Disco Time

ME: (Tries to work)


ME: Mmm-hmmm.

MY BRAIN: Get down, boogie oogie oogie….

ME: Nice.

MY BRAIN: …oogie oogie oogie…

ME: (Tries to work)

MY BRAIN: … oogie oogie oogie…

ME: ?

MY BRAIN: … oogie OOGIE oogie…

ME: …

MY BRAIN: … oogie OOGIE OOGIE oogie…

ME: Grrr…

MY BRAIN: … oogie oogie oogie oogie oogie oogie oogie…



ME: Thank you. (Tries to work)

MY BRAIN: Oogie.

Ghosts Lie Like Bastards

ME: (Tries to work)

MY BRAIN: I have an idea for a brilliant new business. We’ll make millions.

ME: Oh really.

MY BRAIN: Yes, and we can FRANCHISE it, too. Are you ready?

ME: Mmmhmm.


ME: … what?

MY BRAIN: Here’s the scenario. You’re dead and you’re hanging out in the afterlife minding your own. Then suddenly you think about that Twitter friend you have, and maybe you want to appear to them in a dream and let them know maybe they need to have their brake lines checked.

ME: oh-kay.

MY BRAIN: So you manifest, right, and your friend completely flips out because they’ve never met you and they have no idea who you are or why you’re warning them about brake lines. You’re just this random person.

ME: Random ghost.

MY BRAIN: Right, random ghost. But you have a NAME TAG. And it says “Hi, I’m your Twitter friend @” – whatever, and then they’re okay, and you can warn them about the brake lines. Think of how many people you’ve never met in person. How will you contact them beyond the veil if they don’t know what you look like?

ME: You could just tell them.

MY BRAIN: You won’t have any credibility. Ghosts lie. They lie LIKE BASTARDS.

ME: How is a name tag more credible?

MY BRAIN: First of all, it shows preparation. You actually went out of your way to meet this person. Second, we’ll integrate a contextual API. First thing you when you do when you die, see, you download all your GMail contacts —

ME: Okay, time out. How do you download all your GMail contacts when you’re dead?

MY BRAIN: We’ll figure it out.

ME: This is a pretty big hurdle if you want to get some VC into this.

MY BRAIN: Which is a better bet for a venture capitalist: that one day we’ll figure out how to download GMail contacts when we’re dead, or that what this country needs is another four or five speciality cupcake retail chains?

ME: Um…

MY BRAIN: Any time, sparky.

ME: Okay, you got me. Carry on.

MY BRAIN: You download all your GMail contacts into our API, “Polterguest.” Then whenever you decide to cast your soul back into the world from whence man knows not, you enter in the name of the person you’re going to visit, and you get a formatted tag with all relevant contextual information to assure the manifestee that you’re not just some random phantom. Suddenly you’re a credible ghost with the confidence to pitch it strong when it comes to the warnings about the brake lines or the earthquake or the undercooked fish.

ME: I’m sure that’ll be a relief to everybody.

MY BRAIN: Learn more about our service at Relevant Renevant . And hey, why not brag a little about the eldritch energy you have unleashed upon the world? Check in on ShadeSquare!

ME: …

MY BRAIN: Tip #1: Don’t eat the sashimi.


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.

Giblet Man

ME: (Tries to work)

MY BRAIN: Isn’t giblet a weird word? Giblet giblet giblet giblet giblet.

ME: ?

MY BRAIN: Do you suppose when they’re happy they’re gliblets?

ME: I really, REALLY need to finish this shipment.

MY BRAIN: All right, I will entertain myself.

ME: Great. (Tries to work)

MY BRAIN: I have invented a new superhero. Behold GIBLET MAN.

ME: …

MY BRAIN: Here’s his backstory. He was one of the fighters in Mortal Kombat, and had his innards ripped out in a humiliating defeat. Rushed to the hospital, he was stuffed with radioactive offal from a genetically-modified turkey. Awakening, he finds he has become GIBLET MAN.

ME: Giblet Man.

MY BRAIN: He can fly, but not that well, he terrorizes his enemies with gravy lasers –

ME: (“Gravy lasers”?)

MY BRAIN: And he can put people to sleep with tryptophan beams from his eyes.

ME: Lucky them.

MY BRAIN: And his faithful sidekick, CHESTNUT STUFFING KID.

ME: Giblet Man struck me as more of a solo guy.

MY BRAIN: Someone’s gotta rescue the vegetarians.