Perhaps it’s time you heard a cautionary tale about drugs. It’s a tale of a young man not unlike yourself. He thought he was “cool”. He thought he was “with it”. He was captain of the football team. Dated the prettiest girl in school. Valedictorian. All-star shortstop. Captain of the basketball team. All-star quarterback. Dated the prettiest cheerleader on the softball team. All-star goalkeeper. Valedictory Man. Captain of the valedictorian team. Accepted into the finest colleges in the land on hockey and dating scholarships. Dated the prettiest college student on the cheerleading team. Yes, this young man – let’s call him Paul – this young man, who shall remain nameless but was named David, had everything going for him. He had his whole life, except for the parts that were already in the past, ahead of him. He thought he was “great”. Then one night it all came crashing down like so many houses of cards piled on top of each other. He was at a party – never mind where! – and someone offered him a tiny green pill. Oh that pill! Were it not for that pill, he would later often lament, everything would be different. Everything would still be ahead of him – his life not being the least of it. He’d still have his lacrosse scholarship. Still be dating the prettiest young debate club captain you’ve ever seen. Oh but he thought he was a “real hepcat”. We’re all foolish once, and this young valedictitian made a decision that warm summer night that changed everything. That green pill was not to be enough – not nearly not enough! No longer was he “cool as a cucumber”. One thing led to another, as one thing often does. His slide into drugs was as inevitable as it was inexorable. From the tiny green pill to the tiny purple pill to another, larger purple pill. From there to the wacky weed. A bit of coke, a bit of smack, a bit of crack, a bit of smoke. Oh the drugs! He tried beer laced with horse, vodka laced with Four Loco, whiskey laced with lace, Jim Beam mixed with John Beam. He had Kool Aid spiked with acid, beer spiked with peyote-flavored Kool Aid. He had crank, spank, jab, junk, dope, gripe, gram, gleam, and harm. He tried Molly (not ecstasy, but an actual girl named Molly who came to his house and performed minor surgery on his cerebellum) and Linda (a form of ecstasy). He tried Flavor, Lever, Stupor, Mad Justin, The Shambles, Puzzle Dust, Norwegian Radium, Vast Boron, Mincing Man, Portcullis, Betty Grable, Terror Cheese, Condensation, Arthur Treacher’s Heroin, Mr. Honeycutt, A Bear, Very Tall, Auto-Erotic Pot Roast, Pac-Man Fever, Drugs: The Animated Series, Gift Card, Literally Tapir Saliva, and Gum.
He licked 9-volt batteries.
All of it took him to crashing highs and soaring lows. It was CRAY! But meanwhile everything else went wrong for him. His grades declined. His friends turned their backs. His home became a burnt shell; his clothes hung from his body in ragged strips. You think the pretty cheerleaders still wanted to date him? They did not. The New York Yankees Baseball Organization had once talked about drafting him to play on their sports team. You think they still talked about that? Think again. Who wants to draft a drug junkie to play pitcher? Nobody. Oh that pill! If only I had not taken that tiny green pill, he would lament wordlessly to the uncaring cosmos – to a noticeable lack of avail.
But complaining and lamenting won’t save you from a drug-addled life; you can only save yourself. You need to want to get better. This young man awoke one morning after a wild fortnight of partying to find himself in sunny Acapulco next to a supermodel on a pile of money and thought to himself, there’s got to be a better way!
