Wednesday, July 25, 2007


From the Desk of the Campaign Manager


To: All Campaign Staff

Effective immediately, we will be initiating Contingency Plan 19. This is not a drill. It has become apparent that we have no hope of proceeding with a conventional campaign. All Class A employees report to campaign headquarters for further instructions. All Class B employees report to assigned stations in designated "Battleground" states. All Class C employees will sever all ties, and eliminate any evidence of association with the McDougal campaign then infiltrate their assigned rival campaign. If you are not aware of your assigned letter class, that means you were never given one, and are hereby terminated. The internship program is suspended, effective immediately.

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Brief Status Update

I'm currently holding on to a section of 2" nylon braid marine-grade rope outside the 35th floor of the Shreepati Arcade building on Grant Road in Mumbai, India. I'm travelling under a Moscow diplomatic passport on this trip and speaking only Russian, or French with a very bad Russian accent. My grey super-250 suit is from Sammy Kotwani of New York.

And tucked in the inside pocket of that suit jacket are a set of documents which are going to blow this whole thing wide open, once they reach the hands of... well, I'm sure you can guess.

That is, these documents will blow this whole thing wide open IF I can get them from my inside jacket pocket to a certain cafe on the banks of the Seine (which I'm sure you are familiar with) by two pip emma tomorrow, and not a minute later, and hand them off to a man with shabby trousers and a chipped tooth.

I would explain in more detail how my original plans went astray - how my locator-beacon wristwatch got caught in the dumbwaiter after I quietly slid out of the reception and into the kitchen, causing me to miss the helicopter pickup on the 40th floor, but at the moment I must focus my attention, as I see through the window that Gottfried and his men have given up on the elevator shafts and have begun to search the offices near my perch and I must shortly take some definite action.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Shirts and Skins

Fifty-four days ago...

McDougal and I are out raccoon hunting. I have no idea why. He says it will be good practice for the next six months. He's been saying things like this since we started this road trip a few days ago. By his body language, he seems to be indicating that these statements are fraught with meaning, but it all just sounds like Nostradamus-like open-ended prophesy to me.

We are each carrying a double-barreled shotgun and have one of those flashlights on and elastic band strapped to our heads. We look like deranged coal miners. We are somewhere in the vicinity of Mount Storm, West Virginia, which only adds to the effect. There should be a sign outside town that says "The Original Home of the Deranged Coal Miner." McDougal loves West Virginia because it is easy to score meth. The only way it could possibly be any easier here is if they had it in the gumball machine in the lobby of the Wal-Mart.

My thoughts are distracting me from the instructions McDougal is giving me as he empties another bucket of bait (catfish guts) upwind of our firing position. The smell is atrocious.

"Now, if you're taking your 'coon skins up the hill to sell them, you have to leave one paw on. Because one time, some people sold them a bunch of cats."

He says this with the air of an expert, despite the fact that earlier in the evening he told me he hadn't ever been to Mount Storm before. I wonder if he was lying then, or now. I guess it doesn't matter.

McDougal suddenly goes silent and turns back towards where he parked his truck. After a minute or two I hear what got his attention. Tires on the gravel road. Goddamn, his hearing is sharp...

"Come on," he says, "let's check it out."

McDougal's truck is camouflaged, which is really more effective for blending in on the main street of any West Virginia town than it is for blending into the woods. But the driver of the red Mustang that sat a few hundred yards down the gravel road, windows just beginning to steam, still must not have seen it. Otherwise he would have picked a different place to stop. After all, the woods are full of rednecks and perverts.

Says the raccoon hunter who is sneaking up to his car...

"How the hell did they get all the way up here?" McDougal whispers.

He has a point. We had to use four wheel drive to get up the hilly road, covered with treacherous loose gravel.

"Come on," McDougal says, "let's fuck with them a bit."

McDougal creeps softly up to the car. The big man is part Cherokee, so he can be unbelievably light on his feet when he wants to be. Not a single twig snaps, not a single dry leaf crackles. He peers down into the window, then turns and looks back at me, scrunching his face up in a silent "ooooo!" It is somewhat reminiscent of Bill Cosby, but more... unsettling. He also makes the gesture of a thumb and forefinger loop being repeatedly penetrated by the index finger of the opposite hand. This is generally regarded as an international gesture for vaginal intercourse.

I decide to go up and take a look for myself.

As soon as I arrive at the side of the car, McDougal flips on his coon hunting light. The girl shrieks and I watch the guy's face change from alarm, to shame, to anger all in the span of about two seconds. He reaches out for the latch on the glove box. McDougal taps his shotgun on the window and says, "oh, no you don't."

