Fucking FINALLY.

28 07 2008

A little over three years ago, I decided that I wanted to be an internet humorist. Never mind that I had no experience writing comedy. Never mind that the only person who happened to find me hysterical was a family member. Never mind that I hadn’t seriously written anything of my own free will since I was a junior in high school. Never mind all of that–I wanted to be a humorist.

People were always telling me that I should be a stand-up comedian. It’s no surprise, then, that I took to calling people mental defectives. Or more specifically, fucktards. I was not made for stand-up comedy, as evidenced by my inability to think while standing, nor was I made for comedy alone, as evdenced by my desire to make people cry. I’m a serious “literary” writer foremost, with the “humor” coming in at a close second.

As I was saying, I set about becoming an internet humorist. Drawing inspiration from personal heroes like Jay Pinkerton, John Cheese, and David Wong, I began toiling away, fashioning masterpieces like afterthoughts. I was ready to take on and usurp Pinkerton’s throne, overthrow the kingdom, and have all the people of the land flogged. My first action in that plan was to electronically assault any and all media outlets on the internet with all of my throbing masterworks.

The next step, I’m sure you know, was to fail miserably.

For months on end, I was crotch-punched by every conceivable website. “We’re sorry, but your style of humor is not appropriate for our publication,” said Woman’s Day. it was a hard thing to go through, all that rejection. Sending out one article to a large group of different publishers is like being turned down by a really beautiful girl who then follows you around for the rest of the day, repeating “No, I will not go out with you, you talentless waste of viable organs.” Yes. Almost exactly like that.

I didn’t give up, though. I harassed amd cajoled until I was blue in the face. I kept my abilities sharp by writing on my MySpace blog almost every day, which eventually led to the birth of this abomination unto the written word. I kept reading , kept writing, kept sending in unsolicited articles and essays to my main target, the venerable CRACKED dot COM. Eventually, a plum fell. A three-part article I did was picked up by some obscure online magazine that didn’t pay me anything, didn’t format the article at all, and who sent me the longest fucking contract in freelance history.

After that, well, things remained as they had been for the uncounted preceding months: in short, I got nothin’. As time passed, I became a little more mature, and so did my writing. I met Kelly, who inspired my first bit of serious poetry that has now been published in print a total of five times. I created an idiotic adventurer whose insane shenanigans became a minute sensation among a very specific group of people (my family). Then, one day a mild-mannered little humor site called Yankee Pot Roast decided to dust off their backlog of emails and read the story I sent them. Three days later, Dickerson P. Cockley’s Because I Wrestle Alligators hit their front page.

Lest I drag this on too long, let me summarize:

  • Dickerson was then published again at YPR.
  • I became a professional essayist and researcher.
  • Dickerson was published in print, in India.
  • David Wong became Editor of Cracked’s website
  • Another poem was published in print, this one also about Kelly.
  • I started doing comics for John Cheese’s site.
  • I wrote an erotic novel that may still get published.
  • I moved to San Marcos

And now we come to today. Batman has been in theaters for nearly a month, far and away the greatest superhero movie of all time. I pitched an artilce idea to Cracked.com about real-life vigilantes. It received warm reviews and was moved to the thread where potential articles are kept for editing and critique. Then, just two short days ago, I logged in to find my article missing from the “considered” thread.

Wong had moved it to the thread reserved for articles that have been ACCEPTED by the editorial staff. Now, I just have to wait and listen to whatever the editors request of me. Either way, I get fifty bucks and a chance at website traffic bonuses.

What’s more is that–after three years of trying, during which time Jay Pinkerton was let go from quit Cracked to become a sexy adventurer/writer of sexy adventure video games, Pointless Waste of Time became Cracked’s messageboards, and David Wong took over as Editor of the site–an article of mine is finally going to be published on a big-name website. Not only that, but I’m finally going to get paid for my non-professional writing.

Three years is a long time to wait, buddy. What’s even worse is being rejected for that entire time and not ever really knowing how to remedy the situation. Oh well.

