December 2006 Archives



"What the Fucking Fuck?" awards 

  nouri al-maliki

Says the Iraqi PM on Saddam's fate:

"Our respect for human rights requires us to execute him."

andrew henry's meadow

I'd previously mentioned my favorite childhood book, "Andrew Henry's Meadow," on a list of things that apparently only I like.

Quite happily, I stand corrected.

It should make for a visually stunning movie, much as it made for a stunningly illustrated book. But what will they do with the theme of abandoning your family that so resonated with me?

Let's just hope that Sonnenfeld's adaptation is more "Get Shorty" and less "Wild Wild West."

wanted: phoenix tips

Anyone out there know of cool things to do in Phoenix? I know about Mill Ave.

football weekend xi rollup

I can't believe anyone cares, but for the purpose of completeness, here it is.

qwest_1024x786.jpg

SEATTLE
The weekend started in a downpour, but we didn't much mind. Donning his Seahawks jersey, Bubba met me at Qwest Field, where we watched the Seahawks continue their ungraceful moonwalk into the playoffs, against the 49ers. Qwest is easily the loudest stadium of this or any weekend. Attribute that to canny fans and an even cannier architecture. Imagine two Sydney Opera Houses pointed at one another with a field in the middle, and you have Qwest. Even an idly chattering, one-third capacity crowd can reach a distorted din. A full crowd during the opponent's third down? Otherworldly.

Quest is among my favorite stadiums. Architecturally, it's magnificent and unique. The seating's comfortable, the sight-lines are perfect, the excellent food's distinctive (local restaurants, chowder, etc.) and the giant scoreboard is visible to most. Major demerits for navigation, though—up the stairs, down the stairs, up the stairs, down the stairs, you don't need signs, do you?—and for a lack of tables at which to eat the $9 hot dogs. We ate off a trash can. Even Spokane Arena has tables.

During the course of the game the guy behind me, to illustrate how much he hates the 49ers, said that he hates only the Steelers worse. They should be ashamed of themselves for "paying off the refs and buying a championship," he said to no one in particular. The weight of his evidence and sagacity of his argument made be feel very ashamed indeed.

"I wish I had a camera" Award: with the Seahawks ten points and six minutes away from winning their division, thousands upon thousands of fans filed out, right under the enormous "HOME OF THE TWELFTH MAN" sign.


ATLANTA

"Now I know why they put the South so far South," I grumbled as I drove from mall to mall the week before Christmas, trying to find a Verizon store employee who knew how to issue me a replacement phone. It's a testament to how hectic this FBW was that neither Bubba nor I ever had a chance to stop at a cigar store or liquor store. Thanks to the hurricane-force windstorm in Seattle, we were in damage-control mode almost the entire trip. His Canadian flight landed in Atlanta a few minutes before kickoff, and he joined me at our seats, first taking a moment to wriggle into his Falcons jersey. We watched a very impressive Dallas team trade blows with Atlanta. Michael Vick continued to not impress me. Terrell Owens spat in DeAngelo Hall's face. The usual. The Georgia Dome is merely okay. Good sound, good displays, but oversized and its seats are much too far from the field. Ludacris performed at halftime, including my favorite in his library, "Move Bitch," which when sanitized for a family venue is really not much of a song at all.

After the game, we ate burgers at the Varsity, then chased Bubba's luggage to his parents' house in SC on our way to Charlotte. We checked into our Charlotte motel at 5:30am.

"I wish I had a camera" Award: After I dealt with the exceedingly useless employees at the Verizon store in the North Dekalb Mall, I blundered into the office of one of my personal heroes: Rep. Cynthia "The Capitol Police stopped me when I didn't have an ID because they're racist" McKinney. I asked if she was there. She wasn't. Can you guess how many non-blacks she employs? Can you? Can you?


CHARLOTTE
After four hours' sleep, we sped to another of my favorite stadiums, now called Bank of America Stadium. It's only a matter of time before two stadiums in two different cities go by the same name, isn't it? BofA is ten years older, now, and it needs some updating. The video and sound systems are subpar. The actual experience in the seats, however, is second to none. What a lovely, intimate setting. Not a bad seat in the house, and the sight-lines are utterly perfect.

Flying a Steelers flag on my side of the rental car and a Panthers flag on Bubba's, we managed to gag down some tailgate in the spare hour before the game, and Bubba, wearing his Panthers jersey, even swung a brats-for-beer trade that required that he down three beers in rapid succession. So he was fairly useless as company during the game. That didn't matter, though, because some 10,000 Steelers fans showed up to keep me company and root the good guys to a ludicrously one-sided victory. The Panthers fans, true to their rep, were lethargic from word go.

