Thursday, November 29, 2007

Random Tidbits of Information

A Couple of Pieces of Information:

(I) The comedy writing class I've paid so much money (so much...) to attend is finally getting ready to cast for it's writing level 5 show. For those of you students at the second city training center (or alumns) who are interested in giving up your lives to do a sketch show, we are holding auditions on Monday, Dec 3rd from 6:45 to 10:00. To sign up, call the Training Center Office at (312) 664-3959 to sign up for a time slot.

(II) Clever Title has received it's 1,000th visitor! Does this mean that 1,000 people have seen the site? Of course not. It means that the same three people have visited the site 1,000 times. Thank you, stalkers, for your interest, and congratulations to you, visitor whose IP address begins with 208.46.38.###! As a celebratory gift, you shall receive my gratitude (monetary value of nothing, not redeamable for cash).

(III) Last week, to keep my mother from accusing me of being a hobo over the Thanksgiving weekend, I got a hair cut and trimmed my beard. This morning in Chicago it is 28 degrees, although it feels like 16 degrees. Right now, I miss my fuller beard terribly. The beard hairs form a webbing that keeps my cheeks from falling off of my face however, because the hairs are now so much shorter, I've already lost one cheek and the other is threatening to move to Maui.

Tomorrow, I shall to write an entry of substance. This typically means failure and disappointment, but I'll try anyway. For the moment, I'm going to look for a thermal blanket.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Blasphemous Bears!

Those goddamned insensitive bears have gone too far!

Here is an article about a British teacher thrown in jail in Sudan for naming the class teddy bear "Muhammad." Evidently, the teacher thought it would be a fun and educational experience for her class to adopt a stuffed animal and give it a name. After a democratic process in which the children chose the potential names and voted, the class decided to name the bear Muhammad (after a kid in the class whose name is Muhammad) which, in addition to being the name of the founding prophet of Islam, is one of the most common names in the Muslim world. It's a very cute idea.

Except you're in freaking Sudan.

So now the teacher is facing a good old fashioned public lashing.

Far be it from me to comment on the social workings of another country, but I see a grave injustice here that I feel must be pointed out. Namely: what about the children.

The kids picked the name. They chose it twenty votes to three. You don't hear anything about twenty little heathen children being thrown in jail and given public lashings. What the hell is up with that? I say, if you're going to beat the school teacher with a rod, you should have to beat the twenty kids as well. And beat them savagely too. They have an entire lifetime of potential blasphemy ahead of them. Better to get that out of their system now before they grow up and name real bears after Muhammad. Wouldn't that be awful!

Or the teddy bear for that matter. Why not punish the teddy bear? What better way to send a message than burning the blaspheming pile of fuzz in a public place? Set up a pyre right in front of the government palaces in Khartoum and have a good old fashioned bear burning. That'll teach them all.

Because it's finally time for Sudan to send a message to all the stuffed animal infidels in the world; to all the little children lurking in the dark corners of the country waiting for the opportunity to illegally name things; to all of the fifty-year-old British school-marms out there who are stupid enough to try and make a difference in the world. They should send a message that in Sudan they don't let people name cute and cuddly stuffed animals after the most revered and respected religious leader of Islam, or all the other sports icons or ordinary people named Muhammad out there either. Maybe you can get away with that shit on the murky, reasonable yet slightly foppish island of Britain, but not here. Not in Sudan.

Now that's the kind of message that really demands respect.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Thanksgiving - Nice

I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving break. As for myself, I did nothing but eat and eat and eat and then sleep for a long time.

I spent "Actual Thanksgiving" with my girlfriend and her family, which was a good time. It is interesting being at another family's Thanksgiving dinner. You quickly realize how different Thanksgiving traditions are from family to family.

Take stuffing for example: I've learned that there are as many different recipes for stuffing as there are Thanksgiving dinners. My family makes stuffing with apples and crumbled sausage, which completely disgusts her family. They make it with green peppers and onions, which disgusts my family too (both recipes are good). I've heard of oyster and cracker stuffing, which makes my stomach crawl slightly, and carrot-celery-onion stuffing, which is what my Grandma Barkell used to make for her family. While my sister was in France on foreign study, she combined our recipe with a friend's recipe and made stuffing with apples, sausage and cranberries. Apparently, it was delicious.

I spend a lot of time thinking about stuffing. My obsession is borderline unhealthy.

