My name is Walter Stanley. I live in a free country, and it is against the law to make me listen to Tom Petty. It is even more against the law to make me listen to Steve Miller or The Eagles.
One thing that sounds worse than The Eagles is when I forget to buy the staple-free scrotum staples.
In the United States of America, it is illegal to do certain stuff. A lot of these laws are about zoning stipulations, but if you round it off, the rest of them are about Steve Miller, and punching DJs.
I’m very cool. My girlfriend plays drums in the all-female tribute to Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience.
Steve Miller, Joe Walsh, and Tom Petty all came to my house last night. It was not fun and nobody asked for an autograph.
The drunkest man in history paid me a visit last night.
I was wary about letting him in, but curiosity overtook me as I became skeptical that he was indeed as drunk as he claimed.
Let me tell you something, dear reader: This was the drunkest man that has ever been.
I put on some music and we sat at the kitchen table for a chat.
“So tell me, how did you get so drunk?”
“Ah. Well, I started drinking Sunday, and then when it came time to stop and sleep, I did neither.”
“Fair enough.” I offered him a beer, which brought a smile to his face, and then a pondering examination of the can.
“You know what they should make?” he asked.
“They should make 10 ounce beers.”
“Well, say you wanted two fewer ounces—”
“With all due respect, sir, you are unbelievably drunk, and that is the stupidest idea I have ever heard.”
“I just think there should be an option. Why should all beers be 12 ounces?”
“I agree that variety in beer size would be a fine thing, but why default to 10? That’s only slightly smaller, and grossly impractical.”
“Well, say you wanted two fewer ounces—”
“Sir! Listen to me and listen carefully, you drunkard. You might make a profit, but your entire market would be people who thought they were buying 12 ounce beers. They would take their slightly smaller beers home from the store, then say, ‘Dang, I didn’t mean to get the tiny ones.’”
“Yes true. It would be like if Milky Way made one flavor of candy bar with caramel, chocolate, and nougat, and then another with caramel, chocolate, nougat, and shit. Sure they would sell a few now and again, but only to people who would later say, ‘Damn it, I didn’t mean to get this shit kind.”
“I have lots of good ideas,” he said, to my aggravation.
“I say it again, sir, you are drunk. Quite drunk. I’m not sure I want to hear any more of your ideas.”
“Well, I was just thinking about how there should be more love in the world,” said the drunkest man on Earth.
“I certainly agree with that.”
“And, perhaps we should designate a holiday for love. Once a year we will all write cards to the people we like, and perhaps take our lovers out on a date.”
I almost vomited at this man’s drunkenness.
“There is no goddamn way you’re being serious right now. You honestly think we need a holiday to remind ourselves to love the people we love? How offensive. How condescending. What’s next, Don’t Eat Poison Day? And you think we all would want to team up and do it on the same day? No, you’re drunk. Think of how awful that would be, man. Think of how painful it would be trying to get a dinner reservation. Think of the anguish this would put on single people, and how impractical it would be that people needed to coordinate their romances around this idiocy. You need to stop drinking, good sir, or you will die very soon.”
I threw a spoon at him. He walked around the table and punched me very hard in the mouth. I pulled him toward me and bit his stomach as he punched my head.
“Let’s not do this anymore, friend.”
We chatted a while more about life and art, but as is often the case, things got ugly when politics arose.
“Do you know what should be illegal?” asked the most inebriated thing in 13.72 billion years of existence.
“What?” I clenched my fists, anticipating rage.
“It should be illegal to be naked in public. People should be arrested if they don’t wear clothes outside.”
I took a deep breath, wanting nothing more than to fight this gentleman.
“I’m certain I need not remind you,” I began through my teeth, “that you are tremendously drunk. I have never met a man as drunk as you. In fact, no one has. So I want to forgive that last comment, but not without a rebuttal. You do realize, fine sir, that if legislation were passed outlawing public nudity, there would be violent rioting in all cities of this nation. Every single piece of government property would be set aflame by the furious masses who know that said law is a direct, tyrannical violation of their right to be. What you just suggested does not even make sense. I am overcome with bewilderment that anybody could say something so odd.”
“I just think it’s unwholesome.”
We fought. We fought for hours. Halfway through our battle I managed to crawl across the wreckage of my home and latch the front door. I didn’t want anyone to come in and stop our fight. I am typing this on a keyboard splashed with blood and vomit.
The drunkest man in history left at dawn. He was still quite drunk.
I’m so fucking strong my dick is bigger than nicotine. I work out so often I am the event horizon.
Do not talk to me unless you are mutton. Vegetable? Extraneous “E”? I snort protein powder and have never even met pencil.