Bonus points to the Panthers for not hanging lame "Division Champions" banners everywhere like they did in the other three venues. Nothing screams "Losers" quite like a banner attesting to your one-time also-ran status. It's the sports equivalent to bragging that your buddy let you sniff his sister's panties. It's just sad.

20061218pd_fbn_stillerfansPJ_450.jpg


INDIANAPOLIS
We landed at the Indy airport in the same concourse from which I departed for Washington 14 years ago. I quietly regarded the very spot from which Maddie had watched me board my plane, ending our life together. We hopped in a cab, and I instructed the cabbie to take us to our hotel by way of the White Castle's drive through. I ended up buying the cabbie lunch there; Bubba, perhaps still reeling from his gas station experience a year before, declined. And so we sat in our room watching ESPN highlights of Sunday's games, me eating sliders and him eating boiled peanuts left over from Charlotte. That was fitting. For the record, having tried Crystal's hamburgers while in Atlanta, I can say that they're similar in size only. White Castles are steamed and, to my palette, tastier.

We left for the district surrounding the RCA Dome, where a bartender told a craving Bubba, now wearing a Colts jersey, where he could find a Scottish egg. The bar was five blocks away, we were told, a fact made significant by a mysterious and quite painful injury to my toe that was causing it to bleed. I mention this only because the walk ended up being 14 blocks. I wish an excruciating death upon that bartender. The Scottish egg, however, was quite fantastic, and if you ever find yourself in Indy, before you run screaming for the airport, I highly recommend MacNiven's scottish pub.

With all due respect to the Meadowlands, the RCA Dome is the worst venue in the NFL. Hideous, narrow concrete tunnels pass for a concourse. Half the seating is on aluminum bleachers. The jumbotron was apparently made around the time of the league merger. The worst seats are absurdly high. I could go on, but since they're replacing that upholstered toilet, I see no point. The Bengals did not show, and Peyton and Marvin put on an absolute clinic.

The Colts fans were distinctive in one regard: whereas the stadiums in Seattle, Atlanta and Charlotte were sterile and corporate and utterly interchangeable, the Colts' stadium looked like the Colts' stadium. Hand-made signs were draped from seats, each supporting a favorite player or exhorting the team to victory. After the franchise-produced, professionally made, utterly hollow signs ("Hasselbeck's Heroes," "Stevens' Soldiers," etc.) at the prior three venues, it was refreshing to see the genuine article.

"I wish I had a camera" Award: The best sign of the weekend was in Indy and directed at the Bengals' Chad Johnson: "OCHO CINCO MUCHO STINKO."

putting the mess back in christmas

Christians celebrating the birth of Jesus every December 25—I understand this.

Ancient Babylonians celebrating the son of Isis every December 25—okay by me.

Modern Americans who never go to church, moving mountains to celebrate Christmas—this utterly baffles me. There's complete disconnect. Even avowed atheists feel obliged to suffer the commercialism, the imposition, the expense, the travel, the guilt-laying families. Why?

• • •

I'll forever remember this Christmas as the one I don't much remember. Miserable, flat on my back, medicated, watching the Mythbusters marathon. Ho.

It's in my top 10 Christmases ever.

There've been a few good ones, invariably with girlfriends. I can't remember a family Christmas that was short of a bloodletting. Knifing one another around the holidays is a fine family tradition. We save up bile just for the occasion. Striking early and hard becomes a mission. Whoever cries first loses, as all the other sharks will join the feeding frenzy, so your Yuletide priority is to make someone else cry first. Several someones, if you want to win Christmas.

I've joined a few girlfriends' families for the holidays over the years, and I'm utterly inept. I sit there on the couch, cup of nog in hand, nervously awaiting an attack that will never come. And oh, my twitching, witty repartee. "Oh w-w-wow! A frosty mug! You put it in the freezer and then put your drink in it, right? Ha, ha! That's awesome! Ha, ha! How clever. How did you know I wanted this? Needed, really. It's really just the perfect gift. Really. Perfect. I-i-it means a lot, how much thought you put into this."

