Truly Outrageous

ME: (Tries to work)

MY BRAIN: I don’t think she did anything THAT outrageous.

ME: ?

MY BRAIN: Truly outrageous. Truly truly truly outrageous. And yet nothing even controversial comes to mind.

ME: It WAS a kid’s cartoon.

MY BRAIN: Did she gather cell phone data on The Misfits?

ME: I don’t think so.

MY BRAIN: Did she mismanage the whole American structure of home mortgaging?

ME: She wore some interesting outfits.

MY BRAIN: Unless I missed the episode where she was fined by the FCC for a nip slip, that doesn’t count.

ME: I don’t recall that one.

MY BRAIN, SINGING: Jem is somewhat mildly interesting, somewhat somewhat somewhat mildly interesting…

ME: That’s a little tougher to sing.

MY BRAIN: But honest.

That One Time

ME: (Tries to work)

MY BRAIN: Do you remember that one time?

ME: ?

MY BRAIN: That one time.

ME: What?

MY BRAIN: When that thing happened that one time.

ME: Huh?

MY BRAIN: And you said those words.

ME: Um…

MY BRAIN: Wow. I’ll never forget that. That one time.

ME: What are you talking about?

MY BRAIN: And when we have Chinese food it’ll be that wonton time.

ME: ?

MY BRAIN: And when we’re tired it’ll be that wan time.

ME: Grrr…

MY BRAIN: And when we spend money in South Korea it’ll be that won time.

ME: You are beltsanding my last nerve.

MY BRAIN: And when we watch Star Wars it’ll be that Obi-Wan time.

ME: Are you finished yet?

MY BRAIN: Just about. And when we get a bump on our heads it’ll be that wen time.

ME: I need to feed you less simple carbohydrates.

MY BRAIN: And right now? It’s that one wonton wan won Obi-Wan wen time.

ME: …


Dagny Taggart Did Not Have PMS

ME: (Tries to work)

MY BRAIN: Do you think Dagny Taggart ever had PMS?

ME: ?

MY BRAIN: Some of that book looked kind of hormonal is all I’m saying.

ME: No. We are not going there.

MY BRAIN: It’s important.

ME: Whether Dagny Taggart got PMS is not important.

MY BRAIN: Oh yes it is. She’s absolutely perfect! She never has problems, she –

ME: Rand talked about this. It’s a heroic presentation.

MY BRAIN: It’s stupid to espouse a philosophy and then make your examples cardboard cutouts whom no one could possibly emulate.

ME: Perhaps.

MY BRAIN: And a female hero? Ha. Her only overt feminine characteristics involved playing “hide the manifesto” with John Galt and Hank Rearden and Francisco.

ME: (“Hide the manifesto”?)

MY BRAIN: Awake three days in a train going cross country, and does she show up with leg stubble and two chin hairs? Nope, because she’s perfect Dagny Taggart.

ME: I think it’s kind of demeaning that you’re simplifying the meaning of being female down to hormones and leg stubble.

MY BRAIN: Not any more than simplifying it down to submissive sexuality. Rand never acknowledges Dagny Taggart as a female in any other way except with a crying jag.

ME: Oh, come on, she –

MY BRAIN: A whole month in Galt’s Gulch. Smoldering hots for John Galt? Check. A trip into town for some hand-rolled objectivist tampons? No way.

ME: No no no. I’m done. We’re not going there. Go away. I have to work.


ME: Fine.

ME: (Tries to work)

MY BRAIN: Look, if — at certain times of the month — someone had given her a dollar sign made out of chocolate —


Class 3 Prepackaged Foodstuff

Medium Duty Plastic ForksME: (At work, taking a break, about to have lunch. Just before I take a bite:)


ME: ?

MY BRAIN: Are you trying to get us all ARRESTED?

ME: Um. I’m eating lunch.

MY BRAIN: You are eating Dinty Moore Beef Stew.

ME: Yeah?

MY BRAIN: You have a potato on your fork.

ME: Yeah?

MY BRAIN: Your fork is a medium duty plastic fork from Staples.

ME: If you say so. I just got a fork out of the box.

MY BRAIN: The 2nd quarter 2013 update of the OSHA Consumption of Workplace Lunches Safety Manual CLEARLY STATES that Dinty Moore Beef Stew is a Class 3 prepackaged foodstuff and requires a heavy duty fork.

ME: …

MY BRAIN: Or a reinforced spork with a handle made of anodized aluminium and a textured rubber grip.

ME: What did I tell you about making shit up?

MY BRAIN: If OSHA finds out you could get fined and put in jail.

ME: As long as I get to finish eating first.

MY BRAIN: There would be articles about you in Mother Jones. People would point.

ME: Like they don’t do that anyway. So what exactly can I eat with this particular grade fork?

MY BRAIN: Velveeta Instant Mac and Cheese.

ME: What else?

MY BRAIN: That’s it.

ME: THAT’S IT? Just VELVEETA INSTANT MAC AND CHEESE? I can’t eat ANYTHING else with this stupid fork?

MY BRAIN: There may have been a few large, expensive lunches between the Velveeta lobbyists and OSHA.

ME: Oh really.

MY BRAIN: On the other hand, the forks at those lunches? Were AWESOME.