Oh, one more thing: for those of you out there who are just aching for another DIckerson story–get ready. This new one is going to rock your houses.

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And the eighth rule…

18 05 2008

 

I just finished reading Fight Club about twenty minutes ago.

Contrary to what I’ve been told, it’s noticeably different from the movie, in that it contains more of that Palahniuk philosophy that rings so fresh and yet so flat on the ear. That notion seems to be that we can never truly be a part of the great landslide of human existence unless we give up and allow ourselves to be reabsorbed into that which has already shat us out…that murderers want to be caught, because the detectives on the case are their saviors, and so on.

Okay, well… Bullshit. I’m not buying it. By definition, a landslide is an event which drags whatever is in the way along with it. In much the same manner, humankind is an unavoidable catastrophe bearing down on every single one of us from points above. The only way to avoid a total landslide is to be above it, on higher ground. The problem is, each generation is born further down the hill, deeper into the flood plain. Each generation is more fucked than the last. All told, there is no discernible difference between the dead on the bottom of the pile and those nearer the top, except that crows and coyotes can’t dig very far.

From the movie, one might assume that Chuck Palahniuk is out to destroy society, which has been marked irredeemable by those at the head of the landslide.

Ayn Rand was probably closer than Palahniuk on that end.

He seems to believe that we can only truly excel once the old ways have been torn down, and the new guard is allowed a truly fresh start. A sort of slash-and-burn sociological experiment. That’s all well and good on paper, but my question is: how can we ever expect to start fresh? You can tear down an old barn, but there’s still a big pile of shit left over, not to mention the foundation. Do we dig that up and destroy it, too? Do we waste our formative, fast-burning years on cleaning up after people long-dead and utterly blameless?

Fuck that noise. The only valid philosophy for this day and age is the Jackrabbit Principle: stay as far ahead of the brush fire as possible, and when it’s too late to run, lay low and eat the young.





From the new apartment!

14 05 2008

Writing from the apartment now. Very strange to be sitting out here on a concrete balcony in the middle of a foreign town not seventy miles from home, chain-smoking cheap cigarettes and waiting for Life to catch up to me. Strange stuff, kids.

 

Stranger still to be smack in the middle of a group of long-lost and long-abandoned friends and acquaintances all huddled together in this very same town, all brought here by design or circumstance. People have a way of spreading apart like ocean-top detritus; like that same stuff, they have a way of converging where the breakers rise up and the driftwood settles. It’s unsettling to know that I landed here a mere victim of Life.

 

Bills, bills. Even only five days in, the looming black cloud of Responsibility hangs low. Electricity, cell phones, rent.  Christ, Almighty. Jobless, too? You bet, kiddo. I’m a longtime resident of the Uncomfortable Edge of Poverty. I’m never completely in my element until there are ludicrous amounts of Unsettled Debt hanging in the balance.

 

Odd neighbors coming and going like German cockroaches. None of them seem to have any direction, but damned if they’re not rushing off to…somewhere. Most look like college students or fuck-struck newlyweds. Maybe both, but who knows? Either way, they don’t pester me much, which is all I that can ask.

 

It’s slightly uncomfortable to be surrounded by so many damn people after the relative solitude of the country. Cars coming and going, people milling about, the constant stench of gasoline and bad weed. No stars at night, only close, pink-black sky, like a 100x view of late-stage lung cancer cells. Or maybe colon polyps. Fuck, who knows? I’m no oncologist, not in any medical sense. I’m a student of social oncology. I like the cancers of a crowd, the carcinoma of human herds.

 

What I don’t like are rumors of an old friend gone astray. Funny how that word looks so much like “ashtray” when you’re not paying attention. No sir, rumors of Old Friends burning themselves up on the old Ghetto Destroyer do not sit well with me. It’s a very close bet as to whether the rumors are true. Well, if they are, that man and I have a long-standing agreement: partying is one thing; Addiction is another. Louisville Sluggers cost a little more than they used to, these days, but the Reasons for putting them to use have stayed a relative constant. Beating sense into one of your oldest and closest friends is one of those static things that never change. Hope the rumors are wrong, for both our sakes.