I get elbowed a lot on Christmas.

darlene love alert

Darlene Love is on Letterman tonight. Trust me.

kid out the womb, head up the ass

I haven't written my Football Weekend rollup because I've been flat on my back with the flu. Trust that the weekend was fun but exhausting, an exercise in overcoming logistics every bit as much as a football experience. The storm that struck Seattle on Day 1 set us back a long, long way. My favorite statistic: between us, Bubba and used nine different airports in two countries. That's not counting the five airports we used multiple times. Now that's insane.

• • •

I leave you with this challenge to undertake during your holiday travels. Of the people in airports who rudely jostle you without apology or acknowledgement, what percentage have kids? For me it pushed 100%.

digging out

I've been home for some 19 hours. Much like on Football Weekend, I've either been scrambling to recover from the storm (throwing out spoiled food, repairing minor damage) or sleeping. More on FBW later.

somebody's daughter

On my flight home from Chicago, I was seated next to a young woman in army fatigues. About 18, Maya sported the very familiar dialect of Yakima, WA (Fucking Amy's hometown). That was my first thought. My second thought was "Who enlists in the army during a war?" I devoted considerable time to thinking of a polite way to ask just that. I never succeeded.

armyboots.jpgMaya was a bitty thing. Her hair cropped short and her tiny frame swimming in her camouflaged uniform and army boots, she looked like somebody's daughter playing dress-up in Daddy's work clothes. You wouldn't really guess her gender until you saw her eyes. Giant, expressive, Disney character blue eyes.

She brought nothing to read or eat on our cross-continental flight, choosing instead to stare at the seat ahead of her and peruse its barf bag. When I declined the airline's offer of cheese and crackers, Maya asked if she could have mine. She packed it away for later. Finally realizing, I offered her my newspaper and football magazine, which, along with my trail mix and bottled water, she guiltily consumed. Hers was the sheepish acceptance of the very poor. She was visibly humiliated by having to accept the smallest kindnesses. The smaller, the more shameful.

She was going home, on leave for the holidays. Maya had just completed Basic Training and begins Advanced Infantry Training in two weeks. As she told me about AIT, she locked her eyes on mine in an excruciatingly sad, "You do understand what that means for me, right?" moment.

Yeah. I know what it means.

I tried to change the subject to happier things, like going home for Christmas. But there, too, was only more sadness. The thought of going home brought her no comfort. And it was then that my question started to answer itself. Who joins the army during wartime? Someone who's completely out of options at 18. Someone whose life is so awful, so bereft of hope, that war is a comforting step up.

Maya didn't have many paths from which to choose, and they were all horrible. She didn't turn to drugs, public assistance or crime; she turned to the only remotely positive option she had. The rest of us are blessed with nepotism or beauty or luck or wealth or intellect. But Maya? The only thing of value she has to offer the world is her mortality. The world accepted.

Knowing she had zero money and eight hours before her connecting flight, I gave her some cash with which to buy food and entertainment. I am certain that she spent none on the latter. That forty bucks probably represents twenty meager meals to her. She sheepishly accepted, eyes again welling. That's what I'll remember most about Maya. Her eyes welled every time she looked up.

A little teary myself and feeling utterly helpless, I shuffled out of the airport. I imagined seeing Maya's photo on the local news sometime in April, her gigantic, defeated blue eyes staring back at me. I wondered if anyone else would even care.

Most of all, I wondered whose daughter this is. I'd like to speak to them.

atlanta

For those who've called, yes, I'm okay and in Atlanta. My cell died, taking with it my numbers; that's why I haven't called you back. Ed, my house and I all survived the storms just fine. More later.

I'm astonished I haven't seen more pieces like this.

start the clock

Senator Tim Johnson suffered a brain hemorrhage this morning, and as he fights for his life, control of the Senate might be in the balance. If he were replaced with a Republican, the Senate would be split, and Cheney would cast the tie-breaking vote.

What's the over/under on when some fucktard will claim that God smited Johnson because He wants the Republicans in charge? I say within six hours.

C'mon, someone ask Pat Robertson for a statement.

football weekend xi

Tonight, Football Weekend begins its second decade. Unfathomable. What began as a mere one-off, my conspiracy to rescue a buddy from his raving psychosis of a wife, has become a tradition that's outlived both relationships. As it should be.

tix 002.jpg

Logistics are such that FBWs must be selected well in advance, and these games are evidence of that. Consider, for example, how good Carolina-Pittsburgh and Cincy-Indy looked five months ago. Let us not speak of how much we paid for those Carolina tickets. Rounding out the weekend are Seattle-San Francisco and Atlanta-Dallas. Not bad, but not a great slate either. At least the Monday night game will feature two desperate teams. As for tonight, if you have the NFL Network, tune it in. They're forecasting 100 mph wind gusts. I'll be the guy in the stands.

