKING POINT! My mom and I were actually tied, but she used all of her letters and went out, leaving me with one one-point letter that I had to deduct. (Damn that Hazelnut frosting!!!)

– Linette and my sister bonded over knitting. Actually, they werent really knitting so much as they were un-knitting. They spent a total of eight hours untangling one small ball of yarn. The thing absolutely possessed them. Theyd both wake up in the morning and go to the thing and start working on it When my grandmother saw what they were doing, she pointed out that a new package of that same yarn would probably cost two dollars. That didnt stop them though. It was like crack to them.

– I invented a game called Monster Attack with the kids of my cousins. The game entailed me jumping around a room and making monster noises while they hid inside a fort built from blankets on the bottom bunk of a bunk bed I would shake the bunk bed and then thrust my hand in between the blanket walls and grope around for a child to eat. Theyd scream and scurry around to one side or the other. Id eventually grab one of their ankles, yank them out and pretend to eat them. This was the most fun I had all vacation.

It was cool spending time with my family. Linette and I dont see them often enough In spite of what I might say for comedic effect, Im pretty damned fortunate to have the family I have. We might have the occasional difference of opinion, and we might deploy the occasional passive aggressive attack against each other, but, when alls said and done, were pretty good people. (My dad is, however, wrong about Bush.)

Oh, did I mention yet that I think I may have gotten a death threat today?

Heres the photo that was sent to me.

Actually, it wasnt really a death threat. It just looks like one when viewed out of context. This photo was sent in by Mr. Smallwood, who happened to find himself this past weekend on the grounds of a Buddhist monastery in West Virginia with a digital camera and a copy of the navigation bar.

I need to do something to help out people like Mr. Smallwood, people who want to spread the word about through digital photography. My friend Jeff has a little poster on his site that people can download, print out, and then take with them as they travel the globe. Hes got a huge gallery of photos amassed. They show his logo, the smoking fish, inhaling at a World Series game, in North Korea, in Las Vegas, and lots of other places. If I didnt suck so bad, Id have something for you folks to download, maybe a caricature of me lathering up my hair with cake frosting, or perhaps a photo of me in front of a huge Mission Accomplished banner. How does that sound?

OK, here are the other photos from Mr. Smallwoods excursion into the forest where monks apparently meditate, slaughter woodland creatures and study human anatomy.

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soon. soon

OK, I just sent in this weeks comic for the Ann Arbor Paper, and now I am free to commence blogging

All I need to do now is slip into my tattered, old Blogging Leotard

…Jeez, I dont remember it being quite so snug.

Damn. Its. Arggghhhh!!!!



For those of you who are curious to know such things, I gained a whopping 57 pounds over the past four days. I havent yet fully assessed myself in a mirror, but I distinctly feel what can best be described as fleshy wings growing off of my back. Right now, as I type this, I have them draped forward, over my shoulders. Im thinking that tomorrow, when I put my suit on and get ready for work, I might tape them forward like this, thus giving the impression that I have broad shoulders instead of back breasts.

As for the comic I just submitted to the Ann Arbor Paper, I dont know if theyll print it or not. The last frame shows me on the toilet, on Thanksgiving evening. My swollen belly is resting on my knees and my legs are a blackish-purple color. (I sat on the toilet so long, I lost feeling in my legs and they began to rot.)

This may be too much of a leap for some of you, but speaking of sitting on the toilet so long that your blood pools in your legs, did I ever mention here that I once, when I was working in a hotel outside of Cincinnati, was asked to try to resuscitate a World War II vet that had died on the toilet? To this date, it remains the only time that I have ever handled a dead human being. All kidding aside, it was a life-changing experience. After having spent time with this gentleman, I can tell you with some confidence that there has to be something after we pass from this life. When you look at a person who has died, it is painfully obvious that these bodies of ours are nothing more than large, swollen suitcases of meat that contain our souls.

When I sat down to type, it didnt occur to me to share that. Sorry for going all Touched by an Angel on you.

OK, let me make some tea and Ill be back with you.

The tea is for my throat. I think I might be coming down with a bit of a cold.

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collin brings the visuals

Yesterday, I linked to a photo taken by my friend Jeff of a pile of pink flamingos stacked up in someones front yard. According to Jeff, in Olyphant, Pennsylvania, this is a common occurrence… It apparently has something to do with the intermingling of organized-crime and organized-religion.

According to Jeffs wife, Toney, if you dont tithe enough to your church, fellow parishioners fill your yard full of flamingo corpses. It’s like a modern, white trash version of the Scarlet Letter.

Anyway, in my post I suggested that the scene looked like a flamingo version of the Jonestown massacre. I said that the only thing that was missing was a slumped-over flamingo on a throne up front, next to a bucket of Kool-Aid Well, I just received the following image from Collin.

Isnt that cool? (OK, maybe “cool” isn’t the right word, but it’s it great that Collin could produce something like that?)

This is the coolest thing about having, the fact that, on occasion, people are compelled to contribute really interesting work.

I think its safe to say that Collin wins the prestigious “Reader of the Week” title… (Thereby giving him immunity during this week’s vote.)

I need to go now and watch the new episode of 24. If I dont have a chance to talk with you again before the holiday, I hope you and your family have a happy, healthy and terror-free Thanksgiving.