However, it kind of goes to show that Thanksgiving is a reflection of those people celebrating it. There's something comforting about that. It's a unique little holiday in that you're not really required to do anything (unlike Christmas or Easter or the Fourth of July, etc.) other than eat the food that you like and sleep.

Katie and her family went to Paris for a week so, on Friday, I drove home to Michigan to celebrate "Leftovers Thanksgiving" with my family while simultaneously getting out of Katie's way so that she could pack and get ready for the trip. (She left this past weekend and I miss her already).

"Leftovers Thanksgiving" is a Topping family tradition, celebrated the day after Thanksgiving, where we as a family 'give thanks' to my dad's turkey sandwich recipe. It's like taking Thanksgiving dinner and putting it between two pieces of Wonderbread. If you are interested, I can provide the recipe (provided my Dad gives his consent to reveal a secret family recipe). Once we finish partaking in the sandwiches, we then 'give thanks' for the feeling of "fullness" with a large nap. Once everyone is confirmed awake we celebrate the nap by 'giving thanks' with a large dinner and then promptly going back to sleep.

I love Chicago, but there's something about being back in Michigan that's very restful. I don't know if it's being away from all of the job stress or the city stress or if it's just the comfort of being home, but it was a good weekend for chilling out and getting some much needed sleep. I drove home last night with bags of leftovers, and now here I am.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

"Thankfully It's Tuesday!"

For my international readers (all three of you), this week is a short week here in the good old U.S. of A because of a little holiday we like to call Thanksgiving. For those of you who don't know or have forgotten, this is a very significant holiday where we give thanks to our ancestors for deciding long ago to put a major national holiday on Thursday, thereby effectively handing all of us a four day weekend.

As a result, though, all of the clever little nicknames that we give to our workdays (like, 'Hump Day' for Wednesday, etc.) no longer. TGIF doesn't really work for a week that ends on Wednesday.

Well, don't worry my children. I have the solution (yet again). I would like to take this opportunity to propose a new workday catch phrase: "Thankfully It's Tuesday!"

Obviously, this doesn't work for your normal workweek. Who gives a damn about Tuesday when you're looking at three more arduous days until that brief glimpse at freedom? But on a short work week, Tuesday is like the new Hump Day.

Why not "Thankfully It's Wednesday," Nat? Because when everyone has Thursday off, nobody actually does any work on Wednesday. Oh sure, we'll all show up tomorrow, and we'll sit at our desks. But rest assured that we will be hiding Minesweeper behind our Microsoft Outlook window and spend most of our time shopping on the internet for rare collector's edition Star Trek plates.

So "Thankfully It's Tuesday" it is! Hopefully, we'll start hearing people shout it out on the street. "Man, Thankfully It's Tuesday," or, "T. I. T., am I right?"

Maybe if we're lucky, we'll see network programming on Tuesday nights, like the old TGIF evenings from long ago. There will be a nifty jingle, something to the effect of: We're gonna have some fun/ show you how it's done/ T.I.T!

Pretty soon, you'll see chain restaurants popping up all over the place named specifically to celebrate and capitalize off of the "Thankfully It's Tuesday" movement. The large red signs of the acronym T.I.T. will be all over the place. T.I.T. will become synonymous with huge and expensive fruity drinks. People will affectionately nickname the restaurants "Tuesdays." Wait, no... I think people use that for Ruby Tuesday's already. Maybe there's another affectionate nickname in there somewhere....

I'll have to think about that one.

Rest assured, though, that in a couple of years T.I.T.s as a whole will become very popular.

Hey, anyone want to join the Pen 15 club with me?

Monday, November 19, 2007

My Wonderful Sunday

If you're ever looking for a good reason to just take the whole day off and stay in bed, allow me to offer the perfect excuse:

Food poisoning!

Whether it's the joys of wandering in and out of consciousness for most of the day or the unparalleled relaxation that comes immediately after vomiting while standing up, food poisoning really makes you feel like you're on a mini-vacation.

Looking to go on a diet? Feel like you just eat and eat and can't help yourself? With food poisoning, you won't be able to hold down two teaspoons of water! Forget 'will-power' - let your stomach tell you when enough it enough.

Good times.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Nat Topping's Olde Fashioned Winter Almanac

Well, I woke up this morning and left my apartment and lo and behold it was 40 degrees outside (Fahrenheit, not Celsius). It's okay, though, because with the windchill it was a nice, comfortable 30 degrees out.

That's right, faithful readers. November is most definitely here.