Thanks go to Jen and Jeff, who will squat in my house and watch Ed's increasingly bizarre leg-kicking antics in my absence.

thanks, boss, thanks

See my boss.

See my boss drink.

Drink, boss, drink.

See my boss blurt out my gross income to my underpaid co-worker.

Blurt, boss, blurt.

• • •

Gee, that was fun. She even inflated the number grotesquely. I'm already taking home 20% more than anyone else, and she somehow managed to characterize it as 95% more. So then I had to defend myself from the torch-wielding villagers by disclosing the actual number. Yep. That went over really well.

collateral damage

I was flipping through the channels the other night and stumbled upon Titanic. "Hey, there's a mistake. They show smoke coming out of the fourth smokestack," I observed to myself. "But it was fake. It was there just because people thought it looked more impressive. Wait. Hmm. How do I know this? I've never read anything about the Titanic. Ah. Yes. Maddie went through a Titanic phase in the early 90s."

She didn't actually read aloud in bed, but she might as well have. What she read in bed, I learned a few seconds later.

elton john donald duckThanks to her and other girlfriends, I'm likewise an expert on, god help me, all things Elton John, the Dallas Cowboys and Stephen King. I feel like I witnessed the Civil War, and you'd think I've been to Polynesia and Germany. I know more about rose disease and Mount Everest and canine anal glands than I care to, and for someone who's never even inhaled, I sure seem to know a lot about smoking pot. For that matter, I know a good deal more about meth culture than I'd like, but try as we might to forget, some things cannot be unheard.

For someone who's accused almost daily of being a poor listener, I do seem to devote a lot of valuable neural real estate to useless crap spewed by girlfriends.

If the memory-zapping technology from "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" really existed, I wouldn't go after memories of Maddie, but I would surely hunt down and kill tidbits like which brand of maxi-pad she uses and the fact that Dick James was the record producer who paired Bernie Taupin and Reginald Dwight. Decades of mental gunk like that is doubtlessly why I can't remember where I parked my car today.

• • •

Now I'm not saying that Maddie didn't help with the shopping, but shortly after I moved to Washington, she sheepishly called me to ask what brand and style of maxi-pad she used. That's pampered.

hit of the day

If you google "small schlong," I'm the eighth hit out of 143,000.

the back-pack

In a season where the producers of Survivor crassly commercialized racial tensions, a far more naturalistic experiment quietly occurred on the Amazing Race. The show quickly—and uncomfortably, for me anyway—divided into haves and have nots. You had your well-manicured, unlikable white teams—the indistinguishably pretty, heroin-addict male models; the intolerably smug, stupid couple complaining about the rest of the world smelling funny and not speaking English; and the blond, tank-topped Miss America contestants targeting man after man to help them get a leg up, and giggling at their own cleverness every time they called black contestants "the sistas."

And then you had the have nots—the karma-believing Cho brothers, the simple country folk from a Kentucky trailer park, and the black single mothers from Alabama. These three teams often came in last, so they allied and called themselves the "Six Pack." Meanwhile, the white teams sneered that the "Back Pack" was more like it.

And then we watched as something unprecedented happened: the alliance held. The Six-Packers helped one another avoid elimination, a first on the show. They even waited for one another mid-race in order to offer assistance. And then we watched as the snotty white teams picked them off one by one anyway, all the while attributing their success to merit and to the Pack's obvious lack of it. "They're bottom feeders," one utterly unremarkable white guy snorted.

Sorry, Survivor, it's the Amazing Race that got race right.

three to two

I know exactly when I first thought of having a living will. It was Christmas Eve, and my siblings and I were voting on whether or not to let my mother die. At this point, Mom had terminal ovarian, lung, lymph and brain cancer; had several crushed vertebrae that resulted in paralysis, not to mention bed pneumonia and acute claustrophobia; had just had her second heart attack; and showed no brainwaves from the depths of her Christmas coma.

Should we put her on extreme life-support? The decision was a slam-dunk.

The vote went 3-2.

In a situation that could only be more hopeless and more obvious if Mom were also decapitated, two siblings actually voted to keep my mother's lungs pumping at any cost. Theirs was an emotional, not moral decision. They wanted their mother alive, no matter the suffering it caused.

