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Best of the Human Comedy, 2012


Less “Wonderful” Times of Year Speak Out

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” So says a popular song heard -- when else? -- this time of year. But is this annual ranking of seasonal delight too Christmas-centric? And, true or not, how does saying so make other times of the year feel? Today, some of them speak openly about Yuletide prejudice:


Whenever I hear this “most wonderful time” stuff, I start to feel, I don’t know…unappreciated. Doesn’t anyone care about love? Not the peace-on-earth, good-will-toward-man type, but stab-you-in-the-heart, burning-in-your-loins passion. Compare the number of songs about eros to the number about Christmas cheer -- it’s no contest. And would you rather hear “Let’s Get It On” or “Frosty the Snowman”? I’m already blamed for making singles feel lonely and driving up the price of flowers for a day, so hearing how terrific Christmas is just kind of shoots another arrow into my heart. But I don’t care what people say. I’ll just keep loving until the day I die, till the mountains crumble into the sea, always and forever. (Sigh!)


I could kill people for saying Christmas is the best. Obviously, as a holiday, I rock! I think everyone gets all wrapped up in this jingle-bell, holly-jolly crap because they don’t want to admit they’re in love with the dark side. I’m more fun! When else do you get to pretend to be an axe murderer, or Donald Trump? When can you dress up like a slutty witch, a slutty vampiress, or slutty Big Bird? Kids think I’m awesome ‘cause I supply them with practically unlimited candy for weeks. I don’t put any of that “enjoy responsibly” or “childhood obesity” bullshit on them. I say, go ahead and O.D.! The whole point is, do whatever you want for one day. You see, I’m all about the carnivalesque and subverting the social order, if you wanna get theoretical about it. Christmas is just a pagan holiday wrapped in Christian charity and capitalist greed. Hey, did you know that Santa rearranged is Satan?


Green beer, corned beef and cabbage, leprechauns…of course Christmas is more feckin’ wonderful! I’m just an excuse to get bollixed in the miserable month of March.

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Bieber Leg Tattoos: Please Don't Hate

“Police said the 45-year-old Martin was obsessed with Bieber and has a tattoo of him on one of his legs.” – USA Today

This detail has been mentioned in nearly every report I’ve read about the plot, by an Arizona prisoner and two cohorts, to castrate and murder Justin Bieber. While the foiled (thank God!) plan is scary, disturbing, ghastly, and all, I’m concerned about a potential backlash against a group of innocent individuals in the days to come. Please, let’s not all leap to judgment about everyone who has the Biebs tattooed on their leg, OK? There is nothing inherently wrong with having a tattoo of an 18-year-old Canadian pop idol on your lower limbs, or anywhere on your body. As a grown man, I’m allowed to ink whatever image I want into my flesh, and if it’s the singer of megahits “Baby,” “Boyfriend,” and “As Long as You Love Me,” that’s my own damn business. If I had such a tattoo, I shouldn’t have to explain to anyone why it’s there. It could be because Justin Bieber is the biggest thing to happen in pop music since the Beatles or Michael Jackson. Or because he’s sold over 15 million albums, has 30 million followers on Twitter, and was named by Forbes, in 2012, as the third most powerful entertainer in the world. Or maybe I got the tat because he’s a gifted musician, touched by God at an early age, a singing and dancing angel, who is also, amazingly, a pretty solid drummer (as seen at his televised concert in Central Park). Or because, as I just read in a moving tweet by a Belieber, “he sings the words every girl wants to hear and every boy is too afraid to say.” Maybe it’s because I love Justin so much -- he’s like a son to me -- that I always want to keep him in my sight and protect him from harm. Or maybe I got this likeness of the teen phenom emblazoned on my inner thigh as a postmodern commentary on our celebrity-obsessed culture -- did you ever think of that? And how do you even know it’s Justin Bieber? Maybe it’s really someone else, say the character Derek Wildstar from the late-'70s Japanimation series Star Blazers, a childhood favorite of mine. Maybe it’s supposed to be Shaggy from Scooby-Doo, sans beard. Or maybe it’s an abstract design that just happens to look like Justin Bieber to you, decorating the skin over my sartorius muscle. Maybe you’re reading too much into it. But let’s just say my tattoo is of Justin Bieber. Even so, that wouldn’t be prima facie evidence of any criminal intent, violent tendencies, or mental illness on my part. Not at all. I’m pretty sure that Mark David Chapman didn’t have a tattoo of John Lennon on his leg. However, if he did, eerie though it might seem, it would have no necessary connection to the crime that he ultimately committed. It’s just pigment in skin, folks! My point is, let’s be careful about taking logical leaps and assuming “guilt by association.” I, and others like me, shouldn’t have to cover up in shame. It’s winter in New York City, so I will wear long pants -- but only for that reason. So please be mindful, as you’re walking down the street, that anyone you see may be hiding some Bieber ink -- on their ankles, calves, or haunches -- just beneath their jeans or khakis. And that those regular citizens are no more likely to murder and castrate Justin Bieber, or any other celebrity or non-famous person, than anyone else you might see. I hope that these reflections help to dispel fear and hatred, and to encourage tolerance and love.


To a Single, Christian Hacker

A couple months ago, my credit card got hijacked. I found out when I was checking my statement online and saw two transactions I hadn’t made. One was for Christian Mingle dot com (they “find God’s match for you”). The other was for an online florist (apparently in Canada).

I thought, "I hope they had a nice Christian date."

These were the only charges, and I eventually got the money back, but I had to cancel my card and all -- a big hassle. People said to me, “At least you got some great material!” But I tried writing jokes about it, and I couldn’t. The irony was too blatant. What was there to say, other than someone had stolen my card number and used it to join this site?

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Philip Seymour Hoffman Performs...Peppermint Patty from "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving"


The Five Stages of Twinkie Grief

As you may have heard, Hostess, the maker of Twinkies (as well as Ding Dongs, Ho Hos, Snowballs, and Wonder Bread) has announced that it will liquidate. Yes, the Twinkie is on its deathbed. In order to prepare ourselves (psychologically, spiritually, gastronomically) for the post-Twinkie epoch, let us look at the five stages of grief that we’ll all (sooner or later, but inevitably) go through:

1) Denial. This is the stage that pretty much everyone is in right now. People will tell themselves, “Twinkies aren’t going anywhere”…“They last forever”…“Matter can neither be created nor destroyed," and other happy horseshit. At this stage, people might indulge more than usual, hoarding or binging on Twinkies before they are gone. People will realize how much they love Twinkies. They may begin incorporating them more into recipes, and many will gain weight as psychological “padding” between themselves and the non-Twinkie world.

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