I was expecting teenagers, but the couple inside are a bit older than that. I would guess early twenties. The girl has a great body on her. She has a promising career ahead of her at the local strip joint. At least until the douchebag with the Mustang knocks her up, since a condom in nowhere in evidence. Maybe she's on the pill, but I doubt it. She doesn't strike me as the kind of girl who thinks that far ahead.

McDougal looks the girl up and down, long and hard. He turns to me, raises his eyebrows and then looks at the guy.

"Hey," McDougal purrs, "maybe we can work out an... understanding here."

Both the guy and the girl turn as white as ghosts.

Absentmindedly pointing the shotgun at the guy, McDougal opens the door and slowly reaches into the car. He reaches down, in between the girls legs. He leans further and further down into the car. The girl shudders as McDougal's hand brushes her inner thigh. He slowly closes his hand around the unopened bottle of Wild Turkey lying on the floorboard.

Then he stands bolt upright, thanks the guy and runs off into the woods, whooping like an indian. I have no choice but to follow.

Goddamn... Sometimes that McDougal scares the hell out of me.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Some things about me

People always ask me "McDougal, how are you? What are you doing?"
Pompous assholes. None of your Goddamned business.

Here's what you need to know:
  • I've been teaching myself a little karate ... mostly roundhouse kicks and the like.
  • My daily cash withdrawal limit from Erstwhile Bank of Maryland is one million dollars.
  • My favorite band is Smanch.
  • Smanch is also my favorite chocolate beverage.
  • My two least favorite phrases are "In my mind's eye" and "toot sweet."
  • I really do hate poets.
  • I have two stomachs.
  • I've met the real Darth Vader.
  • My dad was from Singapore.
  • I did a stint in the Merchant Ivory Marines.
  • I sort of like real bears.

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Friday, May 18, 2007

Summer of Love

We used to spend a lot of time down in Panama City Beach - me and the McDougals. The McDougal clan loved Panama City - the sand, the surf, the drunken barely legal Alabamian hair stylists. The McDougals would grab a few every quarter when we went down there.

That was in the heady pre-Internet days of the early 90s - back when a man actually had to break a sweat to make a living in the sex industry. McDougal was running a sex shop up in Shreveport and found that the margin on sex slaves was far greater than on anal nitrate and two-headed dildos.

So we had this one girl (a black one or a Mexican or something) used to ride motorcycles professionally like in the circus or something. This one was a fighter. Took three tranq darts before she went down and even then by the time we come up on her she was rolled over on her back taking wild shots at me and McDougal's then wife, Kathleen, with this rusty Walther P-38 that I later learned she won from her grandfather in a game of Omaha when she was seven years old.

McDougal took a round in the face and started just kickin' the shit out of her. She's loaded up on like 15 mg of Trifluoperazine from the dart gun and she's taken like nine good shots to the ribs from McDougal and she's still fightin like a bobcat. All the while, Kathleen's in the background yellin' "Don't kick her in the face. Don't mess up her face!"

And she grabs onto McDougal's calf and just latches on with her teeth (not Kathleen, but the girl of another ethnic background we were trying to abduct and force to work as a sex slave in Shreveport) and McDougal's swinging his leg around wildly now, but she's locked on and ain't lettin' go.

McDougal tells me, "Fuck it. Just kill this one. She's not worth all this."

So I walk up and I'm gonna slit her throat and she looks up at me like she ain't even scared. Her eyes are all defiant and whatnot. So I fall in love with her right there and we end up getting married and having three kids in five years and things were really moving too fast. We were just so young and inexperienced. I couldn't find work at first -- not good work, not the kind of work that she needed to support her and the lifestyle that she grew up in. Her dad was a stewardess or whatever you call men who do that (I know, apparently they're not ALL gay or whatever) and her mom was like a union luggage handler so, of course, her family always flew wherever they wanted for free and were always rubbing that in your face.

Her dad was always really condescending to me, but that didn't really bother me because he was a fey Mexican or British guy or something. Her mom was actually pretty nice. Her name was (and I presume still is) Denise or something like that. Bernice maybe? Eunice? I don't know. One of those "I'm not from America" kind of names. Paula? Shit, I forget. I nailed her one Christmas though. Completely random. We were both on a shitload of pharmaceuticals that she stole from the airport. She was always stealing shit from people's luggage. Especially nice luggage. She told me never to buy expensive luggage because that was always a tip to baggage handlers to steal shit from you. She used to let me go out to the airport and "search" people's bags with her, which mostly meant I just sniffed a bunch of dirty panties and stole some change and stuff. And my then wife (I forget her name now -- maybe Kathleen? Shit, I don't remember) was passed out on the kitchen floor and me and my mother in law. Luke? Or Lucas? (something like that) were alone naked in the hot tub because her husband (my fey Genoan flight attendant father-in-law) had just died of a heart attack and was just kind of floating in the water next to us. I guess he'd died actually like a day before because he was pretty bloated and filled with air and looked like a blowfish, but things were already going South with me and Amy (I think her name was) because I don't want to say anything negative, but she had a pretty bad cocaine problem and was not the most compassionate woman I ever met - I think because she was Italian. And I remembered that I had a bunch of ether on a rag and one thing led to another and next thing you know I'm a dad again.