 

Holy Mary motherfucker. You don’t really know what kind of feeling it is to be squealing down a windy wet two-lane in a car you don’t yet fully understand, roaring in third gear, tires spinning uselessly against slick blacktop…backwards.

 

You may say you understand, but I know the real truth about the matter: you fucking don’t understand at all. Until you’ve done exactly that, I’ll hear no murmurs of understanding. Fuck you. You don’t know.

Do you know what it’s like to look head-on into the oncoming rear bumper of some short-wheelbase Chevy monstrosity that go for around fifty grand and clock in on fight night at just near two solid tons of steel? all the while you are crippled by an ill-timed burst of torque, unable to do little else but scream and drift sideways into oncoming downhill traffic? DO YOU?

 

It’s not pleasant. 





The very first thing I ever published

28 02 2008

Not that I have some lengthy legacy, or anything, but this is the first of any of the things I’ve written to get published. It’s long, and I kind of lose steam through the middle of it, but hey–it’s something, right?

Anyway, for posterity, here’s:

Parenting For a New Century

By Kenneth W. Schroeder, Esq.

 Okay, since I don’t have any children of my own, I feel qualified to write this how-to in the utmost objective manner possible. Children are a nuisance- screaming, snot-nosed vortices of food and money whose sole mission is to disappoint and slowly leach their parents of money and the will to live.

 The biggest downside, as I see it, is that these awful creatures are often allowed to grow into a much larger physical state, while little or no effort is made to change them from the ego-centric little assholes they were when they were children.

Parents, I am here to change all of that.

 Utilizing the latest cutting-edge techniques in child psychology and combining them with the age-old art of “beat ’em now, beat ’em later” jiu-jitsu parenting, I have devised the perfect solution to the eternal issue of having people who look like you but are otherwise savage, unholy maniacs.

Chapter One- The Early Years

Step 1- When, at an early age, a child shows the slightest inclination to question your omnipotence, use any and all short-range weapons in your arsenal. Ashtrays, telephones, beloved family pets- anything that will clearly illustrate this concept to their under-developed, spongy brains.

Step 2- You may have noticed a strange phenomenon occurring whenever you go into the back yard to feed your kids. They have increased in size, and seem to attempt the formation of rudimentary language skills. This is certainly not what the proactive parent desires in an offspring.

 After administering the above treatment, which you should be doing at least three times a day at this point, bring the child or children into the house to begin their education regimen. If your spawn are too noisy, fat, incontinent or any combination of the three, feel free to perform this exercise outside or perhaps in the garage.

 Place each large-headed, drooling cretin in front of a television set. Apply restraint devices if necessary. Tune into a channel that airs no fewer than five reality television series, or three consecutive hours of celebrity/hip-hop “insider” programming. Rinse and repeat.

Step 3- If, during the course of their formative years, you should have to venture out into public with these lowbrow miscreants in tow, fear not, there is hope. 

 A simple, effective strategy to ensure proper behavior is to bring along a certain item of which the breathing growths have become fond. Whether it’s a doll, a squeaky frog or a shiny rock, the same technique is advised. Threaten the well-being of said artifact constantly- in the garage while you’re attaching the choke collars, in the car (assuming they can still hear you from the trunk), even at your intended destination.

 If your lumps are so dull as to have connected on no discernible level with anything, bring the toy along anyway, only this time you should substitute threatening the object with repeatedly thrashing the child. This will ensure their absolute subservience while among normal people. The true genius of this method is the fact that should you yourself have to leave the room, the toy may be left behind as a menacing sentinel.

 Given your child’s limited understanding of, well, anything, they will not grasp the concept of an inanimate object’s inability to harm them- in the beast’s eyes, the object is just as dangerous and malcontent as you, the attack dog in your bedroom, or the door to the refrigerator.

