Tag Archives: Comedy

Movie Review – Stuber (2019)

Laughs.  Action.  Driver ratings in peril.

BQB here with a review of Stuber.

At the outset, this is a fun action comedy.  It’s not something I’d want to watch over and over again, but it was worth the rental fee.

Kumail Nanjiani plays Stu, a down and out sporting goods store clerk who makes money on the side driving for Uber, thus earning him the undesired nickname, Stuber.

He pines for friend Becca (Betty Gilpin, and who doesn’t?) but despite his best efforts, including forking over his savings so she can start a spin class business, he’s permanently in the friend zone.

His life of boredom is interrupted for a night of action, adventure and sheer, out and out terror when Vic Manning (Dave Bautista), a bad ass cop on the hunt for his partner’s killer, who rather conveniently just had eye surgery and can’t drive (or in reality, do anything but you have to suspend disbelief) hires him to drive and forces him into service as his unwilling partner for the evening.

They become the ultimate odd couple, Vic helping Stu to man up, Stu helping Vic to tap into his softer side.  Will Stu be able to save the day, get the girl, and maintain the highly coveted 5 star rating that all Uber drivers desire?

Bonus points for adding Mira Sorvino to the cast.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

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Is Dave Chappelle Insufficiently Woke?

Hey 3.5 readers.

Trying to post a little more.

It saddens me that the PC police are coming after Dave Chappelle.  This guy was the king of comedy in the early 2000s only to be branded a villain today.  Sorry to say it but he didn’t change.  You all did.

Oh, how I loved my Chappelle’s Show DVD box set in the old days.  I’d just watch those sketches over and over.  The guy was such a comedic perfectionist that he left 50 million on the table and walked away because he couldn’t phone it in like so many others did and the stress of doing comedy right got to him.

The weirdest argument, among many, is that his R. Kelly sketch normalized R. Kelly.  I remember that sketch.  He hanged R. Kelly out to dry as a whacko, urine obsessed degenerate pervert.  How that supposedly “normalized” R. Kelly I’ll never know.  If anything, it trashed him and made people more aware of his pervyness.

It’s just sad to see everyone getting on his case.  Your thoughts?

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Movie Review – The Oath (2018)

This movie is garbage.  Just total, red hot garbage.

Seriously.  I don’t know why I’m even bothering to review it but here goes.

BQB here with a review of “The Oath.”

Somewhere out there is a movie about a family of people from different sides of the political spectrum who overcome their differences over the holidays and end up all the better for it.

This film is not it.

Initially, it seemed like it was trying to be.  It takes place in a world where the government has sanctioned a supposedly non-mandatory oath, asking citizens to pledge their loyalty to the president.   Talking head pundits explain that the pledge is not required, though mounting pressures make it so that those who don’t sign will be ostracized.

Enter Ike Barinholtz and Tiffany Haddish, a liberal couple who have vowed to not sign the oath.  The deadline to sign is Black Friday and the majority of the film takes place during Thanksgiving week.

Over the course of the holiday, Ike gets angrier and angrier as he finds out everyone in his life who he thought was going to stick with him against the oath caves in and signs out of fear of retribution.

Meanwhile, in true Hollywood fashion, conservatives are portrayed as either monsters or dopes who blindly sign the pledge.  Old man in a restaurant attacks people who don’t like the pledge with his cane = monster.  Ike’s brother and sister-in-law who sign the pledge because they think it’s the patriotic thing to do = dopes.

Ironically, if there ever was an issue that would unite liberals and conservatives together, it would probably be a state sanctioned loyalty oath.

The film is schizophrenic and isn’t sure which direction it wants to go in.  It’s billed as a comedy, but my funny bone was never tickled.  It eventually turns into a violent, dramatic quasi-thriller, or at least it wants to be but the premise is so ridiculous that it makes who wonder what substance was being smoked by whoever green lit it.  Worse, comedic elements are weaved into the mayhem, which just comes off as gross and stupid.

To the film’s credit, Ike works himself into a lather throughout the first half of the film, culminating into a crescendo where he loses it at Thanksgiving dinner, chews out his family of oath loving conservatives (and liberals who caved) and tells them they’re all pigs who should be hanged.  Point made.  If you get yourself so worked up over your political leanings that you start talking about breaking out the nooses for your own family, you might want to chill out and realize you’ve become the ogre that you claim to despise.

It could have ended there as a somewhat lackluster, forgettable film but then two agents from a government agency that administers the oath show up.  Blah, blah, blah, mistakes are made and Ike and family end up in a brawl that ends with the agents severely wounded and held hostage.

At this point, you can almost hear whatever attempts at comedy had been made getting sucked out of the film.  There are some jokes throughout the second half that fall utterly flat because, Jesus Christ and holy shit, there are two government agents who have been beaten half to death in the living room and yet somehow (SPOILER ALERT) no one ends up going to jail. Worse, some of the beatings are so hardcore that you wonder how they ended up in a comedy film because really, they’re the stuff of horror flicks.

I hate to give bad reviews of movies.  After all, I’ve never made a movie before, so who am I to judge?  This one sucks.  And blows.  It sucks and blows.

Is there a movie where a big, extended family that features a mix of die hard, conservative MAGA hat wearing Trump fans and hardcore, liberal pussy hat wearing resisters come together over the holidays and learn to love each other despite their disagreements?  There is.

I doubt Hollywood could ever make it because both sides would have to be treated equally.  That would require a script where jokes are made about BOTH liberals and conservatives AND conservatives would have to be portrayed as something more than the stereotypical hillbilly boogie man.

Moreover, characters would have to be allowed to discuss the major issues of the day and characters on BOTH sides of the aisle would have to be portrayed in a manner such that the audience could understand what life experiences the characters had that led them to that conclusion.