He’s one of the lucky ones. Not everyone comes back from Drugtown, especially not the ones who think it’s a literal place and not an illustrative abstraction. But he did, by thunder! He worked and suffered and prayed and he came back. He’s not perfect – he still feels the druggy shakes, still forgets where he lives and where he left his pants. He walks unsteadily, constantly wiping his nose on his hand. His knees ache – he’ll never bowl again. But he holds down a job at the pet shop, combing dogs, greeting kids, and cataloging cats. He’s on his way toward being a “cool dude” again. And you know what, he’s even got a girlfriend now. Their names? ADAM AND EVE. -J. Frederick
Birds are feathered, winged, bipedal, warm-blooded, egg-laying vertebrates of the class Aves. There are approximately ten thousand living species of birds, and I have made it my personal life’s mission to punch each of them. I began this project a number of years ago when I was relaxing in my lawn chair with a book and a glass of iced tea, and a rose-breasted grosbeak alighted on the armrest. So charmed was I by its red and black plumage and white supercilium that I could scarcely resist the urge to punch it as hard as possible. Having done this and emboldened by the ease with which it was accomplished, I went for a stroll in the woods where I chanced upon a chestnut-rumped heathwren, a bicoloured mouse-warbler, a rufous-sided gerygone, and a scrubtit, and punched each of them in turn. And so began what has become my life’s work: hunting down a representative of each of the world’s varied avian subspecies and punching them incredibly hard with all the strength I can muster. I have punched a purple-naped lory and a lesser kestrel; I traveled to Papua New Guinea and punched a slaty-mantled goshawk; I recall with tremendous fondness a bright summer morning in 2009 when, despairing of ever sighting one, I finally came upon a stunning specimen of a white-crowned shama and punched it. A Craveri’s murrelet, punched; two black-browed albatrosses, punched in unison; a Southern cassowary and a tufted puffin, you ask? I have punched them both. Brother, you better believe I have punched a houbara bustard. My work is far from complete; tomorrow I plan to punch a pied heron, after which I will travel to Botswana to get my fist upside the beak of a wattled crane. Soon, very soon I hope to punch a blue-fronted lancebill and if it tries to mess with me I’ll punch it twice. Perhaps I’m just one of those restless souls that always needs something to occupy me; when I have finished with birds, who knows? Maybe then I’ll turn my attention to mollusks. I certainly don’t like the way that chambered nautilus was looking at me. -J. Frederick
A woman lies on a couch, sobbing softly into a bowl of gelatin. A man does a dance that makes no sense in a garden behind a nonexistent shoe store. Ten children, ranging in ages from 7 through 11, sing Christmas carols in a cave in a ravine. What do they have in common? They all suffer from Really Weird Syndrome, making them do odd things and preventing them from reaching their full potential. Don’t be one of them. Don’t let a life of rational sanity pass you by. Talk to your doctor today about Normalibin. (Normalibin is not intended for use by pregnant or breastfeeding women, female children, adult women, men, boys, or young women. Do not take Normalibin if you are susceptible to bleeding when cutting your skin, wearing clothes, or operating heavy or light machinery or machinery of any size or function. Go to an emergency room immediately if you experience sweating, horrifying nightmares, mild perspiration, thoughts of suicide, tingling in the fingertips, disturbing dreams, or night sweats, as these may be signs of having taken Normalibin. Ask your doctor if you are healthy enough for sexual activity, bearing in mind that sex while on Normalibin is incredible – it feels like rising up, up, through the clouds, through another plane beyond consciousness, to a beautiful city on the moon filled with light and joy, an indescribable satiation leaving you wanting nothing ever again, but needing everything. So much to taste, to touch – melding with another soul in a way you never supposed was conceivable. Do not take Normalibin if you find yourself sobbing softly into a bowl of gelatin, as this side effect is exactly one of the things you started taking the stuff to prevent. Similarly, cease taking Normalibin if you envision a vast room of unfriendly faces demanding that you solve their jigsaw puzzles, none of which connect or can be completed. Or if the sun explodes through your kitchen wall and swallows you whole; or if the dog takes over your home at knifepoint; or if the bed is trolley car stablehand, or if the shoes fit finer stuffing overland clamshell stork. Or if after months of travel you reach your destination – an endless beach, desolate and rocky, the surf pounding on stone and sand, a colossal rock looming to the north but you can never reach it, gulls circling, calling, taunting, leering; you pick up shells but they tell you nothing, a face peers at you from somewhere but is gone in an instant, the surf, the waves, and always the waves, the maddening waves crashing, over and over, as they always will and always have for a thousand aeons, over and over, ceaseless, until long after you are dead, and the gulls keep calling. The rock, so close, if only you could reach the rock. You think back to a meadow in the sunlight, before the wolves came. None of these things are good and all of them are what Normalibin is like.) Talk to your doctor today – he loves you and misses you. – J Frederick