As I was walking to work this morning, my face flushed from the cold winds, I passed by many a disappointed worker in the same boat as me, the look in their eyes chillier possibly than the weather. The question ever present in their minds, I'm sure (because I'm a freaking mind reader) is, "How long must we endure this intolerable cold weather?"

Well, not to fear little work-force member. Because the Nat Topping's Olde Fashioned Winter Almanac is here to provide you with much needed answers.

The Nat Topping's Olde Fashioned Winter Almanac has been published continuously since 1653, when great-great-great-great grandfather Nat Topping (he was really great) crossed the Atlantic in a floating shoe box and landed on the shores of Maryland. Using a combination of astrology, observation of solar flares and deep conversations with various native species of bird, we are able to accurately predict (accurately meaning anywhere between 20-100%) the coming winter weather. While normally the NTOFWA is sold for a farthing, three pence and a shilling, today I will offer you a taste of it for free in the hopes of upping subscription numbers to more than just one:

Nat Topping's Olde Fashioned Winter Almanac (Abridged):

November 15th-22nd - November arrives like an unwanted relative for Thanksgiving Dinner. Expect temperatures between 30 degrees and 50 degrees. Time to break out some of your sweaters, but you can leave the really ugly ones in the closet.

November 29th-December 13th - The first snow of the year! People's ability to drive their cars drops drastically to the level of thirteen-year-old drivers with the first sign of flurries. Children watch the morning local news in vain for notice from the schools of that first snow-day.

December 21st-25th - All of that glorious, wintry snow melts, thereby making the popular song "White Christmas" once again cruelly ironic. General depression sets in as people open their holiday presents and find yet more ugly sweaters.

January 1st-13th - The weather seems strangely mild, hovering around 37 degrees Fahrenheit, thereby denying children their snow-days for two more weeks. Little children across the country pray to their respective Gods for snow.

January 14th - The children get their wish, WITH A VENGEANCE! Four feet of snow blanket the entire country, even southern California (who mistake the snow for cocaine falling from the sky). The temperature plummets, thereby making it dangerous for children to even leave the home. The inadequacies of the country's snow removal infrastructure are once again revealed. Time to bust out the ugly sweaters. Remember to send a thank-you note to your great-aunt.

February 1st-15th - Tundra. The outside world becomes a wasteland. Unfortunately, there are no snow-days for grown-up people. The nation once again collectively curses the entire month of February. It is discovered that the Groundhog has skipped town and now lives in the Cayman Islands.

March 5th-12th - The outside world resembles a polar ice cap. No hope in sight for warmth any time soon.

March 13th-21st - Still no hope.

March 22nd-30th - Come on, for chrissake it's Spring already! Stop with the snow!

April 1st - The Weather Channel reports that the weather will warm significantly today, providing everyone with their first glimpse of Spring. It is revealed the next day that this forecast was an "unintentionally" cruel April Fool's Day joke. An angry mob storms the Weather Channel main office and burns it to the ground.

April 7th-13th - The sun finally shows its face. Inexplicably, the weather becomes even colder. Widespread despair and panic ensues.

April 17th-23rd - Finally the tundra begins to thaw. Expect seasonable weather. People dress in shorts and T-shirts, even though it doesn't make any sense, because they are so happy that the temperatures are now above 30. Life resumes as normal. Sacrifices are made to various Gods. Summer bikini-dieting begins.

April 29th-30th - One last catastrophic snow storm before the season ends. Expect three feet of snow in most parts of the country. With this last storm out of the way, people can look forward to catastrophically hot summer months.

I hope this helps. If anyone would like to read in more detail, please mail a farthing, three pence and one shilling, plus shipping and handling, to my palatial winter bunker in the beautiful Yucatan peninsula c/o Juan Topping. Gracias.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Can I Put This On Virtual Layaway?


Virtual Chaise Lounge stolen from my virtual home at 2:00 AM Virtual Standard Time.
Chair looks like this...
... only virtual.

Will provide virtual reward for any virtual information leading to the virtual recovery of my virtual property. Please call my virtual telephone at 555-3456 with any virtual leads.


Apparently there are people out there who use the internet for something other than blogging and looking at kinky animated pornography from Japan. I know. It surprises me too that such people exist. But they do. And those people have created a space for themselves on the internet where they can interact with similar-minded people all over the world in a virtual environment.

Habbo Hotel is one such environment. At Habbo Hotel, users are allowed to purchase furniture (virtual furniture) with their own money (real money) to keep in their online homes.