Dancing Machine

ME: (Tries to work)

MY BRAIN: So I understand she’s a dancing machine.

ME: ?

MY BRAIN: Ah baby.

ME: Oh. Yes. I mean, I don’t have empirical evidence, but it is my understanding that she is a dancing machine.

MY BRAIN: What kind?

ME: What?

MY BRAIN: What kind of machine?

ME: I don’t believe it’s that specific. I think the song just kind of makes the general assertion that she dances so much she’s a machine.

MY BRAIN: Quite the contrary – there is a very exact set of characteristics. She’s automatic, systematic, full of color, self contained…

ME: Tuned and channeled to your vibes. Isn’t there something in there about being a sexy lady?

MY BRAIN: Yes, but that’s in reference to her organic context. So we’re not counting it. Built with space age design.

ME: That does appear to be fairly exact.

MY BRAIN: Which is why I figured it out.

ME: You figured it out?

MY BRAIN: Yes. She’s a TiVo.

ME: A TiVo.

MY BRAIN: Yes. Think about it. Automatic, systematic, full of color, self contained. She’s a dancing TiVo.

ME: …

MY BRAIN: Ah baby.

ME: They didn’t even have TiVos back then.

MY BRAIN: If they didn’t have any TiVos why did the Jackson Five do a song about them?

ME: You are making some assumptions.

MY BRAIN: They were probably really impressed with it and they wrote a song about it, but they didn’t want to run into intellectual property issues. So they just said she was a dancing machine.

ME: So why did they turn it into a dancing woman?

MY BRAIN: Because it was the 1970s, and it was disco, and no matter how many poppers you do, you’re not going to dance to a song called, “It’s a completely stationary black box.”

ME: Point taken.

MY BRAIN: The Jackson family must have really loved TiVos to have one of their kids named after it. Tivo Jackson.

ME: That’s Tito.

MY BRAIN: Well, it’d have to be, wouldn’t it?

Watch the Jackson 5 Get Down. Ah Baby.

Too Sexy for My Shirt

ME: (Tries to work)

MY BRAIN: I’m concerned I might be too sexy for my shirt.

ME: ?

MY BRAIN: The song says if you become too sexy it actually hurts. Do you think there’s some kind of rapidly-applied censure, or is there an allergen involved?

ME: You’re a middle-aged, overweight woman. The only item of clothing you may possibly be too sexy for is a Mrs. Roper muumuu.

MY BRAIN: The song is inappropriately ambiguous and I’m uncomfortable. I could conceive of being accidentally too sexy for one of those slimy cheap polyblends.

ME: Seriously, trust me, you have no –

MY BRAIN: Of course I concede that I would never be too sexy for 100% cotton.

ME: …

MY BRAIN: I know my limitations.

ME: Okay, you can wear your Benderbrau shirt, which you can easily admit you will never be too sexy for.


ME: Fine. (Tries to get back to work.)

MY BRAIN: … I just worry.

ME: I get that.

That is the Thing

ME: (Tries to work)

(Something mildly good happens)


ME: What?


ME: Why did you say that?

MY BRAIN: I thought that’s what you were supposed to say when something good happened and you wanted to indicate excitement.

ME: Um… do you mean “That’s what I’m talking about”?

MY BRAIN: Yes. But there are considerations of grammar.

ME: The expression loses a certain amount of punch if expressed in painfully correct English.

MY BRAIN: I am not going to lower my standards just to appear socially adroit.

ME: As long as you don’t mind sounding like a complete idiot.

MY BRAIN: If it makes you feel better, I will raise my extremities into the atmosphere and manipulate them as if my concerns were minimal.

ME: …

Ayn Rand & Charles Nelson Reilly

ME: (Tries to work)

MY BRAIN: Do you think Ayn Rand ever recognized her essential dichotomy?

ME: ?

MY BRAIN: Just think of it. Hundreds of pages of Atlas Shrugged going to establish that man is not, in fact, just a collection of chemicals, but all her heroes must subjugate every human foible and weakness. They must behave like creatures of pure production, like golems. She moved humans from being a collection of chemicals to a collection of chem.

ME: Whatever.

MY BRAIN: See, “chem” could be a pun that means –

ME: Yes, thank you, I get it.

MY BRAIN: So what do you think?

ME: I don’t care.

MY BRAIN: Aw, come on! I have to think about SOMETHING. I’m bored!

ME: Think about something else. Go back to debating whether misotheism and atheism are the same thing. It was fun listening to you try to figure out whether assigning the characteristic of malevolence to a divine being changed its context.

MY BRAIN: No, I got tired of that.

ME: Well, go do something. I’m busy.

MY BRAIN: Oh, I know! I’ll recite the Preamble to the Constitution —

ME: If you must.

MY BRAIN: — In a Charles Nelson Reilly voice —

ME: Um…

MY BRAIN: — for two hours!

ME: …

MY BRAIN: Rand or Reilly, chum. Take your pick.

ME: How about neither?

MY BRAIN, IN A CHARLES NELSON REILLY VOICE: “We the people, in order to build a more perfect BLANK…”

ME: (Turns Pandora all the way up)

I love Charles Nelson Reilly, and apparently my brain does too.