Archive for the ‘grammar’ Category

“Ma! Where My Cheetos?”: A Photo Essay For The Ages

July 9, 2013
Harken unto the soul's voice and seek out thine Cheetos! (And check out these sweet, sweet shades! I found them under a picnic bench!)

Harken unto the soul’s voice and seek out thine Cheetos! (And check out these scandalous shades! I found them under a picnic bench!)

I was picnicking on the beach of Devil’s Lake, crowded among hundreds of other bologna al fresco enthusiasts, when I was suddenly reminded of these words of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: “The human voice is the organ of the soul.”  I heard so many souls that balmy July afternoon:  souls laughing, souls commenting on the weather, souls engaging in vicious gossip.  But one soul rang out above the din, the soul of a husky young man in his late teens clad in an improbably thuggish-looking Mickey Mouse tank top and trunks ensemble.  The soul of this young man boomed with a compelling urgency that spoke for all souls.  “Ma!” cried the soul, “Where my Cheetos?”  And in that moment, I was thunderstruck by the realization that I had NO IDEA “where my Cheetos”, either.  (more…)

On Wisconsin: Pahster Tracks

August 14, 2012

One small step for the Grey Fox, one giant leap for camping vernacular.

“Pahster Tracks” is the fourth chapter in The Gaytheist Gospel Hour‘s seven part series “On Wisconsin.”

A picnic table is set up behind the Nature Center, and it is outfitted for some serious crafting: buckets of water, plastic cups and spoons, a bag of plaster of paris, dozens of pre-cut sheets of wax paper—all of it in regimented clusters atop a plastic table cloth.  The business of the day here is the manufacture of plaster cast animal tracks, but what is really being created here is a brand new word for the Midwestern camping lexicon.

The Nature Center employee who presides over the activity is a woman in her late-middle age.  She wears an official-looking green polo with the Nature Center logo embroidered like a badge over her heart.  The polo makes it easy to see her as a productive retiree or a go-getter grandma, but the effect is ruined by her photosensitive glasses, which have malfunctioned to complete darkness in the shade of the overhanging canopy. The glasses lend her an odd, subversive anonymity, like an incognito hipster or possibly a criminal. (more…)


April 17, 2011

The number 42 has been bestowed the twinkle of legend, thanks to Douglas Adams; according to his Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, the number represents the “answer to life, the universe, and everything.”  Now that I’m 42, it’s time to spill the beans of wisdom on this, my 42nd blog entry.  The following represents the sum total of 42 years’ worth of cosmic enlightenment…and stuff. (more…)

The Triumph of Awkward

October 11, 2009
The Constellation of Awkward: and we all shine on...
The Constellation of Awkward: and we all shine on…

“Awkward” is a star.  I’m not sure how it happened or who exactly is responsible, but the word is everywhere.  It’s…hot, which is an odd place for “awkward” to be, but let’s face it, anywhere “awkward” goes instantly becomes an odd place, hence its genius.  It’s a pinch of an off-recipe ingredient delivering the ringadingding  punch that lands an ordinary meal on the mat, leaving it to wonder who the hell it is and how it got there.  (Try introducing some cinnamon to Hamburger Helper sometime to appreciate the flavor of this analogy.) (more…)

Requiem for the English Language, Part Three: Picture It!

August 2, 2009
Hurts, don't it?

Hurts, don’t it?

Before laying the torch upon my dictionary and kicking its skiff downriver, let’s take a moment to consider the finer moments of the English language.  Or you can just read Shakespeare’s collected works, but who’s got that kind of time?  No, I’d rather tack up a random scatter of snapshots culled from its life, midwestern funeral home style. (more…)