Thursday, September 27, 2001

Kafkaesque-Clamato Communiqué #2 (The saga continues):

I emailed you good folks at Clamato not too long ago asking about the ethical treatment of The Noble Clam. I was assured in no uncertain terms that I would be receiving lots and lots of free Clamato stuff in the mail with all due alacrity. Sad to say, to this day I have received not even a speck of bivalve-tomato memorabilia. I feel shunned by Clamato. And in response to the age-old question "Where's Clamato?" I can only offer the following response "Not here."

I have to say that if this apathy keeps up, I shall be forced to take my business elsewhere for gastropod-fruit blends.

disconsolately yours,
Just a couple of notes here from the kafkaesque world that is Kafkaesque's job.

I have worked at my current job for about two years now. There's a woman who works there who, every time I pass her in the hall, does the EXACT same thing. She raises her eyebrows in this little faux-surprise sort of way, and says "helloooo!" That's weird enough......but the kicker is that she doesn't actually speak the word "helloooo!". She just mouths it. Every time I walk down the hall by her cube I am filled with an abiding, gnawing fear that she'll notice me and be forced to give me The Silent Helloooo. I think she is probably under a lot of pressure. I mean keeping up the exact same salutation for two years, virtually every day? It's enough to make the strongest of us crack.

I see it as a struggle of wills. One day she will be unable to keep up the string of identical Silent Helloooos and just snap. All of a sudden it'll become a Barely Audible Helloooo! or even a "Hi there!". But maybe it will be me that gives in. Her silent, inspiringly insincere greeting will force me over the edge and I will scream (either silently or at the top of my lungs, as the mood strikes me): "Can't you do something else, for Christ's sake!" Then I'll storm off and probably get crushed to death trying to rock a free soda out of the Coke machine.

There is another guy in my office who likes to use the nonexistent word "Attaboy!" Now don't get me wrong here. If you are, say, at your son's little league game and he gets a single instead of just whacking lamely at the tee like usual, or if you are an extra in a 1940s madcap musical romp, "attaboy!" as a spontaneous outburst of encouragement is perfectly legitimate. This guy likes to use it as a noun, like this "The boss is gonna give me some 'attaboys' for this!", an expression of childlike mirth and spreading across his strangely dough-like face.

I like to pretend that every time I hear this guy (who I'll call "Bob" because that's his real name) say "Attaboy" I get to punch him in the face. Every time my fist connects with his doughy noggin, Bob will smile and say "That's an 'attaboy'!", forcing the whole twisted cycle to endlessly repeat until we are both left, bereft of hope, sobbing on the scratchy blue carpet, among the teetering cube walls that are our destiny.

"Attaboy!" kind of sounds like it should be the name of a mascot, like the Little Dutch Boy on the paint cans, or maybe a perky Pancake House slogan. "I'll have the Attaboy Stack O' Flapjacks, Mabel!" you might say as you lean back against the maroon vinyl of the booth's bench seat, wondering in a vague and diffuse sort of way if you shouldn't maybe have gone for the Belgian Waffle.

THIS JUST IN: Attaboy Entertainment, featuring Rocky the Leprechaun, Leroy the Leprechaun, Jingles the Holiday Elf, and Ric Rampage, the Wacky Reporter on Stilts.

Attaboy magic trick thingy.

Attaboy, Terry, now you're acting like a herper.

Tuesday, September 25, 2001

Monkeys love to dress like Mississippi Blues Legend, Leadbelly.

That's not to say they don't enjoy wearing hats and diapers too. Because they do.

But most of the monkeys I talk to tell me the same thing over and over: we just can't get enough of TV's Elmo.

OK this one is really cute.

You saw nothing! Do you hear me?! Nothing!

And friends, let us take a glimpse into the timeless, innocent beauty of Monkey in Sailor Suit. Here, you can see the artist has worked hard, through the creative use of focus, to give the picture the immediacy of that magic moment when you come around the corner and all of a sudden you realize that there's a monkey in a sailor suit crawling around the family room.

Monday, September 24, 2001

Hello class!

Today is super-fun-day here at My Life As An American Gladiator!

First: Let's play Spaced Penguin!

Thursday, September 20, 2001

Howie Long Radio Shack commericals. If you ever want to torture someone and pulling off parts of their body really slowly sounds a little too good for them, I would sit them down in front of a screen, their eyes held open Clockwork Orange style, and make them watch a nonstop stream of these haunting advertisements.

I really wonder who the target audience of these commericals is. Maybe Radio Shack got tired of having their customer base composed solely of Ham Radio freaks and guys who spend 6 hours a night listening to the Police scanner. Their new target audience, people who aren't repelled by the interaction between Howie Long and Teri Hatcher, is possibly seven people max. For those of you not in the loop, as the kids say, Teri Hatcher was TV's Lois Lane. Howie Long was of course TV's Howie Long. Are these two married? Should I care?