Hollywood could never do it.  “Orange man=bad.  Conservatives = hillbilly moonshine swigging boogie man who wants to kidnap all your non-white friends and hogtie them with the Confederate flag.  The End.”

It’s too bad because if a legit comedy that gave us the ins and outs of a mixed family of conservatives and liberals could be made, it would be award winning stuff.

Again, this film isn’t it and it’s too bad because it could have been.

STATUS: Not shelf-worthy.  The worst of 2018.  Try not to blame Tiffany Haddish.  She does her best to shine amidst a movie that is a pile of shit.

 

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Is Comedy Dying? – Kevin Hart Out as Oscars Host

Hey 3.5 readers.

BQB here.

I weep for the future of comedy.

Several years ago, comedian Kevin Hart wrote a tweet, the gist of which was if he ever saw his son playing with his daughter’s doll house, he’d shout, “That’s gay!” and then break the doll house over the boy’s head.

My two cents?  Comedy is like gymnastics.  Imagine yourself as one of those tiny Russian gymnasts at the Olympics.  You could push yourself to leap in the air, do seven airborne backflips and land into a rolling somersault.  Maybe you’ll pull it off and get the gold and the accolades, or you might mess up a complicated move and end up with a broken foot.

Similarly, comedy can be hit or miss.  If you’re going to break taboos and push lines, the joke should be outstandingly funny, so humorous that it brings a begrudging smile to the face of even the most dour of school-marmish scolds.  Otherwise, the risk that you just end up looking like an asshat instead of a clever joke-smith is too great.

This joke was only so-so.  People need to grasp the context.  The joke isn’t on the son, it’s on the father.  Hart was making fun of his own sense of manliness, his own insecurities, his own insane fears that the slightest showing of a softer side can turn someone homosexual.

Imagine if this joke hadn’t been in a tweet but rather a sitcom.  Kevin is a typical dumb sitcom dad.  He comes home from work, sees his son playing with his daughter’s dollhouse.  Close up on a freaked out look on Kevin’s face.  Close up on Kevin as he looks off in the distance, imagining what this could lead to.  Cut to grown up son performing as a drag queen, accepting “Best Drag Queen of the Year Award,” and he says, “Thanks for the doll house, Dad!”

Cut to Kevin freaking out and like the Incredible Hulk, he smashes the house into a thousand pieces.  The daughter cries.  The son says, “Dad, what the hell, man?  I was pretending that doll house was Cobra Commander’s secret base and I was attacking it with my GI Joes!” (or whatever today’s equivalent toy is.)

Enter mom, livid that she has married such a buffoon.  Cut to Kevin staying up all night gluing all the pieces of the doll house back together.

I don’t know.  I get some of the backlash to the tweet.  It wasn’t the best joke and it comes across as mean spirited to gay people.  As a society, we’re trying to get parents to accept their kids as they are instead of trying to mold them into something they don’t want to or can’t be.

But at any rate, I think Kevin was just making fun of himself.

I’ve never thought Kevin was a great comedian or a terrible comedian.  He was somewhere in the middle.  He plugs along.  A ham and egger.  But one thing I give him credit for is he is one of the few comedians left who TRIES to be funny.  He tries to think up funny situations for his acts and movies and rarely delves into politics but rather is into the humor for humor’s sake.

Meanwhile, and look I don’t care if you love Trump or hate Trump, but mainstream comedy has basically gone from actual comedy to this oddball world of people just standing up, saying something to the effect of, “Orange man bad!” and then cue the canned audience laugh track.

On top of that, why is Kevin being singled out?  Alec Baldwin was arrested and he’s still on SNL. Jimmy Kimmel once appeared in blackface.  He was still allowed to host the Oscars.  Sarah Silverman once appeared in blackface.  She’s still allowed to do voices in Disney movies.  Overall, I’ve enjoyed Family Guy and have looked at Seth MacFarlane as an example of someone who made it in Hollywood by sticking to it and pushing himself, but there have been some times where I’ve watched that show and been like, “Wow, this is going way too far” and then I’d change the channel.  And he was allowed to host.

I don’t know.  Just seems like there should be one standard.  Why are we combing JUST through Kevin Hart’s past?  Either the rule is that anyone who hosts the Oscars must be as clean as a whistle, or some past transgressions are ok as long as they aren’t doing it now….but to hold Kevin Hart to one standard and others to another is lame.

Oh well.  Who cares?  No one watches the Oscars anyway.

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Great Musings of the Twenty-First Century – #376 – 400

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#376 – Existing isn’t the same as living.

#378 – Grapes are small pieces of fruit.

#379 – Physically, we aren’t able to see what is behind us.  Mentally, we are always looking at the past that’s unchangeable.

#380 – Birds of a feather flock together but kittens of a whisker don’t do much of anything interesting whatsoever.  Sorry I mentioned it.

#381 – Every lacrosse team has at least one Chad.

#382 – I don’t know who I am anymore.  I’m not sure I ever knew in the first place.

#383 – Stars are nature’s glitter.

#384 – One day I would like to learn judo.

#385 – I’d like to make a banjo with nothing but a cigar box, a broom handle, fifteen rubber bands and the assistance of a professional banjo maker.

#386 – I once was lost but now am found. I was in the last place I thought to look for myself.

#387 – Ducks love bread.

#388 – How fast is a light second?

#389 – The other day I was in the dairy aisle of my local grocery store. I picked up a product labeled, “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter.” I set the container down and moved on.  Sorry, but if the manufacturer is unable to believe that the contents do not consist of butter then I don’t know why I’m supposed to.

#390 – I’m going to think of something ridiculously clever and insert it here later.

#391 – Broadband does not include broads and if it did, those broads would not join a band. Discuss.