Anyway, McDougal said he knew our marriage wouldn't last. He convinced Sarah that the baby was hers and her mom was just carrying it because of the drugs and whatever, and last year we had to move because McDougal transferred me to Provo to handle shipping and receiving at the Starlight Complex, which he bought in like the '40s or something and has been running with this kid Dave from Chicago ever since. It wasn't really a promotion, but it was a little bit more money and it was closer to my family, so we took it. It's not like you can turn down these kinds of offers anyway. And it was really hard on Jim because he was just finishing his Freshman year in high school and he's bald (nerves or whatever) and it's hard for him to make new friends because the tats make him look kind of mean. And he's sort of slackjawed and dimwitted like his real mother.

And Tammy and the other trhee kids left me because she was scared of another move and because she fell in love with a prison guard down in Tallahassee. The other kids all go to high school or work in a bank or something. So McDougal was right in the long run, but I don't hold any grudges because nothing lasts forever and she told me she didn't want any money. She just wanted to be free of me and Brian, whom I call Scooter on account of he's 14 and still can't walk.

But every year about this time I wonder what's going on down in Panama City Beach because they really do have beautiful beaches, and some people think it's kind of trashy, but the people there are really nice and not pretentious or condescending in the least. It's the kind of place where a man like me really feels at home.

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

And then there was that policewoman in Macon, Georgia... Man, she was beautiful. Her hair shined like copper. McDougal fell in love with her immediately. Of course, it would never have worked out. And anyway, she was only interested in McDougal for his traffic violations. He showed up drunk at the jewelry store late one night, with the diamond from his grandmother's wedding ring and a hollowpoint bullet. Later that night, when he shot her with it, her Kevlar armor stopped the bullet. But that diamond kept right on moving. Kevlar is no match for the hardest substance on earth. They say it's a hard heart that kills, but she must have softened McDougal's, because his aim was off that night. The diamond hit a little bit low, and bounced off a rib. It lodged in the muscle, at the front of her heart. She carries it with her there, to this day. They say she's been searching for McDougal since the minute she got out of the hospital.

Who says romance is dead?


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Monday, May 14, 2007

Beating me in the face

This post may be my last. I've lost too much blood. McDougal has composed a joke and cannot log in here directly. When I assured him I didn't know his password, he punched me six times in the face with a tire iron and maybe three more with a brick. I'm having one of those days where I wish I were Reginald Denny. McDougal says:

I have a pet spider monkey that I got for $20 from a homeless guy. His name is Genitals. I don't know the monkey's name.

I have two teeth remaining in the back of my upper right jaw, and one on the bottom. That's not part of the joke. Just giving a quick status report. Wait, McDougal says that is part of the joke.

He has a hot skillet of bacon grease in his hand.

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Friday, May 11, 2007

A Layman's Guide to Horrific Trampoline Injuries

Fifteen days ago...

Our car blasts down the winding desert highway, a mesa rising 650 feet straight up from the left shoulder and on the right, a canyon dropping away 100 feet to a nearly dry riverbed. This leaves precious little room for error, and McDougal is using every bit of it. The big man is steering the car with his knees. He has the cruise control locked in at 85. His right hand is busy pounding out a beat on the ceiling. His left is clutching a bottle of codeine cough syrup (lime flavor), from which he is chugging furiously. I am the only one watching the road, but the music is so loud he doesn't hear me when I yell "look out for that cow!"

It doesn't matter. McDougal drives with some sixth sense. We weave drunkenly across the centerline, missing the cow by inches. It stares stupidly at the car that nearly killed it as we go by. I wish I could be that oblivious. Also, I don't feel bad about eating beef. No one should feel bad about eating an animal with no sense of self preservation. For a fraction of a second I start to understand why McDougal sometimes lapses into bouts of cannibalism. Then I shake that thought away. Every car should have at least one sane person in it, even if that individual is not the driver.