What is it about these little cutesy ads that bothers me so much? That's just it: I don't even know. For some reason they just seem wrong. I think maybe they are so painfully unhip because you can sense them straining for the hip factor.

I think it's perfectly reasonable to suspect Radio Shack of a hidden agenda. These guys practically ask you for a urine sample when you buy batteries at Radio Shack, so don't be surprised if these little morsels of Howie-Teri goodness are only the beginning. I see a subversive coup attempt in the near future, after the populace has been brainwashed by the ads, they move in with the heavy artillery. I don't know what that will be, but god knows it won't be pretty. Microscopic implants through which the voice of Howie Long will drive you to buy poorly made radio controlled Chevy Cavaliers, and inferior Home Theater Systems. Don't say I didn't warn you.


On another note, those of you who have been following the Clamato story with something resembling attention may wish to know that I have YET to receive any free Clamato stuff from those bastards. I think my phone has been tapped too. I know too much! They know I'm going to blow the lid off this whole clam-squeezing scandal unless a big shipment of free Clamato stuff arrives, and I mean soon.

Monday, September 17, 2001

a different voice:
I am sitting here enjoying a cool and refreshing Sprite on my lunch-hour, and I notice that the ring of advertising around the top of the can is yelling "XTREME!! XTREME!!" It's an ad for Magic Mountain. Granted, the roller coasters at Magic Mountain are getting a little out of hand, but the point I want to make here is the abundant overuse of everyone's favorite buzzword: Extreme.

This weekend my wife and I took a road trip, covering about a thousand miles. While we were toodling around California, we passed one of those school Car Wash events in a parking lot. But this was no ordinary car wash. Oh no. It was an EXTREME car wash. I don't really know what Extreme means in that context. Maybe it would be Extreme for the teenage car-washers if you drove at them at, say, 40 miles an hour and they had to shammy your PT Cruiser while leaping out of harm's way. That would be pretty extreme. Maybe they could bring in a huge crane and the kids could bungee up and down, stealing the precious seconds of gravity well inertia to rub some bird droppings off your grill. That, too, would be fairly extreme.

The creme de la creme of the Extreme pantheon is Togo's new slogan: Xtreme Summer. I am guessing that for a sandwich shop to be "Xtreme" they would have to assemble your sandwiches while standing on beds of white-hot embers, or maybe construct a hot pastrami on wheat while street-lugeing down city streets. Maybe the sandwiches themselves are the Xtreme component. I envision "Sourdough Chicken and Gravel" or "Roast Beef and Broken Glass". Now that sounds impressive.

With all the the DNA experimentation going on lately, perhaps you could even craft a sentient sandwich. Imagine the thrill as you personally stalk and strangle an Avocado and Turkey on white, before stuffing it into your gaping maw. The Sandwich Hunt could be the new X-Game event, right after Mountain Bike Parcheesi, or whatever the hell they do on the X-Games. "New Champion Kafkaesque disabled his prey, a large Egg Salad, after a new record time of just under thirty seconds. Especially impressive given the ferocity of the Egg Salad - Oil and Vinegar Dressing combo. And I think I saw Kafkaesque pull off an 820° Free Triple Reverse Buttstand there too, showing this sandwich that it was clearly no match for his mad freakish skillz! And now, five minutes of Mountain Dew and Red Bull ads!"

Or, after you give the Togo's employee your order, they could fire it at you from some sort of sandwich-cannon. Xtreme? I think so. Just think of the sense of accomplishment as you grab a Mortadella, Capicolla and Provolone out of the air with your teeth as it rushes towards you at speeds that approach the sound barrier!

All I'm saying is, leave "Extreme", "Xtreme" and all the rest in the hands of trained professionals who know how to use such potentially powerful buzzwords. In the wrong hands, such Extreme-osity could result in numbness to the Xtremities.

Tuesday, September 11, 2001

No frivolity today.

Wherever you are, hold your loved ones tightly.


Monday, September 10, 2001

Incidentally, all Kafkaesque's Great Ideas are copyright Kafkaesque, and anyone trying to steal them shall be subject to the full and incontravertible wrath of my Clam Minions. In case you are wondering, my Clam Minions have not yet developed the twin powers of speech or flight, but I am told by the magical elves at Kafkaesque labs that they are advancing at a truly alarming rate, so you'd really be taking your chances.


Sunday, September 09, 2001

Kafkaesque's Great Idea #2:

I've been kicking this idea around for a while now and I think its time has finally come.

Everyone wants to get in shape right? The problem is we are (actually, I am) Extremely Lazy. I need motivation to get out there and boogie (motivation or several drinks anyway). People who have the drive to get out there and jog several miles a day are an alien race as far as I'm concerned. An alien race that likes to tell you, at great length and in great detail, how in shape they are, until you begin to harbor a secret desire to stab them repeatedly with blunt garden utensils. One day it struck me: for me to run with anything approaching regularity, there would have to be something large and extremely threatening chasing me.