#392 – Are mole people friendly?  I’m talking about people with moles on their faces, not the people who live underground.  We all know the latter are dicks.

#393 – I love my microwave.  Frankly, whenever I think about how I own a device that can harness the power of the atom just to cook my frozen pizza, I get a little hard.

#394 – If Frankenstein has sex with a lady werewolf, would their baby be a Frankenwolf or a Wolfenstein?  If it’s the last one, would they have to pay royalties to the people who made that video game?

#395 – I bought a dry erase board in the hopes that I would think of something clever to write on it.  My first note on it? “Remember to return dry erase board.”

#396 – Right now, at this very moment, two horny penguins in Antarctica are getting their fuck on.

#397 – Why are people always offering poisoned people antidotes? People, it’s not that hard. Just don’t drink dotes in the first place.

#398 – Whatever happened to Mario Van Peebles?

#399 – Is it a violation to use sidewalk chalk on driveways?

#400 – I’d eat cake at every meal if I could.

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Movie Review – A Simple Favor (2018)

Be careful when a friend asks you for a simple favor, 3.5 readers.  You never know when it might come back to bite you in the ass.

BQB here with a review of “A Simple Favor.”

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=a+simple+favor

Holy crap, 3.5 readers.  Holy freaking crap. This was such a good movie.  It’s so cool when you go into a movie, not having heard much about it and it turns out to be a real nail biter.  I really recommend it.  Go see it now.

Let’s get into it.

Anna Kendrick is Stephanie, a super mom.  She bakes those cupcakes.  She does all those volunteer jobs for her son’s school.  She even has her own mommy vlog where she records videos full of tips to help mothers become the best mothers they can possibly be.

Meanwhile, Blake Lively is Emily, a rich, powerful business woman, an expert at making money but at mothering?  Not so much.

Long story short, the moms meet when their boys have a play date and become unlikely friends.  Stephanie is an awkward goody two shoes.  Emily swears and drinks like a sailor.  Somehow they put their differences aside and compliment each other.

Alas, chaos ensues when Emily asks Stephanie for a simple favor.  She asks Stephanie to pick up her son at school and babysit him for the evening because she is swamped at work…and then she never comes back.

Thus, it’s up to Stephanie to solve the mystery of her friend’s disappearance.

If this is a spoiler, then so be it.  I’ll shout it out now.  SPOILER! Look away.

The cool thing about this movie is for the most part, it is a heart pounding mystery thriller, somewhat in the style of “Gone Girl.”  Where’s the girl?  What happened to her?

Then, at some points, it moves from seriousness and provides laugh out loud humor.  Much of this is at the expense of Anna Kendrick, who is often featured in comedies as the sweet, naïve type and she excels at this here as a fish out of water, a super mom who just wanted to make a friend and now she’s thrust into a world of murder and intrigue.  She engages in a lot of self deprecating humor to get her through.

Meanwhile, we see an evil side of Blake and her evil comes out in scary ways but also in funny ways.

I have no idea how to explain it other than picture a movie that goes from being an edge of your seat mystery to all of a sudden it’s like something you’d see on SNL and then it’s back to being a serious mystery again.

Doesn’t make sense?  You’ll just have to go see it and get back to me.  I’ll give it this.  It’s very original and I give Hollywood kudos for greenlighting a movie that doesn’t make sense on paper but scores points in the execution.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.  Not gonna lie.  Blake and Anna have both provided me with many a boner over the years, so much so that I’ll probably buy this movie when it comes out on demand just so I can use it as fapping material.  Sorry.  I just ruined my review but hey, it’s scary, it’s mysterious, it’s funny, and you can also fap to it.

FUN SIDE NOTE: While I was in the theater, there’s a part where the Blakester is going full out evil scary mode and at the same time, a woman in the theater roughly the same size and shape as Blake tripped and fell (not really fell but sort of stumbled down the stairs) and it scared the crap out of me and a bunch of other movie watchers as I think we all thought it was some kind of scary interactive shit or something.

 

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BQB’s Classic Movie Reviews – Groundhog Day (1993)

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Have you ever experienced deja vu, 3.5 readers?

Oh, and by the way, have you ever experienced deja vu?

BQB here with a review of the classic comedy, “Groundhog Day.”  SPOILERS ABOUND.

Bill Murray plays Phil, an arrogant, self-absorbed Pittsburg weatherman who can’t contain his disdain for local television, phoning it in until, he hopes, a job at a national channel will save him.  He openly mocks his job, his life, and all around him, never taking a moment to appreciate what he does have.

On one fateful day, Phil is assigned to cover the Punxatawney Phil ceremony, where a groundhog is pulled out of its hole and according to legend, if it sees its shadow, then there will be six more weeks of winter.  This is the ultimate contemptible assignment for Weatherman Phil, who despises the idea of thousands of yokels dancing around in the cold to see a rat get yanked out of a cave.

Accompanying Phil are his goofy cameraman, Chris Elliot, and his producer/love interest, Andie MacDowell, a perpetually happy woman who always sees the bright side in everything, truly Phil’s foil.

Phil can’t wait to get out of this hick town but alas, every day he wakes up and it is Groundhog Day over and over and over again.  Why?  It’s never explained.  He’s just stuck in an infinite loop, destined to live the same day for eternity.

How many Groundhog days does Phil experience?  One can never be sure, but it has got to be in the thousands at least.  This is truly an experimental film that was ahead of its time as the timeline is manipulated to comedic effect.

Phil’s reaction to his plight ranges from depression (he kills himself repeatedly only to wake up safe and sound with Sonny and Cher on the radio again and again), to greed (robbing an armored car without consequence) to lust (he questions babes about the most intimate details of their lives, then meets them fresh the next day and presents their interests as his, making them believe they’ve found their soul mate so they’ll offer instant nookie.)