But alas, even in the fake world of the internet, crime runs rampant through fake streets and hides in the fake shadows of the world wide web's fake underworld. If you are interested, you can read this example from the BBC News website.

Because apparently Dutch teenagers are stealing virtual furniture from innocent people. Goddamn it; not even my made-up property is safe anymore! DAMN YOU DUTCH TEENAGERS!

I've been racking my brains trying to decide which is more ridiculous:

(a) the fact that some Dutch kid is not only wasting his time stealing virtual items as if there were some sort of black market for furniture but that he was subsequently arrested (like, real arrested not virtual arrested) by the real police or...

(b) the fact that there are people out there willing to spend money on a piece of furniture that they can't actually sit in.

Maybe the fact that I actually need to use my money for real things (beer) skews my opinion on the matter, but does virtual furniture strike anyone else as the worst investment ever to exist in the history of mankind?

It's probably just me.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Unholy Holy Night Dinner

One of the most important events of the year for my extended family in Michigan is the Christmas Eve dinner. It is so important that they plan the dinner well in advance, anywhere between a month to two months ahead of time, and usually they plan the meal around some sort of theme. We've had German Christmas dinner, Italian, Polish, Mexican and countless others. This year we are going with Cajun, which will feature as the main entree something called a Turducken.

What the hell is a Turducken?

A Turducken is a deboned chicken stuffed inside of a deboned duck which is then in turn stuffed inside of a deboned turkey. It's a dish popularized by New Orleans chef Paul Prudhomme (here's the recipe) who is also well known for his specialized seasonings and his passionate yet torrid love affair with butter.
Here's a picture of freshly sliced Turducken:

Any vegans reading this blog are probably retching right now.

Unfortunately, I will not be home to sample the Turducken on Christmas Eve. I have to work that day. But I do look forward to hesitantly trying the leftovers once I do make it home. I like turkey. I like duck and chicken. They are all poultry. There's no reason why I shouldn't like Turducken.

Still, I have this vague feeling that something is cosmically not right here. I wonder if this is what Christmas is like on the Island of Doctor Moreau.

At any rate, I'll let you know how the left overs turn out.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Vote Greg Stalin in 2008

I love Italy. I spent a good month there the summer before my sophomore year in college learning every vice that I now love to indulge. I found the Italian people to be warm and friendly people who were very understanding of my limited ability to speak their language and also my sophomoric drunkenness.

But as wonderful and energetic and inspiring as they are, the Italian people are unfortunately also crazy.

Case in point: here's an article off of today's BBC news website.

Crazy not so much in the fact that the Italians make the occasional xenophobic remarks towards Romanian immigrants, but in the fact that they elected a lady by the name of Alessandra Mussolini, the grand-daughter of Benito Mussolini (the infamous fascist dictator and ally of Adolph Hitler - you know the one), to a public office.

Because nothing says democracy like Mussolini.

Now, I guess it's none of my business seeing as I am not an Italian citizen. My pale white ass is about as un-Italian as it gets. After all, why the hell should you care, three readers, what Italians do for their politics?

Well, because I can't think of anything else to write about. The curiosity was too much for me to bear and for me, a family heritage of service to ones country isn't quite enough to warrant representing your country in the European Union when that family heritage can be described as 'evil' and 'destructive to the fabric of world peace.' So what makes Alessandra Mussolini uniquely qualified to represent her country in the EU's Parliament?

Why porno, of course! She appeared on the cover of European Playboy in the August 1983 Italian edition and the November 1983 German edition. Italian and German, eh? Who would have thought. In addition to a film and television career, Ms. Mussolini also has a B.A. in Agricultural Science, an M.A. in Film Management and, randomly, an M.D. from the Universita' di Roma.

The idealistic American in me tells me that in a free Democracy a person's heritage and background shouldn't matter. After all, maybe Ms. Mussolini has shunned her grandfather's xenophobic, antisemitic, megalomaniacal policies and fascist ways. It's possible, right?


Here are some choice snippets of her 15 years of success on the political stage, courtesy of wikipedia:

"In 1992, she was elected to parliament in a Naples constituency as a member of the neofascist Movimento Sociale Italiano (MSI). " Neofascist. Off to a good start. Later on:

"Her relations with Gianfranco Fini, leader of the Alleanza Nazionale (National Alliance party), never were very good, she announced; she then withdrew later, her resignation due to differences with him at least once. This antagonism was exacerbated when Fini criticized some aspects of fascism, such as its antisemitism....