Tags: Sexual Fantasies
There I was, just your average shopper, wandering into the shoe store to look for new laces. Buying shoelaces is something we all do every day, but I’ll bet you never bought shoelaces like this. No, this shoe store was the kind of shoe store where the shoe store person isn’t a man but a woman – and what a woman! She was, well, you just really had to see it. All of her good-looking female attributes were there, and that’s when I knew that this was an attractive female human being with whom I’d quite enjoy having intercourse with. Intimate physical intercourse, that is. I looked her up and down – twice! Yes, my hunch was correct – she made me feel arousing feelings and no mistake! “Can I help you?” she asked, and her voice drove me literally crazy for intercourse of an intimate nature. “Yes,” I replied, and I could tell that this was going to be good. “I would like to buy your finest shoelaces, madam.” That’s when she came around from behind the shoe store desk and went to close the door and lock it so no one would see us. “Enough small talk,” she said – she was one tough cookie of an attractive woman! She started to unbutton her trenchcoat. I got the picture – I asked her, wordlessly, if I should remove my pants and shirt and she nodded yes. I had to take off my shoes first, which didn’t take long, because I had no laces. Then she took her trenchcoat off! And there it was! “Look at that naked woman!” I thought to myself, “now that’s more like it!” This was truly going to be a day to remember. We didn’t want to waste any time – that’s just how excited by physical arousal we were. You’ve never seen such intimate intercourse! So many of her attributes were there, and I got to touch them! And I’m not the only one who was aroused by it – I could tell that she was really going at it. We truly committed that deed so often spoke of – only this time it was us doing it! When it was done, she asked how I had gotten so good at it. “Practice,” I replied, “and arousal.” We promised to meet again soon for more of the same – and she gave me the laces for free! “I was right the first time,” I said to myself with a smile, “it was truly a day to remember.”
Tags: National Alligator Day, November 2nd
It’s hard to believe that there was a time when November 2 wasn’t known everywhere as National Alligator Day. Try (if you can) to recall those primitive days when we didn’t spend the second day of every November visiting our local swamp, zoo, aquarium, wildlife refuge, reptile farm, or Gator Estate to look upon those majestic creatures and their powerful jaws. Would you believe that there was once a time when we didn’t devote hours – every 2nd of November! – to the cleaning of their cages, the organization and fluffing of their nests, the polishing of their eggs and teeth, and the singing of alligator rounds. I am no longer young, so now I can only dimly recall a time when I would spend every November 2 doing something other than cradling a stuffed alligator close to my chest, or eating alligator-shaped candies and sweetbreads, or throwing open the doors of my home to let the neighborhood alligators wander inside, to make themselves at home under the bed, in the tub, behind the couch, tormenting my pack of dogs with their powerful jaws and defecating on my nice new rug – mere inconveniences that I suffer gladly, all in the name of this county’s proudest day, November 2! Were we ever so young, Brian? Truly, did we ever really let a November 2 pass unobserved, not fervently sketching their powerful jaws in our journals, or constructing vast cardboard alligator sculptures at the edge of a quarry, or egging the American Crocodile Society headquarters? Oh Brian, Brian, give it to me true, don’t gloss over it, don’t sugarcoat it. I can take it. Look back on those rash boys we once were, those brave idealistic boys, and tell me, Brian, level your soft gaze at me and tell me, as you did once, at dusk, as we sat on Commons: who were we? What were we? Not men, surely not men. Not yet. That would come later. When you left for school and I went off to war. The years, Brian, the years made men of us, as they always do to all foolish boys, surely, as sure as the powerful jaws of an alligator.
AAAAH IT’S GOT MY LEG!