Are there any lessons to be learned?  Yes.  When you are stuck in a rut, you have to do a lot of work to dig yourself out of that hole.  Phil lives the same day over and over, really, for years.  He makes mistakes.  He learns lessons.  Ultimately, when he uses his repeated day to better himself (take piano lessons) and to be kind to others (he starts spending his days finding out about the townsfolk’s problems) he finally lives one great, amazing day, spent helping the local yokels all day, only to tickle the ivories at night, impressing his lady love with his musical talent while the locals regale her with stories of Phil’s kindness.

Improve yourself.  Be kind to others and they will tell tales of your goodness, tales that will reach someone you want to impress.  This seems to be the name of the game and if only we could compact that work into one day that we get to live for years before we learn the lessons and then get to start fresh the next day.  Unfortunately, when we are stuck in a rut, we must learn those lessons, obtain those skills, do those acts of kindness for years before they pay off, we may get old and croak before any of our hard work goes noticed.

So, the name of the game is start early.  Funny, I saw this movie as a kid and didn’t heed its warnings.  Today, I feel like Phil, stuck in a rut, turning people off with my constant mockery of everything, unable to find the time needed to improve my life and impress people.

I need a Groundhog Day!  Come on, Sonny and Cher.  Get on my radio!

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

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Toilet Shocker – First Chapter Draft Test

Just giving it a trial run.  Let me know what you think in the comments, 3.5.