Step 4- Bathing. This is an inadvisable and fruitless chore. If they must be cleansed of the remaining chunks of food, excreta and other assorted wastes, simply move the cage closer to your outdoor trash receptacles. The flies will do most of the work, and your beloved tax write-offs will enjoy a healthy, delicious snack.

 Thus concludes the first installment of my Parenting for A New Century series. Feel free to write me if you have any suggestions or comments. Be sure to catch the next chapter, Adolescence, which contains valuable insights into the lumbering mechanics of the teenage mind. As an added bonus, I will also include helpful tips on the subjects of child labor laws, sexual development, and how to change your burden into a working facet of your burgeoning plantation. Until then, I remain

Kenneth W. Schroeder, Esq.

(Please note that Mr. Schroeder, while brilliant and inventive, is not an actual child psychologist or therapist. His methods have been outlawed in many countries and provinces throughout the known world, and are known to the state of California to cause cancer.)

Parenting For a New Century

 Welcome back friends and neighbors for the second installment of my parenting series. I hope the last chapter was informative and enlightening, and at least moderately witty. Tonight’s lesson deals with those large, odorous organisms known as Adolescents, or in slang terms, “teens”.

Chapter Two- Adolescence and The New Horizon

 By now, should you have kept a studious eye upon your mutating subject, you will have noticed drastic and oftentimes shocking physical and emotional transformations taking place. This is not to say that such metamorphoses are beneficial to yourself or to society, but that this weakened, hormonally charged phase can provide ripe opportunities for conditioning.

 Pavlovian training methods are often utilized in such cases, but I find such principles to be weak and ineffectual. Instead, we shall apply a shocking new theory as yet unheard of in the world of parenting: the Catch and Release ploy.

Step 1: Should your teenage dirtbag become irritable and willful, it is advised that you put an immediate stop to such behavior, as the wooly lump will only increase in size and musculature from this point on.

 With any common household instrument, say a pair of barbecue thongs perhaps, grasp the offending lip and twist until your wrist is perpendicular to the floor, then incline the head to a forty-five degree angle. Now begin a slow march around the room, making absolutely certain to guide your stock directly into the path of low-lying furniture and jutting cabinetry. This ensures that the lesson will be at least slightly absorbed by the porous matter that substitutes for an adolescent brain.

 If your heathen has a certain cosmetic piercing, and in it resides a circular metal object, this process will be made ever-so-much easier. On you, that is. One particular student of mine advocated the application of mild to moderate electrical currents to such jewelry, so you may indeed consider that option.

Step 2- Sexual development is key to the rearing and social adjustment of any normal being. However, in this case we will not address such ludicrous concepts as “development”, since that may very well prove disastrous to the delicate balance of nature. Instead we shall focus primarily on the repression and denial of adolescent sexual desire.

 Should you notice a slight protrusion originating in the pelvic region of your male child, you must immediately douse it with scalding-hot oil. This unhealthy growth can lead to a good many bothersome symptoms such as prolonged restroom occupance, leering at other female members of the species, and the secretion of a highly toxic substance known among feral adolescents as “spunk”.

 Again, and I cannot stress this enough, should you notice such a growth, do not hesitate to dump any boiling liquids or oils into the potentially contagious lap of your hairy embarrassment.

 If you notice said condition and yet presume to possess a female of the species, I urge you to at least have a veterinarian perform a basic physical examination. It could be that, while smartly avoiding close contact, you may have misinterpreted the gender of your beast.

Step 3- Grooming is an important issue among any and all of God’s creatures. The notable exception being of course the male subhuman adolescent, and the female being a slightly better choice between the two, I would suggest trading your ape to a slightly more gullible family in exchange for their “daughter” or pet ferret.

 If you find that no one will make such an exchange, keep things simple when dealing with grooming techniques. The most assured method is to simply beat the mutant until his hair refuses to grow. Or you may attempt to scorch the curly mess with a butane torch, but this has often led to foul-smelling smoke inhalation deaths among parents burdened with enormous, hairy offspring. Stick to what you have already learned from me: “beat ’em now, beat ’em later”. You can’t lose with a mantra like that.