On the floor between the bucket seats sits a stack of prescriptions as thick as a Manhattan phone book. Each one says that McDougal has a terminal case of bronchitis. Roughly every fifteen minutes one of the sheets will lift off. It flutters around the car for a bit, then flies out the sunroof, off into the night.

McDougal pulls the bottle away from his lips and peers into the mouth. Deciding that he has, indeed, drained yet another one, he tosses the bottle out the window and belches the words "take the wheel." Apparently he trusts my driving more than his own at this point, because as soon as the steering wheel is firmly in my grasp he flips off the cruise control and stomps on the gas. I'm having trouble concentrating on driving because the music is so loud. It's Def Leppard's "Pyromania." McDougal bought a whole grocery bag full of cassette tapes at a truck stop in Greeley, Colorado because they were only $3.99 each.

I can only vaguely make out my side of the road because McDougal kicked out the passenger side headlight back in Tempe. Unfortunately, that is the side where most of the cows are. They must smell the water at the bottom of the gorge. Lord knows where they all came from...

While I am looking for cows on the shoulder, I almost hit an old woman who is standing on the centerline. She doesn't even spare us a glance to acknowledge our existence as we roar by. She is too busy staring up into the night sky. Her wispy white hair blows out behind her like a tattered penant in the hot desert wind.

Goddamn... That is a bad omen. I don't know what it is supposed to mean, but there is no possible way something like that could stand for anything good.

McDougal turns back around and says "I got it." He puts his knees back on the wheel. He's got another bottle of cough syrup. He also has another cassette tape. He is peeling the plastic off with his teeth.

McDougal seems to be fleeing from something. I've never known him to run from anything, but we've been on the road for almost a week and he hasn't spoken of any set destination. We seem to be changing direction at random, either on a whim or based on something only McDougal can smell in the air...

McDougal suddenly punches the eject button and pops the Def Leppard cassette out of the stereo. He studies it for a second and, deciding it was worth keeping, tosses it into the back seat.

In the blessed silence that resulted, the big man speaks.

"I never should have gotten into politics. Now all the honeybees are dying."

And with those cryptic statements, possibly related, possibly unrelated, he pushes a new cassette into the tape player. Before I can ask him what he means by that, the car is filled with the thundering John Bonham drum loop of the Beastie Boys "Rhymin & Stealin."

It now occurs to me that perhaps what McDougal is trying to run from is himself.

A wise man once said, "Always remember, wherever you go... there you are."

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007


The city of Hialeah, Fl., is cold this time of year. Cold like McDougal's black soul. The Presidential campaign is in ruins after the big man ate the mayor of Coldwater. We've holed up here high in the Florida mountains and McDougal has slipped into a coma. His closest confidants are calling it hibernation. They say he does this once or twice per century. I've never seen anything like it. His breathing and heart rate have slowed to a nearly immeasurable rate. His body temperature is about 55 degrees Fahrenheit, and his eyes are open ... a cold, blank stare. I feel like the big man is judging me, and I frequently wish I weren't shackled wrist-to-ankle to him. But it was one of his last wishes before he went under, and who am I to disagree. Bobby, a former intern, brought me this laptop and some Jack in the Box. He comes by every few days. He has a gimp leg and a crooked nose, but a good heart, and he's nimble like a cat. On Sunday he brough BLT's and some DVD's of Dr. Who that he downloaded from some BBC newsgroup. I wish I could change these pants, change my life, change my mind. But what's done is done. I'll just have to ride this one out. Bobby says there are no mountains in Florida. I have no idea where I am. He says there's been a cover up. He won't tell me who McDougal ate. Says it wasn't a mayor. Maybe a governor. I have a .38 with one bullet. I know now what I have to do.

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Behind the Scenes Week - Bonus Sunday Edition!

Hello from the Writers Room!

We have been informed by the Legal Department that we have to do one more Behind the Scenes Week post. The original week contained six days of posts, which we thought was plenty. But the douchebag lawyers are mad because we made them do one of the days. They threatened to contact our union about it, because apparently that is some sort of violation to have non-union writers fill in. They said it has to be a Sunday post, since there was no Sunday post (softball league) in the original week. We tried to argue that it would be a violation of our Constitutional rights, because our religion views Sunday as a day of rest. The lawyers sent back an email that said, "Then we'll see you in hell." Apparently, since we had posted on Sundays in the past, it set a precedent that a "week" for this weblog includes all seven days. So it was either do a Sunday post, or get fired.

They can make us post another day, but they can't make us work weekends. Fuck that.

This is the Sunday post. We are requesting that nobody reads this until Sunday. We cannot be held responsible for the actions of the reading public, if they choose to read this post a few days early.

There, that should cover our asses...

