“Paul Blart: Poetry Cop (an Ode to Blart)”

Atop his noble Segway, he segues ‘tween the gags.

A man, a myth, a legend—a mall cop and a dad.

Chasing crooks and shoplifts down that long linoleum road.

His heroic nature is why I compose this ode.

O Blart of Blarts, O Lord of Farts, O Guardian of Malls.

Surveyor of the kiosks, rotund rider through the halls.

He will inhale the nachos into his majestic maw,

protect his daughter, get the girl, and lay down heaps of law.

In honesty, I don’t recall the plot of either film.

They’re not my favourite movies that Sir Kevin James is in.

I actually dislike him, as an actor and a guy.

But on the wings of Blart, I know this human race can fly.

Blarteus Maximus.

 Praise him and be free.

Global Blartic unity.

Finit.

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“Stress Relief”

(Dedicated to a very special person who likes both water bottles and journals, but who is not the character in this story).

A water bottle and a journal—that was all that Sadie ever brought to the park. No blanket, no backpack, no snack. Just a water bottle and a journal. Those two items were able to fill every whim and fancy she had during her weekly visits to the park.

The ordinary, everyday uses for a water bottle and a journal are apparent. A water bottle is helpful when you need a drink. A journal is good place to record your thoughts, or scrawl down a shopping list or phone number. Sadie, however, was not your average, everyday park-goer.

Before she visited the park, Sadie would fill her water bottle right up to the top. Staying hydrated was very important, according to nearly every beauty and fitness source. If you drank enough water, you could expect glowing skin and extra energy on the horizon. She would sit at her favourite park bench as she drank, and watch the joggers and families pass her by.

When she was finished her drink, she would then fill the bottle with scavenged dog feces from the park. A plastic bottle is far superior to an open cup or a sandwich bag when it comes to feces receptacles, because you could close the cap and seal the scent in. That way, Sadie could consult the addresses written inside her journal, and walk through the city in perfect olfactory comfort, and the next time she’d have to smell that offensive stench would be when she arrived at the home of the person who’d messed with her most recently. She’d twist off the lid, shake out a turd, and smear it somewhere the houses’ owner wouldn’t easily find it. Under a windowsill was a good place. Or over the front door, so they’d catch a whiff every time they passed the threshold. If their car was in the driveway, she’d smush poo in every nook, cranny, and vent she could find, and run away before anybody could catch her.

After that, Sadie would return to the park, wash her hands and water bottle in the fountain that the children played in, and relax under a tree with her journal in her lap. She’d tear the page bearing the latest name and address, crumple it into a ball, and eat it.

Everybody needs a bit of stress relief sometimes. All Sadie needed for this was a water bottle and a journal…and, of course, some dog feces. 

THE END

11 Funky Covers for Your Listening Pleasure

There’s only one thing I like more than listening to songs, and that’s listening to other people perform those same songs slightly differently. In fact, I like to think of myself as a connoisseur of cover songs. A cover-seur, if you will. Here are a couple from my personal collection.

Mamma Mia – Austin Weber

I always felt like a dork for listening to ABBA. With this cover, I can not only feel cool and current listening to it, but I can also feel a bit like I just placed 2nd in a Nintendo DSi party game.

California Dreamin’ – Amason

I never thought I’d use “dark” or “sexy” or “reminiscent of a vampire sipping an alcoholic beverage” to describe a the Mamas and the Papas song, but here we are. If this is Amason, I wonder what Amason Prime sounds like! [Applaud here]

Moves Like Jagger – Scooter

Hearing Scooter the Muppet proudly state that he is naked is the most horrifying thing I have ever heard…and yet I can not stop listening. Pepé is also a damn treasure in this, as always.

I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor – Baby Charles

This soulful cover brings to mind a much nicer, more well maintained dancefloor than the original song, perhaps in an establishment with some pleasant mellow lighting and an amiable yet no-nonsense staff.

No Scrubs – Weezer

Weezer’s Teal Album is obviously a gift from some deity of covers, to…well…Weezer fans. There are a lot of certified slammers on that album, but “No Scrubs” is definitely the most absurd, and I couldn’t resist.

My Baby Just Cares for Me – George Michael

George Michael almost erased “Father Figure”‘s creepy lyrics from my mind with his cover of this classic love song. Almost.

Here Comes the Hotstepper – Stooshe

I like my “Here Comes the Hotstepper” covers how I like my women: bouncy, hyper, and a little obnoxious. I’m kidding, of course. I like my women how I like my men: following this blog.

Pretty Fly (For a White Guy) – The Grinning Ghosts

This cover is #1 on my list of Top 10 Tunes to Listen to Whilst Committing Arson. Any song that begins with “sumthin’ sumthin’ Seth Rogen” has immediately earned my respect.

True Love Will Find You in the End – Beck

It’s alright if this cover brings a few tears to your plastic eyeballs; spray paint the vegetables, dog food stalls with the beefcake pantyhose. (To anybody who doesn’t remember the words to “Loser”: I’m sorry about that joke, and I’m not on drugs).