Step 4- Since your rancid pile of love-dumpling has reached a point in his or her life where it is now feasible to begin menial labor, I suggest starting small. Of course I don’t mean small weights, but small concepts, since the brain during adolescence resembles Renee Zellweger’s hind-quarters after being run over by a football team. In other words, dimpled and extraordinarily spongy.

 Physical training begins with tractor tires, or just tractors if you want to speed things along, being strapped on about the neck and then forcefully tugged for great distances. Applying Step One has been rumored to increase productivity ten-fold among the overweight and asthmatic demographics, but has been surprisingly ineffective when used in conjunction with attention disorder medication. That concludes the lesson for the evening, ladies and gentlemen, and be sure to catch my third and final installment called Emptying The Nest: Optimum Height For Optimum Results. Until then, I remain

Kenneth W. Schroeder, Esq.

 (Please note: Mr. Schroeder is not an actual child psychologist, nor is he a therapist by any normal standards. In fact, Mr. Schroeder is a recent parolee who was allowed back into the normal world after teaching a Texas Correctional officer how to properly bludgeon his and others’ infants.)

Parenting for A New Century

  Welcome, desperate parents, to the final installment of my acclaimed series, Parenting for A New Century. I trust my previous posts were sufficient to improve your shamefully inept child-rearing tactics. If not, it is no fault of mine, but that you plainly were not paying any attention. Do not allow this to proceed. I know all, and will smite thee with grievous force. Also, I reserve the right to use any number of negatives in my grammar. You, as a mere mortal and therefore confined to Earthly rules, cannot.

  Thus far we have covered the two primary stages of growth and mutation in the sub-human species of “children”, infancy and adolescence. While my advice is best applied to the male animal, only slight changes are required to fit practically any sex. Of course, by now you might have realized that there are limitless variations of gender among the chromosomally challenged. Rob Schneider and Renee Zellweger, you might be surprised to learn, fall into this category.

Chapter Three- Emptying The Nest

  Although your pitiful loin excreta has technically aged past the adolescent stage, it is likely that he/she/it/they may not have reached a sufficient level of maturity. Fret not, dear follower, for your worries are not long for this world.  In a rare fit of rationality, our government has actually provided in favor of the parent in that, as of age eighteen, you are no longer legally responsible for the ghoul’s well-being. Thank whatever god you wish for such enlightenment. Thank me if you feel it necessary.

  The only remaining issue, if you have not yet succumbed to thrashing your mutant to a nearly dead state, is what you should do to remove them from your domicile. Follow these few guidelines to your deserved liberation.

  Step 1-  If, at any point in your detached “relationship”, you should have purchased items of emotional value to the subject, immediately remove these things to your front yard or fire escape. If you had purchased objects of monetary value, confiscate and pawn them at once. The free ride is over, after all.

  The logical purpose of placing the forever tainted possessions outside of your home is to lure the wet-brain offspring outside. If you did not realize this by now, I feel I must have a stern talking-to with your parents, you clubfooted monster.

  Once the ghoul has exited the vicinity, gather up all remaining soiled artifacts such as clothing, bedding, and carpeting he or she may have tread upon during those rare indoor moments. Burn these things at once, as they will invariably contain gooey, highly contagious, crawling genetic material. If you came into contact with said material, light yourself on fire and leap from the balcony. You are doomed.

Step 2- Assuming you survived step one, you must now set about the task of sealing your home with swift decisiveness. Retreat to your garage or supply closet while the mongoloid is still distracted by the shiny toys and bright lights of traffic.

You will need the following: hammer, nails, two-by-fours, holy water, nail gun, screw gun, shotgun, crucifix, and one huge jug of cheap vodka.