In November 2003 Fini paid a visit to Israel. There he declared that fascism had been "the absolute evil", apologizing to the government of Israel for the racial laws that Benito Mussolini had approved in 1938. Shortly after these declarations, Alessandra Mussolini abandoned Alleanza Nazionale."

And finally my favorite:

"In 2006 she responded to criticism by trans-gender Italian M.P. candidate Vladimir Luxuria, with a line "Meglio fascista che frocio", that has been roughly translated as "It is better to be a fascist than a faggot." The Italian word used, "frocio", is considered an insult referring to one's buttocks."

Hey-o! And to think, not only did people think that it was a good idea to elect the grand-daughter of an villainous dictator... they also have kept this crack-pot in a position of power for fifteen years!

Incidentally, Italy owns the distinction of having the highest ex-porn star government officials per capita of any other country in the world.

That's not a proven fact, by the way. But it wouldn't surprise me.

So some things are just a bad idea, Italy. Although, with politics in this country becoming more and more circus-like by the day, it kind of makes me wonder how long before we're in the same boat.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Strike! The Reality Series

As one without access to network or cable television on a consistent basis, I have not noticed a substantial change in the quality of television programming. I watch the same DVDs over and over again and, luckily for me, the quality of the DVD never changes. Unless of course I accidentally step on one that is hidden beneath a pile of dirty laundry, in which case the quality of the DVD has changed to "broken."

But for those of you who do rely on TV - live TV that is - for your evening entertainment, you are probably aware from the late-night show reruns, the surge in reality television and all the press that the UWA, the screenwriter's union, is on strike. This means no new TV episodes of your favorite crime drama, no fresh Daily Show political barbs, and no new family comedies on the big screen involving "the Rock" (actually, that last one might not be such a bad thing). That's right, ladies and gentlemen. Ugly Betty is about to get even uglier.

Now before you start shaking your fists at the sky and damning writers to an eternity of agonizing torture and writer's block, I recommend that you check out why the writers are striking. Here are some links:

Basically, the producers don't want to pay writers (or actors or anyone else for that matter) royalties for 'new media,' which includes any internet or iPod viewable shows, even though the studios make an assload of money from selling the shows on iTunes or selling advertising on the free downloadable shows. The producers also would like to keep the royalties on DVD sales at a whopping 4 cents per DVD, as opposed to the ridiculously exorbitant sum of 8 cents per DVD which the writers are demanding.

Since very few writers are employed year round, most rely on those royalties to eat. Surprisingly enough, very few writers are insanely wealthy. Or even sanely wealthy. Or remotely wealthy. And with the distribution landscape changing as rapidly as it is due to changes in technology, etc. writers are now threatened with the prospect of a future filled with not eating.

As a wannabe writer/actor/ GENIUS, I am accustomed to doing work for free. That's just part of the deal when you're starting out. The one thing that keeps me from giving up and looking for a "real career" is the hope that one day I will be able to buy food, clothing and shelter with my earnings from being a writer/ actor/ GENIUS.

So, in solidarity with future-Nat and in my own potential self-interest, I feel that it is important to at least get the word out to you three people who read this blog occasionally. Also, I won't be streaming episodes of The Office anytime soon. Mostly because I don't have reliable internet access at home.

Take THAT, Hollywood!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

POST #69

That's right, ladies and gentlemen; I've reached a historic landmark. This is my 69th post on this blog (go ahead, count them. I dare you).

Why is the 69th post such a landmark historic moment, you ask? Because the numbers '6' and '9' when placed right next to one another resembles a certain sex act and because I have not progressed past the maturity level of a thirteen-year-old.

In fact, I've been looking forward to this landmark historic moment ever since I first joined the 'Pen 15" club, which I thought was an exclusive writer's club until I saw what 'Pen 15' looks like when written on my hand. Then I just felt like an idiot.

So this is what it's come to, my friends. This morning I said to myself "Man, I haven't written a new entry since last week. I need to write something. What am I going to write about?" Then, when I went to start writing the post, I saw that this was going to be my 69th blog. "Bingo!" I exclaimed. "Now I don't have to think. Perfect."

I don't know what it is, but lately I've been having trouble getting the old creative juices flowing. This is a problem considering I have a whole mess of sketches to write, rewrite, edit and so forth within the next week and a half. And here I am, I can't think of anything to write for a simple little blog without resorting to middle school sex jokes.

I've tried the usual methods (drinking, plagiarism, sacreficing small animals) but to no avail. I need to figure out how to get back into the swing of things.