Oh, before I go, heres a story about Neil Bush having sex with hookers and selling access to his brothers administration.

And here’s a story about congress voting to expand the powers of the Patriot Act through an underhanded maneuver.

I’m sorry, but I had to sneak those things in. You’re probably immune to it now anyway though. I am. There’s so much going on that it’s hard to stay focused… Does anyone remember the “Plame affair” anymore? How about the 16 words from the President’s State of the Union address on Iraq’s quest for uranium in Niger? What about the 2,000 election? Fuck, it’s just absolutely overwhelming.

In spite of all that though, we truly have a lot to be thankful for. Its hard to keep that in mind sometimes, but its true. America is still the greatest country in the world, and the course we’re on isn’t necessarily set in stone. A new course can be set.

With that, I must leave you for my old friend Tivo.

Happy holidays.

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Thankfully, it looks as though our Presidents crushing workload might be abating a bit. As we all know, over the course of the past year hes been so busy that he hasnt even been able to attend one of the funerals for the American men and women who have died in Iraq. Well, I noticed today that he had the time to “pardon” a White House turkey. I’m not a professional political analyst by any means, but I think this probably means that things are letting up a bit. Hopefully, hell now have a chance to comfort some of the families of the soldiers who died while serving their country in Iraq.

On the subject of turkeys, the New York Times ran a fucking depressing op-ed piece today on what takes place on a state-of-the-art turkey farm. Its not pretty.

There’s probably a comparrison that could be drawn between factory farmed turkeys and the young men and women who are fighting on our behalf right now in Iraq, but I’m too tired to search around for it.

Let’s focus on happier things…

tis better to give than receive
As several of you have written in and asked what I would like for Christmas, heres a short list.

A small bowl of genetically engineered fish
An Osama bin Laden action figure
A bushel of tomaccos
A tube of injectable wrinkle-filling putty

The official list is actually quite a bit longer, but those are all the things I’ve added today.

small town church extortion
I just read the following on my friend Jeffs site and I need for someone to either confirm or deny it. I dont see how it could possibly be true, but something tells me that it is Heres what Jeff had to say:

Yesterday Toney and I drove past a house with a pile of pink flamingos stacked up in the front yard. I wondered aloud what it was all about, and Toney said, “Oh, they must have not paid their flamingo insurance…” What in the honey-roasted hell? Flamingo insurance?? I was completely lost. But, according to my wife, some of the churches around here extort money from their members by threatening to fill their yards with pink flamingos in the dead of night. It’s apparently a whimsical form of public humiliation, and the only way around it is to pay “flamingo insurance.” Can this possibly be true? It seems like the fund-raising techniques of Tony Soprano and Big Pussy Bompensiero. It feels a tad mean-spirited to me. Hey everybody, either these people aren’t Good Enough Christians or they’re having money problems. In any case, please laugh at them and point an accusing finger.

Jeff even took a picture of the pile of flamingos It looks like a scene from a flamingo Jonestown. All thats missing is the flamingo in the white suit slumped over on a throne next to a pot full of Kool-Aid.

Jeff and his readers have been doing one hell of a job of breaking big news stories lately. Not only did Jeff shine a light on this form of Christian shakedown today, but someone in his discussion area alerted us all to a terrifying Mexican bologna-smuggling operation. Heres a quote from the story that was linked to:

Border agents last week landed a meaty bust, seizing 756 pounds of bologna arranged into the shape of a car seat and covered with blankets in a man’s pickup.

If this is true, if theres a clear and present danger of spoiled seat meats making their way into the US from Mexico… I think we’d all agree that our only option would be to declare war on Canada, right? I don’t see as how we’re left with any other alternatives.

The story about this bologna seat goes on to say that there was a small Mexican boy sitting on the blanket-covered seat of meat. (My guess is that he was strapped into a car seat fashioned out of headcheese.)

Im thinking I might lobby the rest of the band to name the next MPT record, Mexican Bologna Seat. It sounds so damned dirty.

paranoia corner
Kez wrote in to warn us all to be careful as where we spit, lick and dribble. It looks as though the FBI can now pretty effectively collect our DNA from envelopes and other licked or sneezed-on items.

While were on the subject, you might also be surprised to learn that the FBI has been known to use new in-dash communications systems, like On Star, to listen in on peoples in-car conversations. Apparently, all you need to do is throw a switch and your car becomes a giant, rolling recording studio Thats something to keep in mind the next time you feel like discussing the potted meat products which youre sitting on.

OK, Im going to go upstairs now If you dont have a chance to check in again between now and Thanksgiving, I hope you and your families have a happy and relatively terror-free holiday.

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I was making my way around the internet today and went, as I try to do at least once a week, to check out what was going on at I thought I might get an update on her wedding plans or on her Pick a Bridesmaid competition. Instead, what I found were photos of her hot mom and a very nice mention of the new issue of Crimewave, which she just happened to find in a Los Angeles bookstore.

If you havent been to since I linked to that footage of her running through a parking deck and then passing out drunk on the floor of a public restroom, its time to head back.

As long as were talking about, here are a couple images I just stole from there. The first is of Katie snapping a photo out of a car window as she passes the Playboy Mansion. The second is a shot she took of her friends knuckles.

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