Now, on to the letters.

Our first letter is another incoherent rant from Josh Williams:

I do not question Mr McDougals quality's as a man and human being to be
worthy of the office "President of The United States of
America" however I do wonder if his past may haunt him and his many enemas
who will surely betray him. Does "Friends of" and his worker bee's realize that
McDougal has so many enemas?

What the fuck? OK, I think I can make a tiny bit of sense from that poorly written bullshit... McDougal has no concern whatsoever about those who consider themselves his enemies. He has crushed out the souls of better men than them, 100 times over. Don't believe me? Consider this... In December of 2001, Saddam Hussein borrowed McDougal's "Caligula" DVD. He was supposed to return it before Valentine's Day, but he never did. Look where Saddam is now.

Our next letter comes from Carl Spackler, who asks:

has mcdougal ever been he divorced...does he have kids?

McDougal has been married dozens of times. We've written about a few of them here. If you click on the "marriage" tag at the bottom of this post, you will be able to read about a few of his marriages. McDougal has never been divorced, but he has been widowed many times. His brides have a habit of dying under mysterious circumstances. McDougal has somewhere in the neighborhood of 938 children. Most are illegitimate, born to prostitutes and other loose women. McDougal is incredibly fertile. There are several medically verified instances where McDougal has walked past an ovulating woman during a strong windstorm and accidentally impregnated her.

The next one comes from Damnsle, who writes:

Tu me dis qu’elle est melo, ou tu me dis qu’elle aimait l’eau?

Um... Punt?

Our final letter is a late entry from Sombrero11, who writes:

I often suffer from crippling writer's block. How is it that you are so prolific?

Well, Mr. Eleven, we have a whole writing staff here at FriendsOfMcDougal. Most of the time, if one of the writers is blocked up, the other writers can pick up the slack. However, occasionally all of the writers will be hit with simultaneous cases of writer's block. When this happens, we will just throw in some filler, like a funny picture or a couple of reader-submitted letters. Sometimes a writer will hit on an idea that seems promising, but they can't quite make it work. Most of the time, they will just pass the idea on to another writer and let them finish it. But every so often someone comes up with an idea that no one can make work. Here is an unfinished and unedited draft of one such story:

I am a Friends of McDougal from the Mycenaean Era.
He went by a different
name then. Your history books call him "Agamemnon."
I was sadly killed,
however, when Agamemnon (McDougal) incurred the wrath of Artemis (the goddess,
not Artemis Gordon from Wild Wild West). Fortunately, I was washed overboard in
port as McDougal's fleet prepared to sail for Troy, and never received a proper
Imagine my surprise, when I was revived eleven months ago by none
other than AgaMcDougalnon at a truck stop outside of Dubuque, Iowa. Aside from a
terrible headache and the predictable problems associated with my 3,600-year-old
military attire. The headache was fortunately a result of a hefty dose of crank
McDougal had served up as a revival peptide. And the fashion situation was
remedied by a quick stop at a Bass Pro Shop.
It would seem that the world
has changed considerably more than McDougal initially let on in the past four
millennia. While McDougalmemnon tried to keep me shielded from the trappings of
modern society, I have recently been granted my freedom and have discovered ...

We really tried to make this one work, but no one could do a damn thing with it. It makes a good chunk of filler though, doesn't it? I hope this helps you.

Well, that's it for Behind the Scenes Week. Stay tuned for more info on the Official McDougal Presidential Campaign Internship Contest!

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Monday, March 12, 2007

Why McDougal Hates Poets

Brother McDougal called me in a fever and recited the following 37 reasons why he hates poets:
1. Chompers. Poets can't be doctors.

2. Poets can't even pay their water bills or submit their own shit to get published ...

Well, the really hungry and really bad can.

3. Poets generally can't get out of bed before noon and seldom keep appointments.

4. If two roads diverged in a yellow wood and you beat a poet to death with a
large rock, would anyone care?

5. Poets do not feel compelled to brush their teeth because their words are too pretty to be corrupted by halitosis.

6. Poets favorite movie is always Orca.

I know, a lot of people thought I meant Jaws, but nope. Orca.

7. Poets masturbate frequently and for long intervals, usually using massage oils and aloe.

8. Poets smell like patchouli, teak, cigarettes, and halitosis.

9. Poets move slowly and are not safe drivers.

10. If they can put a man on the moon, why can't they put a bunch of 'em up
there? And why can't all the people they put up there be poets?

11. Poets sometimes pretend to be fishing, but really they're just contemplating the flow of the river.

Oh, and they're high.

What the fuck? Dude, they don't even have a fishing pole. And HOLY CRAP! That one's naked.