Maybe I just need to sit down and watch an early Adam Sandler movie. If that's not going to get me out of the childish humor mode, I don't know what will.

Friday, November 2, 2007

The White Shirt Empire

In the span of the past four days, I have been asked by two separate friends of mine, both named Pat, to borrow white button up shirts. The first time, when Pat A asked to borrow a shirt for a show, I thought nothing of it. However, when I got a call out of the blue yesterday from Pat B, I was a little bit freaked. Pat B just moved here from Michigan and managed to get a job that starts today. He desperately needed a white shirt since all of his were still at home in Michigan.

Initially I was amazed at the strange little coincidences of life. What are the odds that I would have two friends, both named Pat, who both needed to borrow my dirty white button-up shirts within the same week?

But then, after spending a ridiculous amount of time thinking about it as I was trying to fall asleep last night, it hit me that Pat is a very common name. Not only that, but white button-up shirts are also a very common need for young twenty-something men in the big city. Was this perhaps a potential business opportunity?

I'm thinking yes.

So I'm quitting this whole telecommunications stop-gap thing and I'm not even going to bother writing anymore. I'm an entrepreneur now. And the little nugget of gold that's going to make me rich? Loaning dirty white button-up shirts out to young men named Pat who live in the city of Chicago.

I really think that this demographic (namely young men named Pat who live in the city of Chicago and need to borrow a dirty white button-up shirt) is one of the fastest growing demographics in the country. Hell, I can think of at least one guy named Pat who moved to the city of Chicago within the past month. If that rate of growth sustains itself for a whole year, I'm looking at a net growth of twelve Pats, which is not even to mention the countless Pats that probably already live in the city.

And who is going to loan these Pat the dirty white button-up shirts so necessary to their survival here in the big city? Why me of course. And in return for my services they shall make me rich.

So I'm tendering my resignation effective today. I'm looking for suitable store fronts tomorrow and will be meeting with some freelance graphic designers to help put together my promotional materials. Within a couple of months, I'll bet you'll be able to find me in the Fortune 500. Shares of my dirty white button-up shirts will be tradeable on the stock market. I'll have a giant mansion on Lake Michigan which I will call "The Hampers" where I shall hold Champagne orgies.

I will be wealthy beyond my wildest dreams!

Oh, note to self: buy more white button-up shirts.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Happy Slutty Halloween, You Halloween Sluts!

Halloween comes from the ancient Celtic festival Samhain, which celebrated the day when the boundaries between the living world and the underworld overlapped and when ghosts could walk the earth. These ghosts would cause sickness, damage crops and partake of any number of mischievous poltergeist-like activities. The ancient Celts used to disguise themselves as ghouls and witches in order to blend in with the other nasty paranormal creatures roaming around on Halloween night and so avoid becoming a target for mischief.

Living in an area of the city where there is a high concentration of bars that serve specialty margaritas, long island ice teas and cheap Old Style cans, I have come to the conclusion that there must be a disproportionately large amount of slutty ghosts, male and female, haunting the streets of Chicago.

Oh sure; to anyone else this might look like a bunch of bar-hopping twenty-something women looking to get free drinks and possibly engage in consensual anonymous intercourse with the various slutty Draculas or slutty dead-firemen who are also wandering the streets. But I know about ghosts because I've seen the movies on the TV and I know that they aren't all slutty Caspers. I know the true origins of Halloween. Even if only ten percent of the slutty costumed persons running the streets were otherworldly, that's still one out of every ten horny costumed persons.

And last night they were running around in droves.

So instead of subjecting myself to potential illness or any crop ruination, I resolved to hole myself up in my tiny studio apartment and wait it out. I placed garlic bulbs near the entrances to the apartment. I had a jar of holy water within arms reach at all time. I loaded my Glock with the best silver bullets I could buy and kept it by my bedside. I placed a crucifix on every window sill. I was ready. And I waited with a bottle of Jim Beam until the dawn just to be sure that no slutty zombies would try to break in and eat my delicious brains.

To my surprise and - I admit - disappointment, I only had one run-in with a potential ghoul last night. At about 10:45 I received a knock at my door and, being half drunk at the time, I jumped to the obvious conclusion and opened fire with my Glock. I suppose, looking back on it today, that the pizza delivery guy may not have been a ghost. I had, after all, ordered a small deep dish pepperoni pizza that night (there was no way in hell I was going out). In all fairness, though, the pizza delivery guy did look just a tad bit slutty.

Oh, and the pizza was delicious.