surrendering our consensual hallucination to the regime
America would be a better place if everyone dressed and acted like Prince. (The Purple One. The Artist. Whatever.) Maybe not forever and ever, because that could get tiring (not to mention hot in the summertime with all the gloves and velvet and such), but it would be so great if the entire country participated in Dress And Behave Like Prince Week. I would very much like it if, instead of sitting on his duff and speaking dryly into a microphone, Alan Greenspan* made his semi-annual monetary policy reports while dry-humping a purple guitar. The male members of Congress could wear identical white pimp suits and do a big dance number in the background. The female members of Congress could wear white lycra bodysuits and some sort of sex-kitten faux-militaristic garb, like PVC captain's hats. It would add so much to the day if you went to the dry cleaner and said, “Can you do something about this stain on my raspberry beret? I think it's salad dressing, don't ask me how it got there,” and your dry cleaning lady and her friend were dancing all lesbotronically and playing single notes on a Casio keyboard. And who hasn't wanted, during a boring meeting, to throw a translucent black veil over his or her head and start crawling like a demonically possessed boa constrictor across the polished boardroom table? “Sir, I move that this is what it sounds like when doves cry!”
*Greenspan is a knight! I did not know that. The other kind, though, not the kind who has to kneel. Speaking of kneeling, and of getting way way off topic, because that is kind of what I do—why can I not find the etiquette rules to observe during an audience with the Pope anywhere online? Not that I will need them anytime soon, but these things must be standardized, right? It would not be a good idea for me to ever have an audience with the Pope, because I think “Pope” is a very funny word and I can just see myself getting all giggly and hysterical and saying “Pope pope popeity pope pope” a lot. Which, although I can't verify it online, is undoubtedly not the proper etiquette. Plus I don't like spending time with people who are due to kick the bucket any second. What's the proper etiquette for THAT? “Excuse me? Your religious leader seems to have died?”
Sweet! Because dude! You also have a BAG OF CHIPS! Rock! On!
Today has been full of subthreshold stress, a low tone in the background like some Alvin Lucier composition. Something I thought I had two full weeks to do just got moved up, so that I have one week to do it. So far I am dealing with that by NOT dealing with it, not getting started on the thing, just carrying on with my day as if nothing much is different, which some people might call “procrastinating” or “deep denial.” I had scheduled tomorrow to work on the thing, and I am sticking to that, no matter how much more sense it would make to jump on it now and get a head start. I hate having my routines disrupted, to the point that I will on occasion ignore logical facts, reality, and the dictates of efficiency in order to stick to them. This is the aspect of obsessive-compulsive disorder that aggravates me the most, because for all my roundabout thinking and goofy mental wordplay my brain is at heart (ha ha ha ha ha! get it?) a pretty logical organ. And if you've ever heard me crank about work you know that I deplore inefficiency and stubbornness in others, and am always looking for the smartest (not hardest or fastest) way to work. However, here I am, losing work time because TOMORROW is earmarked for this project, by gum! All Hail King Calendar! Blah.
Also, I have been haunted all day by an image of a duck wearing the intifadah keffiyah Palestinian headscarf thing. An Arafat duck. That can't be helping.
(Arafat + duck on Google reveals nothing interesting. This is much better: pets with their heads in bags of food! Bestest link on the internet!)
Red Streak, I am calling you out. You suck beyond compare. Let me give the quick rundown: the Chicago Tribune, for some unknown reason, decided to make a smaller, crappier, more tabloid-y version of their newspaper. It is like a cross between Us magazine (whose slogan must be something like “We're People Magazine Without All The Scary Big Words”) and a dumbed-down, grade-school version of the “news.” The Tribune thing is called Red Eye. Maybe that is meant to convey that they stayed up all night producing it? Or that this paper goes down easier if you are simultaneously toking on a four-foot bong?
Not to be outdone, Chicago's other paper, the Sun-Times, threw together something similar they called Red Streak. Now, first of all I have to say that I don't read either of these papers. Tripe is tripe, and there is not a whole lot of point in arguing whose tripe is more tripe-riffic. But Red Streak has really been getting my goat (dude, where's my goat?) lately with their front pages. Two days ago it was a full-page photo of a dead Liberian child in a pool of blood. (The New York Times or other real papers with actual reportage can sometimes get away with the gruesome photos: you cannot.) Yesterday it was SADDAM'S KIDS and something about them being “toast.” Jeez. They are so headed for page three girl territory. That is the only indignity left.
On the train today I saw a guy with this neck tattoo that just looked like a red blob. (Hey! Maybe I should stay up all night with that four-foot bong and produce a competing bad newspaper called Red Blob!) It took me several stops to figure out that the tattoo was not a cubist lobster or miniature pancreas but was instead supposed to be the shape of Texas. Really bad tattoos, the kind that are so messed up you cannot even tell they are supposed to be representational, are depressing. I once started chatting with a cabdriver about tattoos, and he desperately wanted to show me his, pulling up and eventually taking off his shirt to reveal what he said was a huge lion's head on his chest. Although it did not look much like a lion, sadly. It looked like a portrait of Bea Arthur with super-poofy hair. The driver never did put his shirt back on, preferring to drive me the rest of the way home bare-chested. Which made the fact that I sat on a dark street with a strange man and gave him some money, including a tip, feel vaguely sleazy and unwholesome.
Oh I wish it was the weekend, even though I don't have anything special planned besides debauchery. I hope to go out drinking tomorrow with my comrade, for one of our standard snag-an-early-booth-and-make-fun-of-everything beery Fridays, and Saturday evening is reserved for Family Drunkenness,– with my sister, LT, and LT's sister. If you have a sister, and bring her, you can join us. Don't show up without a sister. DNA tests not required, but we will check for a family resemblance.
—mimi smartypants zigged when she should have zagged.