Fucking fags.

12. Without poets there'd be no rabid cougars.

13. Poets pretend not to like bacon, but then they'll write six verse odes about the way it sounds and smells when cooking.

Oh, then when they're alone they eat BLT's almost exclusively.

14. Poets don't have any marketable skills and look down at those who do.

15. Google doesn't like Polish poets.

16. Poets hate war, but will fight to the death over an adverb.

17. Patti Smith is a poet and performer. She can barely remember to breathe.

Q: What's the difference between a poet and a mime?
A: Who cares? God hates fags.

Q: What's the difference between a poet and a cat burglar?
A: Poets smell like shit.

Q: What's the worst thing you can do to a poet?
A: Kill his family with a stove pipe.

Q: What do you call a poet with a job?
A: That fey quiet bitch who smells like ass.

22. I have to leave my job. (Hey, poet, a job is when someone pays you money in exchange for services.)

23. Challenging a poet is like telling a feral cat to run away when you approach it.

24. Poets love nature, but loathe sunburn. They don't use sunscreen b/c the thought of smearing chemicals on your body is repulsive. They frequently burn their forearms in August.

25. Poets hate cell phones, but not because they're against technology.

It's because they're fucking poets and no one ever calls them.

26. Poets are frequently gassy, but would sooner die by incestual rape than expel gas in an audible manner.

27. Poets don't bake. The oven says 400 degrees, but they don't believe it's really all that accurate, and they frequently burn cupcakes.

28. Poets seldom venture outside. Most only go out in the rain so that they can dramatically show up at a coffee shop or bookstore soaking wet and incredibly disheveled, clutching a handful of ruined papers.

They hope that people are whispering "he's a poet" as he orders his plain black coffee -- whatever the coffee of the day is, let's not be pretentious.

29. Poets, like whores, are only hated by each other.

30. Poet gas smells like cod liver oil and feet.

Q: How can you tell when a poet's been in your house?
A: What the fuck rhymes with "humped the cradenza"?

32. Poets have dainty bowels and clammy palms. They feel like they should maybe sue someone, or at least go see a doctor.

33. There was once a city fueled by the burning corpses of Renaissance poets. It was the most beautiful city in the world, but everyone eventually moved away and the city was overrun with rats and alligator gar. When Jesus comes back, he will live there. And he will announce, "All poets burn in hell."

34. Poets are easily upset by spiders and revolutions.

35. Poets love space because they hate Mexicans.

Q: What do you call the poet laureate of Kentucky?
A: Who gives a fuck? He's from Kentucky ... and he's a poet.

37. A poet would think it was funny to wear rubber boots in the shower, but not if you did it just because you thought it would be funny.
I don't really know what that last one means.

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Campaign Update

"I'm bleeding," she said.

"That's because McDougal just punched you in the mouth," I said. I didn't tell her I was sorry. I wasn't the one who punched her in the mouth. I don't suppose I really had any reason to be sorry. Other than that I was sorry for her ... for her existence ... for what she had already and was about to endure.

"That wasn't a punch."

No. No it wasn't a "punch." He kind of just cupped her a bit with the back of his hand. She wouldn't be conscious had McDougal actually punched her. She was in the back seat of a 2001 Ford Winstar that McDougal had won in a back alley game of three-card monty. The van wasn't actually ever thrown into the pot, but McDougal's got this thing where he won't handle money. He calls it "filthy lucre" and has grown fond of quoting anti-currency Bible verses -- you know, that one about the moneyhandlers getting kicked out of the temple. Only, in McDougal's version, they are not just money handlers. They are shapeshifters.

McDougal is convinced that there are only about 1 million people on the planet. 400,000 of them are shapeshifters, he said. And their sole purpose in life is to deceive the other 600,000 of us.

She made the mistake of asking McDougal WHY he thought this was the case.

Jesus Christ, you just don't confront a paranoid delusional maniac when he's on the tail end of a six day meth jag. Why couldn't she just keep her mouth shut?

"A billion people in India," McDougal said. "That's my ass."

I wished he'd look back at the road. That Windstar was wound up. The speedometer was broken, but based on the cars we'd passed, I guessed we were probably cruising at about 110. And McDougal hadn't looked at the road in at least two minutes. Granted, it was a fairly straight patch of I-40, and the traffic was light, but I was starting to get nervous.

I looked at the handle and once again considered the potential for surviving a tumble from a minivan at triple-digit speeds.

"So then how do the shapeshifters get from one country to another so quickly? Or are you implying that there are only like 30 or 40 of them in the U.S.? Because I totally don't buy that," she said from the Ford lounge chair behind McDougal.