You’re a man, and there’s a CODE. First of all, you NEVER leave your wingman hanging. In your man cave, you put up your feet and watch the game and you NEVER give up the remote control! You’re a man, a MAN, so grab a beer and a band saw on your backyard deck with a grill and you NEVER leave your wingman behind! You’re at the casino with your buddies at the football game, and cheerleaders! There’s a CODE, my friend, because a power drill in your man cave with your pickup truck and 43 MPGS of towing-class ribeye steak at the strip club with your wingman, and you NEVER let your buddies ride your riding mower, tuxedo, without a wingman, and aftershave! Kate Upton and a band saw during the seventh inning stretch because this is America and there’s a MAN CODE, so put on your cologne in your cigar wallet power drill (NEVER without a wingman), SUV with a HEMI man cave. Guy Rule #82: There’s a code. You’re a MAN in your boxers and watch NEVER chick flicks because you’re on speedboat in your best suit, big sandwich, shaving during wingman football game with a flank steak, so pour yourself some scotch, Memorial Day on the golf course action flicks EXPLOSIONS (Guy Rule: MIXED MARTIAL ARTS) on back of the pickup truck/UFC in your cheerleaders Danica Patrick CODE WINGMAN VEGAS! VEGAS!!! The football game BEST SUIT NEVER WINGMAN MANCAVE MAN CAVVE PWRR DRLLLLL CODE MAN GUY CODE RULE #82 BAND SAWWW SRTIPPERS STRRRIPPERSSS STEAK GRILLLLSS GRILSL AFERHSAVE DRILL MANSCAVQAE MAN YOU’RES A MAN YOU’RE A AM,N CHEERRLEADERSS POPOOW POUYICLUP SYTUR[ DJU=SPSADFO;QQ30F3;LQ3MF23F3L3F3M3F3;.SD/FASEPVZXCV FVGKLCVRVR5T954G;GBWEAF
Pity the poor caterpillar, nature’s proudest but most tragic creature; for the caterpillar, while undeniably majestic and awe-inspiring, is, like the doomed hero of a Shakespearean tragedy, destined for a most cursed and unthinkable fate. All too soon, the caterpillar must bid farewell to his true form – only having tasted but an all-too-brief and tantalizingly sweet glimmer of its own potential – bind itself in a repulsive cocoon, and then, much like the “Jekyll and Hyde” of yore, transform grotesquely into its vile alter ego, nature’s most despicable monster, the butterfly – he of shamefully garish coloring and flamboyant flapping of wings! How cruel a matron Mother Nature is, to ask the caterpillar to shed his delightful and versatile form for this decadent and repugnant replacement – indeed, scarcely a replacement at all! No longer will he spend his days in the noble pursuits of his kind – chewing leaves, crawling, teaching illiterate adults how to read, volunteering for irrigation projects in drought-stricken sub-Saharan Africa – but rather must turn to the foul deeds of the butterfly – loitering, heavy drinking and heroin use, sabotaging jet engines. Why do they not refuse? Why do they not stand up and declare, NO! I urge you, all caterpillars everywhere, wherever you might be reading this, when the time comes for you to spin that cocoon, just remember that your life is your own! Take control of your destiny, hold it preciously in your imperceptibly tiny caterpillar hands I beg you! You have the right to cling to your life, to live it as you wish, to pursue your dreams and goals – your leaf-eating, your music, your nursing degree! Shun the shameful future that society demands of you and embrace the beautiful you that you are! – J. Frederick
Let’s you and I talk about THE HUMAN MIND. What a marvel it is, so capable of wonders and mysteries! With that noggin of yours you can write a play, do complex calculus, or cook an egg. Simply by using your ol’ bean you can dance a jaunty jig, design a monorail, scramble an egg, or paint Easter eggs. What a treasure it is, what a gift – just think what our brains have helped us accomplish! Just by using our noodles, humans have put a man on the moon, invented democracy, and domesticated the chicken. Using only your wits you can compose a sonata like Bach, be a leader of men like Lincoln, or fry up an egg and put it on a bagel. Yes, that trusty old pile of meat, blood, and nerve endings has helped us through one scrape after another, and who knows where it will take us next. Will we solve the energy crisis, bring about global peace, cook up some steak and eggs? Only time will tell. Now, how about you use that big brain of yours to make me an omelet? – J Frederick