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Chapter 1

February 27, 2019 – Moonbeam Coffee, Store #11,041 – Portland, Oregon
Heather Laramie’s wokeness wasn’t a hobby – it was a passion. Her frame was thin, the result of many a hunger strike in the name of whatever the latest social cause was trending on Lifebox. She owned multiple Che Guevara shirts, allowing her to wear the image of the Communist revolutionary daily. In her defense, her grasp on history was tenuous and she was unaware of Guevara’s bloodthirsty actions. She just viewed him as a man who wanted people to get free stuff, an economic system that in Heather’s eyes, was totally doable, seeing as how her parents gave her free stuff all the time, so surely the government had a money tree lurking about somewhere that could be shook until the leaves fell off into perpetuity.
Yes, Heather talked the talk. She regaled anyone who would listen of her love of Senator Murray Leibowitz, the upstart, self-proclaimed “Democratic Socialist” who gave former Homeland Security Secretary Emily Wannadingle a run for her money during the 2016 Democratic primaries.
More importantly to her, she walked the walk. She drove a Yarikazi Elf, which was literally the smallest car on the market, virtually one step above being a glorified golf cart. Sure, it was cramped, she was never able to invite a friend to come along for a ride, and motorists regularly slammed into it because they typically failed to see it and assumed the parking space it was in was available, but it got great gas mileage and was good for the environment, assuming that energy coming out of a wall socket was somehow produced in a cleaner manner than gas harvested from the bowels of the earth but…hey, you know what? That’s not the point. The point is, the car made her happy.
And many things made Heather happy. There was the “Resist” tattoo she got permanently etched on her right forearm the day Vinny Stugotz was sworn in as the forty-fifth president of the United States. There was her pink pussy hat, which she, in addition to Che’s grim visage, also wore daily. She even decorated it with a pin that read, “Keep your laws off my vagina.” Heather was, in fact, such a proponent of anti-vaginal legislation that she regularly posted on her blog about her support for a controversial law that would allow women to have an abortion up until the 24th trimester, known throughout the media as the “Whack ‘Em with a Baseball Bat Until Their Sixth Birthday Bill.” Murray Leibowitz was the bill’s chief sponsor, and once Emily Wannadingle’s people determined through a series of polls that the bill was popular, she vocalized her support for it to.
Yes, Heather was proud of her lifestyle and yearned for the day when the revolution would come, bathing the streets red with the blood of capitalist pigs, seizing any and all businesses and putting them under government control, and putting all labor at the new Communist government’s disposal. Like many young comrades, Heather always pictured herself as some kind of commissar, someone who would be paid handsomely to vocally support Communism and punish those who criticized it. Most millennial pinkos typically fantasized about becoming high-ranking officials in the apparatchik. None ever envisioned themselves as ditch digging peasants who would work for 12 hours a day, then spend the other 12 hours waiting in line for government issued toilet paper and moldy blocks of cheese.
Also, somehow in this fantasy vision of utopia, Schmuck Phones, Lifebox, superhero movies, boy wizard books, video games and continued access to Mom and Dad’s backyard pool and tricked out basement still existed, though no one ever offered an explanation as to how, in a world where a workforce would be whipped into submission and aspirations of wealth would be quashed under an iron boot, all these luxuries would continue to exist.
Back to the main point. Heather was woke – exceedingly, ridiculously, absurdly woke, and out of all her expressions of wokeness, there were none that the pink haired, bespectacled college student majoring in 17th century lesbian folklore was more proud of than her position as a barista at Moonbeam Coffee.
Yes, Moonbeam Coffee, the wokest provider of caffeine fixes on the planet! Come for the triple half caf, skinny foam, mocha whipped honeysuckle cold brew with trace hints of ginger and turmeric. Leave when you ask for a large coffee with sugar and cream and the staff looks at you funny. Come for the recycled cups featuring tips on how to save the environment like “Compost daily” and “Get rid of your lamps and sit in the dark.” Come for the giftshop, where you can buy a bumper sticker that reads, “Live Locally, Frolic Globally” or “My Other Car Doesn’t Exist Because I Don’t Hate Mother Nature So Much that I’d Own Two.”
Heather had loved her job for three years, ever since her un-woke, patriarchal father insisted that if she was going to waste his money on lesbian folklore classes, that she’d better at least get a job to pay for her personal expenses. At first, she despised the cis-male scum who raised her, decrying his name for failing to see the abundant job opportunities that were available to students of lesbian folklore that hailed from the 1600s, but she soon came to enjoy making octuple caf, tall foam marzipan swirls with rosemary shots. She loved it so much that she was sure she’d just keep working there after college, opting to forego the abundant job opportunities in her field of study, of which she remained unwaveringly sure that they did, in fact, exist.
Alas, on the day in question, Heather began to have grave concerns as to whether or not her job would remain enjoyable in the future. A line of smelly, unkempt, unhygienic homeless people of all ages, races, sexes and creeds waiting to use the one toilet in the store’s small bathroom extended out of the store and down the block. This had been happening daily for months, ever since a vagrant had sued Moonbeam Coffee and won three million dollars after being refused to use the bathroom at a San Francisco store. The court ruled that the company’s policy against allowing bathroom access to paying customers only was discriminatory against the poor, and Moonbeam Coffee could no longer make arbitrary rules that unfairly affected the economically challenged.
For Heather, the result was that she hadn’t been allowed to serve a brew since the Fall of 2018. She was now on bathroom clean-up detail, standing outside the perpetually stinky restroom with a plunger and a mop at the ready. As she looked up at a television monitor that was playing her favorite news channel, Heather began to question everything she had ever believed.
Lydia Estevez von Straffsbourg-Kightlinger-Tiparoo, the most popular reporter on the Woke News Network, had been recently named the host of The Lesbian Slam Poet News Hour, the only show in which militant feminists updated the public on the latest stories in rhyme.
On screen, Lydia wore her usual outfit, a black beret and matching turtleneck sweater, a look completed with a pair of thick glasses. She was surrounded by a diverse array of poets. In the background, one poet pounded a pair of bongos.
“Moonbeam Coffee,” Lydia said. “It’s been eight months since this vile, capitalist, profit motivated criminal organization perpetrated by the one percent dared to commit the unspeakable, unforgivable hate crime of telling a man that he could not use the bathroom unless he bought a locally sourced, farm to table, gluten free scone, half the proceeds of which would have gone to creating communes for transgender watercolor artists in impoverished nations. What do we think about this, ladies?”
Vocal pundit Maura Heffernan-Augustus-Peabody-Benjamin brushed a piece of lint off of her “Fuck Stugotz” t-shirt and looked directly at the camera. “I don’t care how long it’s been, Lydia. I admit that this is a tricky situation, given the fact that I do support locally sourced, farm to table, gluten free scones and the building of communes for transgendered watercolor artists in impoverished nations, but…”
Maura was interrupted by Jessica Melman-Walters-Duffy-Boombalay-Bensonhurst, a contributor with a shaved bald head and a t-shirt that depicted President Stugotz swinging from the end of a noose. “Can I just say that President Stugotz is not doing enough to help start communes for transgender watercolor artists in third world nations? This is the defining issue of our time and that pig, that pretender, that usurper of Emily Wannadingle’s birthright couldn’t be bothered to do a thing about this.”
“I agree,” Maura said. “And I can’t wait to hear the slam poem you wrote about that, sister, but first, I would like to read my poem about Moonbeam Coffee’s despicable reign of tyranny.”
“Go on, sister,” Lydia said. “Hit us with your truth.”
Maura sipped some water. She cleared her throat, then stood up and read from a piece of paper. “Beans of hate! Beans of hate! What is the fate of those who would stand by and sell the beans of hate? Unwoke baristas, chasing the mighty buck, but about those less fortunate, they could hardly give a…”
At that precise moment, poor Heather suffered a mental break. Her eyes welled with tears, and not just the ones that were inspired by the stench emanating from the bathroom. Heather had lived and breathed the teachings of the Woke News Network for as long as she could remember. She had long adored The Lesbian Slam Poet News Hour and had bought all of the books written by its contributors, from Free Stuff Works to Down with Penile Rule. She was even a fierce supporter of homeless rights, having spent many a weekend protesting against income inequality.