When the semi ran over her flipping, rolling body, I could still see most of what was happening in my sideview mirror. It was definitely the front left tire that first crushed her, then it was her hitting the underbelly that ripped her limbs off and sent her flying in all directions onto the median. Then I lost sight of her pieces, and turned back to the radio.

McDougal wasn't exactly pissed, just incredulous ... indignant. "Fucking Ann Coulter."

"I don't think that was Ann Coulter, McDougal."

"No shit, Sherlock," McDougal said. "That's the point, isn't it?"

I didn't follow.

"Nobody's Ann Coulter. There is no Ann Coulter. There is no Bob Woodward."

"You mean Bob Edwards," I corrected him.

"No," McDougal said. "No Bob Woodward. Edwards is one of us."

"One of us?"

"He's not a changeling."

"Oh," I said. "I thought you meant a Democrat."

"Don't be a faggot," McDougal warned.

I wasn't.

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Monday, March 05, 2007

Slings and Arrows

Just once I'd like to leave Vegas like everyone else does... In a car, or in a plane, hung over, maybe with a small to medium sized regret... something like gambling away the company's money from the Hiller account, or maybe cheating on my wife with a prostitute. If, right now, you are thinking that those seem like pretty big things to be regretting... Well then, a weekend in Las Vegas with McDougal would probably twist your tender soul, leaving you in the dirt, crawling and screaming... wretched.

Me, I'm a Friend of McDougal. My soul is nothing but a mass of callouses and scar tissue, with a few cracks on the outside where coarse black hair sprouts through. I've seen it.

May you live 1,000 years and never have to see your own soul.

Pills, you know?

A Friend of McDougal exits Vegas like Frankenstein's monster, except, instead of villagers with pitchforks, it is a V formation of Ford Crown Victorias from the Las Vegas Police Department. I bet they would be taking it a little easier with those shotguns if they knew what was inside this tanker truck... And Frankenstein's monster only had to hide from the light of a few dozen torches. Easy... I, on the other hand, am having a hell of a time trying to hide a Peterbilt semi, in the open desert, from spotlight-wielding helicopters of the Nevada National Guard.

But I'm getting ahead of myself...

I guess because I don't remember how this began.

I remember doing shots of absinthe laced with angel dust at the Luxor with Sebastian Bach...

And I remember doing lines of gunpowder off a hookers ass at the Chicken Ranch with Todd Bridges...

Or maybe it was the other way around...

What I know for sure is, we got kicked out of the Stratosphere because McDougal stood up on the rollercoaster. But it was worth it to see him arc a massive stream of piss halfway down the strip, giving a golden shower to the entire crew of the pirate ship that sits in front of Treasure Island. Amazing... The big man's bladder must hold 140 gallons. I could have done without the smell though. You know how your piss stinks when you eat a lot of asparagus? Multiply that by a factor of ten, then add in a paper mill and a Georgia hog rendering plant. In August.

That is what I have pieced together from memory. A quick review of my surroundings reveals a few more things.

I know, at some point, we were in the Mirage. I know this because there is a dead white tiger strapped to the hood of this truck I am driving. The tiger has on lipstick and eyeshadow. The broken-off handle from a slot machine is jammed into its eyesocket, almost up to that ball at the end. There is a "McD " branded onto one of the tigers flanks.

I know that I am completely naked, except for a copy of this morning's Las Vegas Review-Journal, that is wrapped around my waist. Fortunately, the front page is facing out, and not something else, like the personals or Family Circus. From this I am able to learn a few more pieces of the puzzle.

I now know that this afternoon McDougal set off a controlled implosion, demolishing one of the smaller hotels on the strip, as part of his plan to open up a 73 story, 2,555 room hotel, casino and underground nuclear waste storage facility (the first of its kind outside of China). I know that the owners of the hotel that was demolished were very upset. McDougal really did intend to buy the hotel, if it was for sale, but he never got around to checking on that.

But all that is McDougal's problem, not mine. So why...

Ah, yes...

Now I remember...

I spoke of regrets... Yes. I am having one right now.

I don't regret agreeing to manage the waste disposal segment of McDougal's operation. No. That was a great opportunity for me. I started getting paid two months ago, and the money is great. I never expected McDougal to actually finish the facility anyway. I get paid either way. No regrets there.

What I do regret, is agreeing to take delivery of the first shipment of waste. I think I kind of jumped the gun on that one...