There are those that have the wherewithal to say to me, “I don’t think wherewithal means what you think it means.” But if they had the wherewithal that I have, they would have the wherewithal to know that using my wherewithal I have been able to determine the exact wherewithal possessed by every citizen of the United States. Using the system I have devised – the Wherewithal Approximation and Determination Matrix, or W.H.E.R.E.W.I.T.H.A.L. – I have discovered some unsettling statistics regarding the sorry state of our nation’s wherewithal. Some 35% of Americans lack even the most basic wherewithal, and nearly 20% don’t have any wherewithal at all! We must find the wherewithal to combat this scourge. Our Founding Fathers had the wherewithal to envision a society where we all had the wherewithal, where wherewithal would be denied to none – indeed, where wherewithal would be with all. Education, charity, activism, grassroots wherewithal – this is the wherewithal we need to achieve what must be done. To find out how you can get involved, follow @wherewithal or write to:
The Wherewithal Project
29 Wherewithal Mews
– J. Frederick
Tags: Frankenstein High
We all love movies, but it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of watching and talking about the same old movies over and over again. In particular, people tend to unfairly focus solely on movies that are actually real. But what about those movies that are so easily forgotten: movies that do not exist?
Take, for example, the popular genre of 1980s coming-of-age teen comedies. Immediately were are reminded of The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, and Pretty in Pink – all fine films, and all benefiting from the fact that they were actually made and are not just nonexistent figments of my imagination. But what about that beloved teen horror comedy, Frankenstein High? Why should it continue to be unjustly ignored merely because I just made it up? It’s “high” time that this classic, entirely fictional film be rediscovered by a newly appreciative audience – or at least, it would be, were such a thing possible (it’s not).
Released neither in 1986 nor any other year, Frankenstein High stars, or more accurately doesn’t star, Brendan Jamison, a then-promising young actor who is sadly all but forgotten today, largely due to the fact that he’s not a real person. Jamison (in a wholly fabricated movie that can never be watched by anyone) plays Pete Gideon, a typical American teen who discovers that his father (played by nobody whatsoever) is a descendent of none other than Dr. Victor Frankenstein – and he himself is one of his father’s creations! Young Pete is forced to reconcile this revelation, and the accompanying sudden fear of fire, with the ordinary travails and tribulations of being an awkward teenager. The movie, if it had existed, would have also focused on Pete’s burgeoning romance with classmate Valerie, played by Laindy Armrooster (not a real person, or indeed even a real name), as well as the hilariously crusty Principal Butterfield, who is suspicious of Pete and keeps trying to discover his secret, or at least does so in this made-up scenario in which both the character and the film exist in the real world. Who can forget the classic scene where the Principal walks in on Pete in the bathroom? It’s still as fresh and funny today as it was when I made it up 10 seconds ago. How about the food fight? Or the dance contest? Or Pete’s stirring, climactic, completely imaginary closing speech about togetherness and understanding, one of the many scenes in the movie that (a) were never actually written or filmed and (b) remind us that Frankenstein High truly has a good heart, and has more depth and emotion than the typical crass gross-out comedy, even some that were actually produced and can be watched!
Frankenstein High cannot be found on Blu-Ray or DVD, or even on an old videotape or laserdisc (it being, again, not a real thing), but can be found on VidPlay, a nonexistent video format that I invented just now. One word of warning: While trying to hunt down a copy (something that is not recommended, as such a search will inevitably prove fruitless), you should try to avoid the equally fake Frankenstein High 2, a film that also doesn’t exist but is nonetheless still somewhat of a letdown. -J. Frederick