The door to the bathroom swung open, causing the air to become borderline unbreathable. Out from the squalid conditions emerged a hobo known around the community as “Dumpster Dave,” for his penchant for sleeping in large trash receptacles. He’d come close to being crushed in the trash compactors of three separate trucks, but he was still ticking. His tattered clothing reeked of bourbon and feces and as he looked at Heather, he wiped the snots that had formed in his mustache onto his coat sleeve.
“Damnation!” Dave said. “You got your work cut out for you today, Heather!”
Heather sighed. “Did you at least put your needle in the sharp container this time, Dave?”
Dave appeared aghast. “Un-woke bitch! Ain’t you been watchin’ the television-o-mo-bobber? I gots a to shit where I pleases and it’s a hate crime to ask me that!”
In her heart, Heather knew what she was about to say violated ever belief she’d ever held dear. Alas, her brain and heart had been in a running battle ever since Moonbeam Coffee had been forced to let any and all comers to use the bathroom, no questions asked, no purchase required. “So, you’re telling me I should have to risk contracting a deadly, incurable disease because you’re too lazy to put your needle in a safe container that my company provided to you for free!”
The hobo got flustered. “Buh..fah…gah…hate criminal! Damnation, you one of them Stugotz voters, ain’t you? Where’s your MAFFA hat, bitch?”
“Oh come on,” Heather said. “Like I would be caught dead in a ‘Make America Funky Fresh Again,’ hat.”
“Where’s your manager?” Dave asked. “I want to speak to your manager.”
Heather sighed. At the counter, Heather’s manager, Janice Schaeffer, was busily preparing a septuple caf frappucino with extra goat leche and a sprig of oak root. Heather’s stomach turned at the idea that she was about to disappoint her boss. Although Janice was twenty years old, Heather felt a special kinship to her employer. Between the faded hammer and sickle tattoo on the upper half of her left bosom and the green hair, Heather had a hunch that she was going to be a lot like Janice when she reached middle age.
The boss noticed the commotion and came over. “What seems to be the problem here?”
As the fracas ensued, a skinny woman with a protruding baby bump entered the bathroom and closed the door.
“This no-good, dirty rotten, conservative bitch just implied that I should exercise personality responsibility for myself!” Dave shouted.
Janice gasped. “Heather! How could you?”
A low moan emanated from inside the bathroom.
“All I did was suggest that if Dave is going to use our bathroom to shoot heroin…”
“I gots to shoot heroin, bitch!” Dave said. “It’s not my fault that I got an addiction due to the fact that I ain’t been able to find a job in seventeen years.”
Heather cocked her head to the side. “You haven’t found one single job in seventeen years?”
Dave threw his hands in the hair. “Bitch! I been holdin’ out for a CEO position!”
Janice shuddered. “I…I can’t even right now. First, Dave, I know the unjust capitalist system has been cruel to you, but you can’t just call women the b word…”
“Thank you,” Heather said.
The boss finished her thought. “…unless she’s using unjustifiable hate speech and then it’s ok.”
Dave stuck his tongue out at Heather. “How do ya like me now, bitch?!”
Heather’s lower lip quivered. “But…buh buh…but…Janice!”
“We all attended the sensitivity training, Heather,” Janice said. “Remember when the stockholders were livid when every Moonbeam Coffee store in the nation shut down for three weeks so employees could be flogged while being taught how to become sufficiently woke. You’re displaying a very insufficient level of wokeness right now.”
Bloodcurdling screams poured out of the bathroom. “Gah..ahhh…oh God….ohh….argh….ARGH!”
The baristas ignored it. They had grown accustomed to such noises.
“Janice,” Heather said. “You know I think the world of you. You taught me everything I know and even invited me to my first protest but I’ll have you know that I’m very woke. I’m so woke I write anti-Stugotz screed on my Lifebox daily. I’m so woke I donated to Murray Leibowitz. I’m so woke I own one and only one cloth tampon that I wash in the sink daily. I am woke.”
“You’re not acting like it,” Janice said. “Apologize to this man.”
“Yeah,” the toothless loser said. “Apologize to me right now, bitch.”
Heather looked at Janice’s disapproving face, then at Dave’s grinning, scabby face. “I will not.”
All activities in the store ceased. The plucky young baristas, the hipsters on laptops writing their screenplays, even the homeless folk in line waiting to use the crapper, all grew silent as they took in the spectacle.
Soon, the silence was cut by the screams of the woman inside the bathroom. “Ugh…get out of me you little fucker! Goddamn you, Johnny! Why did I let you do this to me?! Goddamn you to hell!”
Heather pointed at the long line of poor folk. “Janice, this is ridiculous.”
“I beg your pardon?” Janice asked.
Heather gulped and mustered up her inner strength. “Only paying customers should be allowed to use a business’ bathroom. There, I said it, and I’m glad I said.”
Everyone gasped. “Take that back!” Janice said.
Heather raised her voice. “I won’t! Look, it’s simple. Businesses need to make money in order to provide goods and services and whenever an employee is taken away from providing those goods and services, that translates into the company making less money, which means there’s less money for employees to get raises, and less tax dollars going into the system to promote much needed social welfare programs!”
The woman in the bathroom cried out in pain. “Barrrrrgh! I want this to be over so bad!”
Janice pointed to a glass box attached to the wall. It contained a medieval cat-o-nine-tails behind a glass plate. Underneath it was a brass plaque with the words, “Break in Case of Insufficient Wokeness” printed on it.
“Don’t make me break that glass, Heather,” Janice said.
“Janice,” Heather said. “I love you, but listen to reason. Things were so much better when only paying customers were allowed to use the bathroom. People who actually like our store and want to see it succeed because they enjoy our products would treat the bathroom with special care, being sure to not make too much of a mess because they knew if they did so regularly, they’d be too embarrassed to come to their favorite hangout anymore. And if they did make a mess, then at least they contributed to the store’s bottom line, so that the company could afford to hire a designated janitor and baristas like me wouldn’t have to be taken off the counter, away from all the delicious designer coffees and forced to clean up shit and piss and hypodermic needles and…”
The door to the bathroom swung open. The young woman, looking like a pale zombie, walked out. Her body was drenched in blood and she carried a baby wrapped in toilet baby. The infant cried loudly.
“Excuse me,” the woman said as she pushed her way past the baristas. “I have to go find a dumpster.”
“Don’t you put dare put that thing in my house,” Dave said.
“Hey,” Heather said as the woman walked away. “You know, there’s a police station that’s just down the street. There’s a law that you can drop off a baby, no questions asked.”
“Get your laws off my body,” the woman said as she pushed the front door of the store open, leaving a bloody palm print on the glass.
Janice pointed at Heather’s “Keep Your Laws Off My Vagina” pin. “You don’t deserve to wear that. What happened to your support of the ‘Whack ‘Em in the Head Until Their Sixth Birthday’ law?”
“I’ve been rethinking that,” Heather said.
Janice gasped. “I think you need to leave, Heather.”
Heather ignored her boss. She stepped onto an empty, chair, then stepped onto a table, breaking up a hipster writing session. “I’ve been rethinking a lot of things lately.”
“Whatever you’re thinking, young lady, your thoughts aren’t welcome here,” Janice said.
“I used to love this job,” Heather said. “Back when it was fun. Back when I could make coffee and talk about all the free stuff that people should be given for free but now…now I realize, nothing good in life is free.”
A dirt bearded, man-bun sporting drifter wearing a sleeveless shirt to show off his prolific arm tattoos entered the bathroom. “Holy shit!” he cried. “It looks like somebody had a baby in here! Oh well, fuck it, beats shitting at the shelter.”
Heather became lost in her tirade. “When I started working here, it was a happier time, a simpler time, an easier time, a better time. I could make coffee all day and sell it at an absurdly marked up price but posers didn’t care as long as they could post selfies of themselves holding a trendy cup. I was able to watch WNN on the monitor for free and at most, on any given day, I rarely had to spend more than five minutes cleaning the bathroom and I just want to return to that simpler time…”
“Hey,” came the voice of the drifter from inside the bathroom. “Someone should really scrub all the blood off the walls. It’s unsanitary.”
Heather continued. “…now all I want to do is return to that better time, that wonderful time, that…”
Janice punched the glass and, without a care for the blood dripping from her knuckles, seized the cat-o-nine-tails. “Don’t you say it.”
“…a funkier time…a fresher time…”
Janice’s nostrils flared. “If you say it, you’re….”
Heather ripped off her pink pussy hat and tossed it to the ground. She pulled off her Che Guevara shirt to reveal a star-spangled, red-white-and blue Vinny Stugotz campaign shirt, emblazoned with the forty-fifth president’s catchphrase, “Make America Funky Fresh Again!”
“MAFFA!” Heather shouted at the top of her lungs. “MAFFA, motherfuckers! MAFFA forever!”
All the hipsters, baristas, and homeless folk averted their eyes, as if Heather’s new shirt contained the retina burning light rumored to pour out of the ark of the covenant itself.