I’m quite dizzy and feel jaded. This is awful and I hate it. I’ll just kick this thing, then do the next action that makes sense after that…
This expensive thing is now broken, and there is no relief. I am made out of meat, so no one talks to me as they talk to other people. I am better at 513 things than Fats Waller. I could have written Casey at the Bat, but there are things more interesting than baseball now.
There’s a Beefheart song about this, but neither of us will figure out which one.
A: The world is your oyster.
B: I’m an accountant.
A: The world is your very boring oyster.
The Large Hadron Collider is an awfully big, magical machine that is designed to help us scientists find the Higgs particle, which will prove once and for all a whole mess of stuff that I don’t have time to describe right now.
How it works is you load up the opening part with protons (the smaller the better) and then turn it on. There’s a giant monitoring screen where you can observe the different protons crashing into each other, which, when studied by a proper physicist, gives us all kinds of information about science. Tons.
The machine itself is quite big. Bigger even than the truck that steals our rubbish collections.* I haven’t had a chance yet to see the collider, as it is in Switzerland. The Swiss are an odd people. They speak in tongues, and Michael thinks they don’t have blood!
The Large Hadron Collider may in time answer some of the toughest questions in physics: Why is there something rather than nothing? Is there room in the debate for a Divine Creator? Are there galaxies out there other than our own? How could an atom possibly be smaller than a dot?
In his new book, A Universe from Nothing, Lawrence Krauss addresses a few of these questions. One needs only to throw the book forcefully to the floor and skim whatever page it opens up to, and a vast and wonderful world of information arises, offering intriguing bits of scientific physics, such as this:
We now call the positron the “antiparticle” of the electron, because it turns out that Dirac’s discovery was ubiquitous. The same physics that required an antiparticle for the electron to exist requires one such particle to exist for almost every elementary particle in nature.
Hmmmmm. Very, very good.
I expect my next big theory to materialize after I visit the collider—which has not yet happened, because of the Swiss. I have been invited to see the LHC, but it’s far away and my cat Michael requires daily ointments.**
Perhaps, though, our weightiest question (why is there something rather than nothing?) is a bit naïve. Perhaps we are wrong to suspect that existence is so unlikely. Why do we think nothing makes more sense than thing? Maybe nothing is stranger. After all, no one has ever encountered nothing, so why should we assume it’s even a possibility? As inquisitive primates, we often ask questions based on our misguided intuition. Just think of the millions of us who lie awake for hours each night wondering, “How come there are no unicorns? It’s so simple, just put a horn on top of a horse.”
And yet there are no unicorns.
*Tip: If you hide your rubbish out back, they won’t be able to find it. But then you can’t show it off.
**This is not the same Michael as mentioned above! Hahahahahahaha! Everything in my house is named Michael.
Animals are those things that aren’t what humans are. They’re the ones that, when you try to speak to them like a person, react inappropriately.
Conversely, you can identify a human by gauging the level of anger when you treat it like an animal. Trying to put anything inside a cage, for instance, is often difficult. It is more difficult with a human. This is called irony.
There are lots of animals in the world, and while some estimates are in the hundreds, you will often only find a small sample in your immediate environment. These are called pets (the rats that come with houses are NOT pets). Pets are the ones you give food to—the ones that sometimes bite you when you poke them, or even when you’re minding your own business.
The ones that you don’t give food to are called wildlife, and they live outside. You mustn’t get angry at these ones, even when they pee in public. It’s illegal to yell and cry when you see this happen, unfortunately.
Animals get divided into categories. A cat, for instance, is a member of the animal family, and there’s even more than one type of cat! There’s the nice type (the one in your house is probably a member of this species, although “nice” is pushing it) and the mean type (these ones have wings. Watch out). There’s an even meaner type of cat, called a lion. They live in the forest and if you see one, run!
Koalas are gay. But there aren’t even any girl koalas anyways.
Animals are different from humans in many ways. One of the main differences is that humans have a type of consciousness that has not been discovered in any other species. This consciousness has for centuries attracted debate, and it is considered our species’ most fortunate blight. It allows us to experience the richness and wonder of our Earth, and at the same time demands that we confront our mortality. We agonize over physical pain, and agonize further over the existence of pain. This consciousness has inspired a thing called “art,” which is sometimes so powerful it can drive a person to transcendence or madness.
Did you know that some animals don’t even have arms or legs? A snail is like this.
I was walking home from the cat store today when I saw something odd. A little yellow and brown butterfly was lying dead on the sidewalk.
It was pristine.
Never before had I seen a mint-condition dead insect. They’ve always been squished or zapped.