3-2. For me, the moment would forever epitomize selfish cruelty and moral weakness.

And it was the moment I decided to take the decision out of my family's hands. They cannot be trusted to put my interests above their own. I therefore entrusted my plug to friends and girlfriends, finally settling on the one the person in the world most inclined to pull it: my ex-girlfriend.

"Can I pull it now?" she asks. "How about now?"

She has to spread my ashes over Heinz Field, too. My will even provides for her fines.

• • •

Allie's drowning with work this week, so naturally I call her every half-hour or so with updates about what the FoxNews ticker says ("THE WAR ON CHRISTMAS: Is it hurting our children?") and about my health. The day she gets Caller-ID at work, it's all over.

"My left eye is twitching," I'll say.

"Mmm hmm."

"It's making me nuts."

"I bet."

"What do you think it is?"

"Yeah."

"I think it's a heart attack."

"It's not a heart attack."

"It's a prelude to a heart attack, then. I'm gonna keel over on Football Weekend next week, just like I always wanted. It'd force Bubba to carry my corpse from stadium to stadium, plopping it in the seat next to him."

"Hey!" she said, perking up. "If you go to Pittsburgh, that would save me from having to dispose of you!"

Damn, that's cold. "I'll just tell Bubba to toss me in the trash on his way out of the stadium."

"Why trouble him? He can just leave you under his seat, with the beer cups and gnawed chicken bones."

This fate appeals to me way, way more than it should. Way.

My dog, Ed, was hospitalized, and I went to the office. This was last Friday, and I was doing a lot of staring at my shoes. Ed's little medical episodes, her periodic confluences of symptoms, are getting more and more frequent in recent years, and I take very seriously my responsibility to decide which episode will be her last. I was well into that decision-making process as we waited for the meeting to begin, and I was, well, sad. Grave. Contemplating ending Ed's life will do that to me.

My co-workers asked about her, and I told them about the week's events. Sympathy was expressed and accepted, and I reminded them that Ed is, in fact, a very old dog. And then I was eviscerated.

"Don't say that!" Jill screamed at me, actually trembling with anger. "I completely reject that somehow, it's less sad or less tragic when someone dies just because they're old. That doesn't fucking matter. It's always a tragedy!"

I was shocked to be attacked as uncaring, particularly after a week of wiping up Ed's bodily fluids and carrying her lame body around. "But—"

"Bullshit! People try to make themselves feel better by diminishing the importance of someone dying, saying 'it was their time,' but it's bullshit! Hurtful bullshit!"

Everyone looked down, wishing they were somewhere else. Me, I wasn't sure how to respond to being attacked. I apologized for being insufficiently despondent and promised to do better at feeling worse. It was the perfect capper to a perfect week, really.

But you know what? It is easier to accept when Grandma dies than when a child dies. It is less sad when Ed develops debilitating health issues at 12 than it would have been at 3. Grandma and Ed would agree. A geriatric dog develops geriatric dog issues, and I'm supposed to treat this like it's a tragedy? Shall I complain about water being wet, too? Not every sadness should be milked for every last drop of drama.

herro, joe, what do you know?

I've started hearing an unwelcome voice in my head when I read spam mail. Specifically, I hear the wartime Asian prostitute stereotype. You know the one. All her Rs become breathy Ls, and vice versa. She calls you "Joe." Her English is comicly broken, e.g., "Me likey sucky fucky." I doubt that she ever actually existed, but she's certainly been a staple of standup routines for 60 years.

Try it yourself with today's spam:

Subject: Where did you get so small schlong?

Salute Chap!

Don't tell me why your ramrod is so small,
I will better help you to make it really Bigger!

Why bigger? Because over 72% of all women need a longer
sausage to satisfy their desire!

Go there and get your solution: http://www.deceitss.net

With any luck, now you too will hear The Voice. You're welcome.

seven year itch

Friday marked the seven-year anniversary of this page. Zounds!

When I started writing here, Clinton was President, Dorkass' parents were stockpiling potatoes and bottled water in anticipation of Y2K, Percy was merely 107, the Approval Whore was just the flirty bad idea down the hall, and I still saw my friends in non-work-related capacities. Good times.

(Scratch, scratch)

mailbag: gridiron edition

Far too many Trolls have written me to ask a variation on this question: "I haven't seen any Steelers games this year. What happened? I mean, seriously, what the fuck?"

My standard answer: "Nothing that a heart transplant wouldn't fix."