“I never wanted this!” Heather shouted. “You all made me this way! This is been brewing in my gut for months and finally, I have to let it out! If you want stuff, you should buy it! If you can’t afford to buy it, you should get a job! If you can’t find a job, you should seek the skills needed for one! If your physically or mentally impaired, then you should seek out government services instead of just lying around on the street all day but at any rate, if you want a better life, then that better life comes from you, not from the government.”

Janice broke out into tears. “I’m going to need to rent all the therapy puppies to get over this. How could you, Heather?! How could you?!”
Heather looked at her mentor and felt internal anguish. She hopped off the table and attempted to hug the older woman, only to be pushed away. “Get away from me, monster! You support that criminal! That animal! That beast who wants to lock all minorities in concentration camps!”
The young lady sighed. “Janice, he’s been president for two years and he hasn’t locked up any minorities in concentration camps.”
The boss wiped a tear from her cheek. “He will. They’re coming. Any day now. Camps for gay people. Camps for women. Camps for brown people. The blog-o-sphere told me so.”
The drifter inside the bathroom broke the tension. “You’d you people would stock up on more toilet paper. Is free toilet paper too much to ask?”
Heather walked over to the counter, grabbed the remote control, then returned to Janice. She put her arm around her boss, then pointed the remote at the TV.
“No,” Janice said. “Please don’t.”
“They’re not that bad,” Heather said. “You’ll see.”
Heather turned off WNN and turned on Network News One, the only network dedicated to bring the latest in conservative news and also, titties. Big titties attached to jaw droppingly beautiful female reporters. At the moment, those lovely ladies were taking a powder so that conservative blowhard Jim Clayton, a white-haired old fogie with a buzz cut, could bark at the camera.
“Welcome back to Jim Clayton’s America. Today on the show, are feminazi activists trying to chop the pee-pees off your three-year-old sons and turn them into little girls? The answer is a most resounding yes, but first, taxes. Fuck taxes. Fuck ‘em right in the butt. I hate taxes and I don’t care who knows it. If you want my money, eat a dick. Come at me and take my money out of my cold, dead hand if you want it so bad but until then, get a job. What the fake news media won’t tell you is that thanks to the booming Stugotz economy, companies are flush with cash and they’re churning out jobs out the wazoo, so get a job hippies and stop trying to raise taxes so you can give all my hard-earned money to shiftless flat-backers, no good, degenerate lay-abouts, and dirty rotten deadbeats.”
Heather took a deep breath and closed her eyes. “Preach, my brother, preach!”
All hope fell out of Janice’s eyes. “You’re fired, Heather.”
“I know,” Heather said with a smile. “And that’s ok. I’ll find another job because I’m switching my major to venture capitalism.”
“Please go away,” Janice said.
“And I’m going to get married,” Heather said. “To a man.”
“Stop,” Janice said.
“I don’t know what he’ll be,” Heather said. “Maybe a police officer or a fracking rig operator…”
“No more,” Janice said. “Please, no more.”
“We’ll have three children,” Heather said. “And I’ll take a few years off of work to raise them because seeing their adorable little faces will be the greatest pleasure of my life.”
Janice pointed at the door. “Get out! Your words cut through the depths of my soul like a flaming hot knife through butter!”
“I’ll take care of myself,” Heather said. “And I’ll urge my friends and family to take personal responsibility. And if I ever do fall on hard times, the support system I’ve created by starting a family will be there for me, so I won’t have to depend on the incompetent, bureaucratic machinations of big government…”
The baristas stared at the TV. Jim Clayton was working himself into a foamy lather.