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Thursday, March 01, 2007

Chutes and Ladders

When we got into the elevator to go up to McDougal's suite on the top floor of the Bellagio, the car's cables groaned excessively. I hate riding on elevators with the big man, since he always flirts with the weight limit all on his own. Another would-be passenger was waiting nearby, and I tried to discreetly wave him off, but he apparently didn't see, because he squeezed into the elevator with us.

He was a rumpled little balding man in his mid-50s. The type of guy who works long days and spends his evenings in his Bible study group, but he saves up his money so that once a year he can travel to Las Vegas with his wife to really cut loose. By which, I mean eat at the free buffet every night, spend his days photographing all the big hotels on the strip and maybe catch Wayne Newton's show.

As the elevator began its trip up, the little man cleared his throat. I cringed and tried to signal him again, let him know that McDougal is not the type of guy you make small talk with. But since we were on opposite sides of the big man, his view of my gestures was completely obscured.

I tried to will him into silence. "Please don't talk. Please don't talk. Please -- "

"Boy, it's a hot one out there, huh?" he posited.

McDougal turned slowly, gazed down at him and retorted with, "When God comes back to judge the living and the dead, he will judge them on one thing. Do you know what that is?"

He guessed, "Religious piety?"

"Nope," McDougal said.

The man fidgeted for a moment and moved as if to respond again, but McDougal cut him off.

"The size of their cocks."

What seemed like an eternity of silence passed. The man shifted uncomfortably. I could tell he was trying to work up a response. It seemed silence was too much to ask for from this one.

Finally, he looked up at McDougal and asked, "What about the women?"

"They can burn in hell."

I felt like I had to do something. At that moment I was the only person who could save that man. Otherwise, this one elevator encounter would leave him a ruined shell of his former self. I looked up at McDougal, and by the expression on his face I could tell that he was done with this little fellow. I seized the opportunity and leaned forward, peering around McDougal's prodigious belly, and spoke.

"Boy, it's a hot one out there, huh?"

The man looked right into my eyes and with the same stoic delivery we'd just heard from McDougal, he said, "When God comes back to judge the living and the dead, he will judge them on one thing. Do you know what that is?"

It was too late. Oh God, no.

I swallowed hard and said, "Religious piety?"

"Nope," he said.

"Where is he going with this?" I wondered. Then out of left field, came his response ...

"Ejaculate velocity." He announced this sternly just as the bell rang and the door slid open. He exited confidently, shoulders back and head held high.

Jesus Christ, this guy had a pair. I had no idea how McDougal might respond. The man had just deftly countered McDougal's shock line with his own healthy dose of profane banter.

As the doors slid back closed, McDougal chuckled softly.

He turned to me and whispered, "At first I thought he said 'viscosity.' Now THAT would have been awkward."

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Monday, February 26, 2007

Part IV of IV

"Is he feeding Bananarama?!" McDougal yelled, frightening the server under our table and knocking a ramekin of syrup to the floor.

There are many offenses McDougal classifies as punishable by death. I didn't think feeding bananarama was one of them, but I decided I wasn't going to stick around to find out. I grabbed one of the unspilled ramekins and threw it at the man's family. This caused a slight commotion, just enough for me to put a sack over McDougal's head and run out to the parking lot.

Sack over his head. What a terrible idea. As soon as my foot hit the pavement, I felt a giant mitt come down with the force of a steel press on my right shoulder.

McDougal must move at the speed of light.

I turned and began to recite the lyrics to "Gimme Three Steps" (which is a kind of McDougal lullaby), but it had no effect. The sack was still over his head.

"They are free," he moaned and I looked, the Denny's father had unchained two of the Bananaramans. They were clambering into his Honda Odyssey.

The ground began to tremble under my feet.

I turned back to face McDougal, who had inhaled the bag and was swallowing it as I laid eyes on him.

"Sinner," he said. "REPENT!"

I'm a Branch Davidian and am unsure of how to repent. I told McDougal as much.

It was at this point he pulled out his PDA and looked up the "Repentance" section of the "Catholicism" entry on Wikipedia. We sat down for about 15 minutes while he read aloud to me (around the bag in his throat) and answered any questions I might have had (of which there were 3). Once we agreed eye to eye on the finer points of the concept, we resumed positions and he punched me in the neck.

You know how freakin' big McDougal is, right? And strong. Like a goddamn bear. So, obviously, the neck punch took my head completely off. I felt like such an idiot ... my head just lying there on the ground, staring up at my body as it teetered and after a moment or two, collapsed in a heap.

McDougal then picked my head up by the hair and hurled it as hard as he could at the fleeing Odyssey.

As much as I hated going through the rear window of the van, I was absolutely delighted when I landed face down in one of the bananaramans' crotch.

And that's basically how it was the whole way until we got to Tampa.

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