Sometimes your team isn't very good, and you learn to live with that. This year is something new, though. At the midpoint of the season, the Steelers were 2-6 and the only team ranked in the top six in the league in both offense and defense. This cannot happen without serious stupidity, bad luck, or bad breaks, and the Steelers had plenty of each. The way they were losing games was no less epic than the way they won them last year. They routinely outplayed opponents, then gifted them the game in the most moronic way imaginable. Even if you tried to predict the worst possible outcome of a crucial play, they'd snap the ball and show you how much more imaginative than you they are. Picks for touchdowns, ricochets for touchdowns, fumbles for touchdowns, penalties that nullified touchdowns. Roethlesberger had three interceptions that bounced off receivers' hands in one half, two of them returned for touchdowns. That stuff happens in football, yes, but not every week, and every game is turning on some such fluke. Their concentration is poor, the coaching ineffective. Theories about causes abound, from Roethlesberger's offseason accident and surgeries, to a lame duck coach, to a Super Bowl hangover. I believe them all. The team is an embarrassment to themselves. They play with no pride. Heart donors wanted.

• • •

Stank Troll Gretchen asks if I wanted a rematch with Michigan in the championship game. Hell yes. We can't beat Michigan enough. Alas, now I'll be rooting for them to eviscerate USC in the Rose Bowl. For once, the Wolverines are on the side of good and light.

A hearty congratulations to the University of Florida, who won a much-deserved shot at my Buckeyes in the championship game. I wish their fans luck finding tickets. Tempe is going to be quite scarlet. Florida, meanwhile, has a chance at doing something that I don't think has been done in my lifetime: championships in football and basketball in the same year. (Further, OSU and UF are 1 and 2 in football and 3 and 4 in basketball, so a "rematch" in March is even possible.) Ohio State, meanwhile, already the only team in history to have beaten two #2 teams in a season, will now try to beat a third. History will be made either way.

Which, I might add, is two more #2 teams than USC and its media sweethearts have faced in their three-year "dynasty" period. Yes, yes, I know, they had to face the mighty Cal-Berkeley every year. Truly terrifying, they. They should start calling that game "The granddaddy of them all."

As much as I would have liked to have seen Ohio State paste USC 55-3, I'm delighted that the media conspiracy to hype them into another undeserved championship scenario was thwarted by (chortle) UCLA. I watched the ending of that game over and over, just to see the look on Pete Carroll's face. "Fire my publicist!" the look said.

pulp fiction distilled to its artistic essence

Click below


When I arrived at the vet's for our 5pm appointment, the receptionist showed me to a special room I'd never seen. There was no sink, no table, no examination equipment of any kind. There was a chair, an end table, and a couch with quilts and pillows. On the end table was a box of Kleenex and several children's books about pet death. "I'll always love you," the child narrator assured the still corpse of Alfie, the best dog in the world, lying at the foot of his bed. And you couldn't fabricate a more comforting fate than Dog Heaven, where, I gathered, entry does not require that you worship like us and not like them. Every pooch gets in. Dog heaven easily beats that imperious country club called People Heaven.

Man.

As if I hadn't thought enough about my dog's death in the past few days, my vet gives me tales of Alfie's lifeless body? If the idea behind this room is to make people who thought their dog was alive completely tweak out, I'd have to say it's pure twisted genius. If that's not the idea, I'm more at a loss to explain what they could possibly be thinking. It creeped me out.

• • •

I'm going to tenatively say that Ed is okay now. Tentative = a battery of tests and $850 later, there's no real diagnosis beyond "bacterial imbalance." So the horrors could recur. On meds, she's certainly feeling better and comfortably sleeps when she's not insanely mining her bowl for food she somehow missed.

canis envy

Allie called last night to check on Ed, and during the conversation, a half-dozen emails from trolls trickled in. Each was checking on, or expressing best wishes for, Ed's recovery. "Not to seem ungrateful—"

"You already do."

"—but I swear to god, I could post that I sawed off my own head and no one would write."

Allie agreed.

"And man, if anything ever happened to Dorkass, there'd be a bloody outpouring of grief. There'd be prayer vigils. People worldwide would be leaving flowers outside Dorkistani embassies. And when Percy's shot-clock runs out, well, I expect nothing less than school closures."

And then she suggested that I post about my own fictitious illness, to compare response volumes. Not that I'm above pity-grasping theatrics, but no. But I don't need more data to know that I'm beaten. Ed is unbeatable. Even I like her more than me.

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