“Look, I’m not saying that women’s reproductive rights should be regulated by the government, I’m just saying that their vaginas should be packed full of cement, only to be chipped away when they enter the bonds of holy matrimony. That’s right. We’re going to build walls inside women’s vaginas and we’re going to make them pay for it.”
Janice dabbed her moist eyes with a handkerchief. “That’s disgusting.”
“Actually,” Heather said. “It makes sense when you think about…”
A scream came out of the bathroom. It was louder than usual.
“What the?! Argh! What’s…what’s happening to me?!”
Janice knocked on the door. “Hello! Sir, assuming that’s your preferred pronoun, and forgive me if it isn’t, are you OK in there?”
“GAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!”
“Damn it,” Heather said. “Another crackhead overdosing because the liberal-political-media industrial complex convinced this guy that he should live on the dole, avoiding any and all personal responsibility, never finding any direction that would make him a better person and…”
The drifter’s cries grew deafening. “SOMEBODY HELP ME! HELP ME, PLEASE….ARRGGHHH!”
“You’ve been helped enough, sir,” Heather said. “Lazy sponges like you are the reason why Stugotz won!”
Janice grabbed the knob. “I think he actually needs help.”
“Oh,” Heather said. “Right.”
The boss opened the door. She and Heather looked inside to find that the drifter had been burnt to a crisp. His body had the texture of a charred, blackened marshmallow, gooey yet crusty. His mouth was agape, his teeth the only part left that hadn’t been fried.
Heather’s immediate response? “Why the hell is there a black guy in here?”
All the screenwriting hipsters snapped their heads toward Heather in disgust. “No, wait,” Heather said. “That came around wrong. I love black people. All my best friends are black. I marched for black rights all the time. I’m just saying, this guy was white but now he was somehow turned black and…”
“Stop digging the hole, fascist,” Janice said as she surveyed the room. The walls were already covered with the blood and feces of over a hundred non-paying bathroom users, but the smoking husk of a man was a sight that no barista had ever seen before.
“Clean this up, Heather,” Janice said.
“Uh…hello?” Heather asked. “You just fired me.”
“Oh, right,” Janice said. “Damn it.”

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Great Musings of the Twenty-First Century – #251-275

And now, Bookshelf Q. Battler, one of the greatest minds of the Twenty-First Century (but hey, the century is still young) will share his great musings…

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#251 – Sundays are for sleeping in.

#252 – He who stands out in the rain without an umbrella is likely to end up all wet.

#253 – Col. Mustard is guilty of all “Clue” related crimes.

#254 – I’ve never seen a geyser.

#255 – All the hot older female celebrities I used to jerk off to in the 1990s have AARP cards now.  Eat a dick, time.

#256 – “Rutabaga” is fun to say.

#257 – Chivalry may not be dead, but it’s on life support.

#258 – It’s been awhile since I’ve taken part in tomfoolery.

#259 – Sigh.  Whenever I fly, I’m inevitably stuck between a fat man and a crying baby.  Just once, I’d like to be stuck between a fat baby and a crying man.

#260 – I wonder if Zeus is still around.  Wait, what’s that thundering sound?

#261 – I put my pants on the same way as anybody else:  two legs at a time after I jump off a trampoline and land a perfect dismount into them.

#262 – There goes the neighborhood.

#263 – End the drug war today and let big box stores sell crack already.

#264 – Thanksgiving must be an interesting time at the Fett household.

#265 – Show me a man who writes “Firefly” fan fiction and I’ll show you a man who can make a vagina drier than the Mojave.

#266 – I wonder what my old baseball cards are worth today.

#267 – I’ve never made love in an elevator.

#268 – Most foods are improved with a little sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

#269 – No one wears spurs anymore.

#270 – If asked by the local sheriff, I feel like it would be hard to turn down a request to join a posse.

#271 – I don’t need to be told how to get to Sesame Street.  I have a navigation app on my phone, thank you.

#272 – Skydiving will never be my bag.

#273 – I could go for a good episode of “NCIS” and a bowl full of cherries doused in a heaping helping of whipped cream right about now.

#274 – The first draft of the Declaration of Independence begins, “Yo, King, slurp on our big, fat, hairy colonial…”  Well, it stops there.  Assumably, Jefferson started over after that.

#275 – If “oranges” are orange, why aren’t grapes, “purples?”

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Great Musings of the Twenty-First Century- #225 – #250

And now, Bookshelf Q. Battler, one of the greatest minds of the Twenty-First Century (but hey, the century is still young) will share his great musings…

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#225 – Politeness should come back in style.

#226 – Kung-fu should be a mandatory high school class.

#227 – Is this all just an elaborate attempt to make fun of Larry King?

#228 – Once you have squeezed a pair of DD’s, it’s hard to go smaller.

#229 – Napkins are fancy paper towels.

#230 – I’m going to change for the better…tomorrow.

#231 – Pumpkins are delicious all year long, not just October.

#232 – I should be nicer and count my blessings.

#233 – I bet you $100 I can quit gambling anytime I want.

#235 – I like the smell of my own farts.  I would spend all day in my own personal fart cloud if I could.

#236 – Firecrackers are just explosive devices on a smaller scale.

#237 – Does God ever pray to himself?

#238 – Squash is the only vegetable with a name that tells you how to prepare it.

#239 – Despite what the song says, it is impossible to walk on sunshine.  Anyone who tries to walk on the sun would burn up.  No one could ever get close enough to even try.

#240 – The word “moist” turns vaginas dry.

#241 – Memories are like the mind’s reruns.

#242 – Never befriend a shark.

#243 – I wonder if anyone has ever glued their nads to their leg before.  In the entire history of glue, surely it has happened once.  Why the alleged nad gluer put glue on his nads is anyone’s guess.

#244 – I miss rotary phones.  Old fashioned?  Yes, but no one was ever butt dialed with a rotary phone.

#245 – I’ve never seen the inside of my own butt so I can’t confirm its existence.

#246 – Leprosy is not a good time.

#247 – Oh boy.  Another superhero movie.

#248 – Change the subject and change your mind.

#249 – Any reality TV show camera crew that follows me around all day would be very bored.

#250 – No one carries handkerchiefs anymore and they should.  It’s sad.  People of the past cared a lot more about booger control than people of today do.

 

 

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