My plan is to open a business that rents out dangerous animals to chase you around the urban streets, thus providing the impetus to run really fast. Of course, when the business first starts out, we're not going to be able to afford anything all that threatening, so the customer will have to make do with maybe a gang of angry chickens or an irritable hermit crab for a while. Actually, I would even be willing to put on a bear suit and chase them down the street for an extra charge or just try to hit the paying customers with my car.

When the business really takes off, it'll be no-holds-barred, baby! You sign your release form and then at an undisclosed time a savage maneater will surprise you and move in for the kill, sending you screaming down the street at speeds you never thought possible, all the while burning off those unsightly pounds. That would be another great feature of my plan: The beast could show up at any time, like during a department meeting or while you're eating never know! That tension would also be the key in awakening the human body's natural weight-loss tool: Holy terror. And if the lion (or hermit crab) does get the jump on you and finishes you off in its gaping maw – cutting short the thread of your existence in a symphony of nightmarish pain – well, you won't have to worry about those extra pounds, will you?

Another benefit of this plan: I would be able to test my theory that when chased by angry livestock, most people will shout "GANGWAY!" just like Shaggy from Scooby-Doo. This theory has not won me many fans among angry livestock theoreticians, but I have never dealt in popularity.

Friday, September 07, 2001

It's Anthony Michael Hall Mania here at My Life As An American Gladiator!

I'm sure all of you have kept your finger on the pulse of Mr. Hall's marginally glorious career. So you will be well aware that this is what he's doing now. And this. Which has produced these lyrics.

Strangely on his whole site, there is not one mention of perhaps his finest hour. That's right, I'm talking about "The Adventures of a Gnome Named Gnorm". I have never been lucky enough to see this fine film, but apparently it involves a gnome witnessing a murder, and then just pretty much wacky hijinx from there on out. It is unclear to me whether Mr. Hall is supposed to be the gnome's partner or is merely acting as gnome liaison while his pal Gnorm turns state's evidence. Unfortunately, it seems the gnome in this film is not a garden gnome, which is bad news for garden gnomes everywhere. Another role that they will never be able to play. Back to holding a fishing pole in the back yard, a less than lucrative career choice.

The other guy in Weird Science, who has apparently given up show business. I imagine every day of this poor guy's life someone makes a Weird Science joke.

Oh the humanity!
Today, an open letter to Anthony Michael Hall:

Mr. Hall

My humblest and most sincere apologies for confusing your fine film "Weird Science" with another equally fine and perhaps even more gutwrenching performance of yours in "The Breakfast Club", in which you portrayed with such sensitivity the plight of a misunderstood genius forced to the brink of suicide by a poor mark. To wit, the inference that a reference to an alleged
Niagara Falls region sexual conquest occured in the former and not the latter, which we all know to be the most atrocious prevarication.

I recognize your fine achievements as a thespian of the highest merit as, I'm sure, do most people on god's green earth.

Except that Edward Scissorhands role where you got all fat and stuff.

all my love


Thursday, September 06, 2001

Resolution for September 6th, 2001:

I, Kafkaesque, do hereby resolve to overreact to anything and everything, when possible using the words "Zounds!", "Egad!' or "Gadzooks!"

Wednesday, September 05, 2001

So what do you do with your lunch hour if you live an exciting, fast-paced life as TV's Kafkaesque? You watch text updates of the England-Albania World Cup qualifier and catch up on all the latest monkey collectable news. While all these monkey figures are wrong on more than one level, particularly disturbing is the Banana Monkey Votive Holder. That monkey is clearly not enjoying his role in the greater votive holding scheme of things. Added to this is the implication that 1) this monkey is dressed as a basketball playing monkeyfor no good reason. and 2) he seems to be suffering at the very least from monkey migraine headaches and at worst from the beginnings of monkey paranoid schizophrenia.

Another good one. Honor your loved ones by putting their photo in a frame featuring a monkey, and a rather bedraggled looking one at that.

Dear God.

And again. That is something to put on the nightstand. If there's one image I want to carry with me all the days of my life, it's a grizzled, homeless monkey selling apples to stave off his impending death. (note restraint involved in not referring to Dubya Bush in any way, shape or form)

More fine creations. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Chubby the Chicken.

No comment.

In the world of collectable crap, Raccoons come from eggs. That's the great thing about making collectables: logic and reason are not essential, or even desirable.

I leave you with a tasteful classic: Monkey Dressed as Sailor. It's fun!!

Tuesday, September 04, 2001

An update on outfits for lawn geese:

Lawn geese are still being dressed as rabbits.

I just thought you should know.


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