ME: (Tries to work)

MY BRAIN: I’m studying to be a particleboardcosmologist.

ME: Nice. And that is?

MY BRAIN: It’s someone who studies the constellations in imperfect drop ceilings.

ME: …

MY BRAIN: Turn off the lights and let’s study the skies.

ME: You mean the pinpoints shining through the drop panels?

MY BRAIN: Philistine. Oh look, there is Swingline, the stapler constellation. And that square shape over
there? Oweya, the Snack Fund God.

ME: And that water stain?

MY BRAIN: Unknown nebula.

ME: What’s the point in particleboardcosmology? Don’t tell me people navigate by drop ceiling constellations.

MY BRAIN: Why not? Walk toward the Black Hole of the Flung Pencil, turn left at the Sign of the Leaking Insulation, and go forward fifty feet. Where are you?

ME: … in front of the bathroom.

MY BRAIN: Take THAT, John Harrison.

Blue Bell Ice Cream

ME: (Tries to work)

MY BRAIN, SINGING: Blue Bell Ice Cream… tastes like the good old days…

ME: Remind me to never let you listen to the radio.

MY BRAIN: Ah, the good days and all their flavors. Like the time you pronounced that word wrong in front of your entire social studies class. We’ll call that one Neapolitan Humiliation.

ME: Oh, is it Bad Memories Wednesday?

MY BRAIN: Or that time you locked yourself out of the warehouse without your keys, Blackberry, or shoes, and had to flag down the UPS man to borrow his phone. Clearly a time for Strawberry Shortbrain.

ME: You’re like a stump grinder for my self-esteem.

MY BRAIN: Or the time you tore your pants while you were out on a pickup. What else could that be other than Butt Pecan?

ME: Is this going to stop any time soon?

MY BRAIN: Baskin-Robbins has 31 flavors. We’ll start there.

ME: As long as I know when it ends.

MY BRAIN… and then we’ll proceed to Ben & Jerry’s.

Ummy Ummy Laut Laut

ME: (Tries to work)

MY BRAIN: Ummy ummy laut laut
They’re cops!
Keeping Berlin safe from crime

ME: ?

MY BRAIN: Ummy ummy laut laut
See them walk the punc-tu-line

ME: “Punctuline”?

MY BRAIN: It’s my new TV show. Umm. Laut. They’re punctuation police.

ME: …

MY BRAIN: You have the right to remain grammatical.

ME: You have finally lost it.

MY BRAIN: I don’t get enough B vitamins.

Thank You For the Nice Sweater

ME: (Tries to work)

MY BRAIN: Dear God:

ME: ?

MY BRAIN: How are you? I am fine.

ME: Um.

MY BRAIN: Thank you for the nice sweater.

ME: (Sweater?)

MY BRAIN: It’s a little itchy but I remember in that hymn it says your eyes are on the steel wool.

ME: I think you mean sparrow.

MY BRAIN: Well, I guess I’m running out of room…

ME: What are you writing on?

MY BRAIN: See you at the canasta tournament!

ME: You’ve been playing canasta with God?

MY BRAIN: Love, me.

ME: The least you can do is sign it.

MY BRAIN: Why? It’s God. God knows who it is. Besides, they’ll recognize my sweater.


ME: (Tries to work)

MY BRAIN: I know why you’re doing all this, you know.

ME: Excuse me?

MY BRAIN: The 7-day work weeks, the endless hours, the soul-crushing despair. I’ve got it all figured.

ME: You do.

MY BRAIN: Absolutely. This is your do-over life.

ME: My what?

MY BRAIN: You see, you’ve lived this life before. And in your last life you were this spectacular, amazing success. You had everything. And then it spiraled down into a giant pile of ruination, and you said to yourself, “I’m not going to let this happen to me again,” and in your do-over life you’re focusing all your energies on being an anonymous drone. And doing a fine job, I might add.

ME: …

MY BRAIN: It’s the only possible explanation for working as hard as you do to be a tedium-filled, joyless nitwit.


MY BRAIN: Well, not completely filled with tedium.

ME: So I was famous in my first life?

MY BRAIN: Oh hell yes.

ME: So what did I do, smarty neurons?

MY BRAIN: You were a writer of course. You wrote this amazing book. You sold millions of copies and were world-famous. You were on Oprah. You went to IHOP with Stephen Colbert.

ME: And what was this book about?

MY BRAIN: Me, of course.

ME: (I walked right into that one, didn’t I.)

MY BRAIN: You wrote a book about my adventures. We actually did fill the ocean with Skittles. We figured out how dead people could access GMail. Everything I wanted to do, you tried. It was like JULIE AND JULIA, only with less cooking, French, and Meryl Streep.

ME: It sounds really interesting except for the giant pile of ruination part.

MY BRAIN: Yeah. You probably shouldn’t have listened to me about being able to fly.

You Better Watch Out

ME: (Tries to work)

MY BRAIN: OH, you better watch out…

ME: ?

MY BRAIN: You better not cry…

ME: Hey. No carols.

MY BRAIN: You better shut up and not pout, I’m telling you why…

ME: (Sighs)

MY BRAIN: Santa Empiricist is coming to town.

ME: What?

MY BRAIN: He records when you are sleeping, he notes when you’re awake…

ME: Not creepy at all.

MY BRAIN: He has carefully documented all instances of when you’ve been bad or good and made an accurate assessment with the data…..

ME: That doesn’t scan.

MY BRAIN: So be prepared to defend your behavior as contextually appropriate FOR GOODNESS SAKE….

ME: If he was really assessing all that data, wouldn’t he come up with something more analog than simply bad or good?

MY BRAIN: You’re thinking of Ambiguity Claus. He shows up anywhere between December 21st and December 28th, and instead of going “HO HO HO” he says, “Meh Meh Meh.”

ME: I don’t think I want to hear any more.

MY BRAIN: Good, because HIS carols are a bitch.

Oh Mr. Howell

ME: (Tries to work)

MY BRAIN: Oh Mr. Howell
You were kind of an airhead
And you called your wife Lovey
Oh Mr. Howell

ME: ?

MY BRAIN: Oh Mr. Howell
You were pretty much useless
Worse than Mr. Magoo
Oh Mr. Howell

ME: Why are you cracking on Jim Backus?

MY BRAIN: Oh was it class warfare?
Was it sharp satire?
Or was it just TV
Oh Mr. Howell

ME: Congratulations. That almost scanned.

MY BRAIN: Oh was it a metaphor?
Had it no purpose?
Did you inspire Ginsberg?
Oh Mr. Howl

ME: Wait. What?

MY BRAIN: I saw the best minds of my generation shipwrecked on islands, on three-hour tours
Equipping themselves with coconut-based technology, looking for radio communication
Floppy-hat-headed savants ignoring boat holes for basketball players, fiends, liars and robots,
whose socioeconomic status could be mildly amusing or the illuminati-eyed stuff beneath the skin of ten thousand sound stages
depending on whether or not your weed is any good —

ME: That’s it. I am pouring this entire pot of coffee down the sink.

MY BRAIN: Spoilsport.