 Begin your work by nailing shut all windows and doors. Air-conditioning vents are also potential avenues of ingress, so the use of roach-bombs or ricin gas is permitted. Once your home is sufficiently secured, begin the ridiculous job of spiritually cleansing your rooms with the crucifix and holy water. Even if you are not a Christian these methods are advised, as both Buddha and Krishna share your shameful child’s physical and mental handicap, and thus might find favor with it instead of you. Besides, everyone knows that God hates the stupid and infirm.

Step 3- With your remaining tools in hand, venture carefully outside to locate the monster. It may seem dangerous or foolhardy, but entice your walking tumor to partake of the vodka, preferably in copious amounts. Allow for appropriate drunkenness to settle in, and retreat to a safe distance.

 Within view of the child, fire the nail gun and screw gun arbitrarily at various objects, people, and animals. If you are of brave constitution, pantomime nailing yourself through the upper thigh or lower colon.

 Place your weapons on the ground no closer than fifty feet from the newly-liberated beast, and back away slowly. While there have been no know instances in which a relatively ambulatory parent has been caught by an advancing mutant-child, safety is always the best bet.

  Once you have reached a safe distance, sprint to your door while keeping a wary eye upon your subject. If you reach the domicile safely, place a chair about six feet from the inside of the door, and ready the shotgun. Wait for no fewer than three hours, as such creatures will invariably forget within this allotted time.  Should you hear screams from outside, and can distinguish them from the idiot-bawl of your child, place an anonymous phone call to your local emergency police and ambulance.

 With any luck, and you shouldn’t honestly need any in light of my exhaustive wisdom, your trials and tribulations are over. Enjoy your freedom while it lasts, and for the love of God-  DO NOT CONTINUE TO PROCREATE!

  Thank you dearly for your time and donations. I trust that you and your significant other will now consider my deification, and I shall gracefully accept your worship.

Kenneth W. Schroeder, Esq.

 (Please note: Mr. Schroeder is not a licensed professional and is, in fact, a degenerate maniac. His teachings have now been outlawed in every nation, province, township and village on this and any other planet, with the single notable exception being Newark, NJ. I pray that you do not follow his advice and turn immediately from his deviant lessons.)





It’s a little old, but still pretty tasty.

26 02 2008

This week, Yankee Pot Roast turns five years old. I happen to have a bit of a soft spot for those guys, considering they’re the ones who first published Because I Wrestle Alligators, the very first Dickerson P. Cockley story, and then a second Dickerson story later that month. That in turn led to the first story being published in print in December of last year, by some obscure literary anthology called Voices and Visions.

Understandably, I like the site.

They’re a “literary satire” site, which is a damn sight less embarassing to tell someone than “internet comedy”, for someone who calls himself a “serious” writer, anyway. To me, it can be anything, but it doesn’t matter until it at least sounds good.

The publication came as a hell of a surprise, since I can’t remember ever submitting anything to them for the first story. It also helped to lift my flagging spirits, mainly because by that point all I’d gotten by way of feedback on my humor stuff was a bunch of praise from my friends, and countless rejection letters from Cracked, a site that’s still pretty funny thanks to the brilliance of one David Wong.  

Although it wasn’t my first publishing credit, it was my first notable one. The actual first publication was of this three-part parenting thing that Cracked wouldn’t touch, that got picked up by this odd little site called The Cynic, a pretty low-quality place comprised of content in varying degrees of suck.  Even though both the site and the articles were pretty terrible, there’s nothing like the first time your work gets accepted. I think I was floating for about a week after that, even after I found out that I wouldn’t be paid for it.

YPR, for their part, also didn’t pay me, but that doesn’t matter. They’re not a paid site, and they still manage to be more productive than any other humor site on the web. Some of their stuff is really very good, some of it not so much. Having said that, at least the funny lists they do are filed away in their own little area, instead of plastered across the front page.

If you get the chance, head on over to YPR and check out some of the content. I haven’t published anything since then, but they’ve got some decent articles up now. 

Oh yeah, almost forgot. The coolest part about all of it were the mock book covers they designed for the stories. In case you didn’t see them, here’s the better of the two:

This doesn't have a damned thing to do with the story, but that's okay.