Everybody (Backstreet’s Back) – The Nannys

This cover is somewhat of an abomination, and yet somehow thoroughly enjoyable. “Am I sexual?” “Oh, no!”

Burning Down The House – Tom Jones, The Cardigans

Both this song and its music video leave me with multiple questions. Why did Tom Jones and the Cardigans do a collaboration? Who thought the silver bodysuits were even remotely okay? Can ear canals sweat, or should I go to the hospital?

Stay well, internet users.

Joe Lo Truglio Deserves a Cool Celebrity Nickname

Robert Downey Junior gets RDJ, Leonardo DiCaprio gets Lenny D…but what does American actor, comedian, writer, and producer Joe Lo Truglio get? Well—according to the empty nickname slot on his IMDB page—zilch.

Joe Lo Truglio wearing a tuxedo, at an event in a location.

Although I don’t doubt that Joe Lo Truglio has a nickname in his personal life (“Joe” itself is a nickname for Joseph, after all), in the eye of the public, things seem to be fairly professional. So that means no affectionate short-forms, no alternate titles…just his actual name. Cue the horrified gasps. I’ve have made it my personal mission to change that, and for good.

About Joe Lo Truglio

Mr. Lo Truglio has been an iconic face in comedy since the turn of the century. Although he is best known today as Detective Charles Boyle in the NBC sitcom Brooklyn Nine-Nine, he’s had roles in many other successful comedies, a few of the most notable being Wet Hot American Summer (2001), Paul (2011), I Love You Man (2009), and Superbad (2007). If you’re quick enough, you can even see him in in Gulliver’s Travels (2010) as the aptly-named character “Butt-Crack Man”, who says a single line (“unlucky!”) before being  murdered by Jack Black’s plummeting rump.

Buttcrack Man comes to terms with the fact that, in a few short seconds, he will a become permanent fixture in Lemuel Gulliver’s anus.

Needless to say, Lo Truglio has made his mark on American television. Even in the smallest parts, he has shone. He portrays Charles Boyle so vividly and in such a lovable fashion that the latter has become an unforgettable character in the hive mind of popular culture.

Joe Lo Truglio (left) carrying the comedy industry. I’m kidding, it’s Terry Crews.

Joe Lo Truglio has earned the respect of viewers worldwide. That’s why I’d like to suggest that he be given the highest highest honour of all: the two-syllable first-name-surname-mashup celebrity nickname. Countless have borne the format: Scar-Jo, J-Lo, J-Law, K-Bell, Nic Cage. I believe it’s high time for a new member to the club. 

Ladies and germs, I propose to you…Jo-Lo.

Charles Boyle Brooklyn GIF - CharlesBoyle Brooklyn 99 ...
Yee yee!

But Why?

You’re probably asking yourself, “does Joe Lo Truglio really need a celebrity nickname?”. Well, I respect your skepticism, kid. It’ll do you good on these sleazy streets. But I have to remind you of something: Joe Lo Truglio deserves to be called Jo-Lo. Deep down, we all know it. With all the joy he has brought to people all over the world, he has more than earned the title. It’s his destiny to bear it. Every aspect of his birth and existence has aligned perfectly, giving him a name and a persona that combine to form the ultimate celebrity nickname.

Joe was a very little boy…with a very big future.

And, Worthiness Aside

“Jo-Lo” is just super fun to say, isn’t it? Go ahead; try it out a couple times. Doesn’t it taste like like fruit leather made from Strawberry Shortcake herself? Doesn’t repeating it provide you with a sense of profound, unexplainable fulfillment? Won’t the simple utterance of those two syllables provide you solace in times of need? I assume you have spoken it aloud, and now understand exactly what I’m talking about. Congratulations. You are one of us now. You are one with Jo-Lo.

“Join Us.”

I’m joshing. I’m obviously not trying to start some sort of cult…unless anybody’s down for that. *coughcough*Comment down below*coughcough*.

A Glimpse Into the Future

Say the “Jo-Lo” title does take off…there are a myriad of things that can come from it. Joe Lo Truglio will, of course, be under the world’s close attention for a period of time. This will undoubtedly trigger a series of other events. For instance, he may be chosen to become the host of a new Netflix baking show. That might lead to him being a beloved contestant on the masked singer—which, in turn, gives the confidence to launch his singing career. He releases his first album, the pop/R&B/hip hop/opera inspired Jo-Lo’s Wonderland. It’s hugely popular.

Jo-Lo’s Wonderland cover art.

Then, he releases five more albums to follow it. His single, Baby, Say It Ain’t Tru(glio), becomes the Number One Most Streamed Song On Earth.

Baby, Say It Ain’t Tru(glio) cover art.

Jo-Lo, now a household name, collaborates with Adele. Their powerful harmonies move audiences to tears.

Rumour has it that Adele was shocked by the range and emotional depth Jo-Lo displays in his vocal performances.

He is begged to join the cast of multiple broadway musicals, but declines due to conflicting schedules.

Lin Manuel Miranda puts on a happy face—but, deep inside, he’s crying, because Joe Lo Truglio refuses to be in any of his plays. That’s right, even the one he wrote specifically for him, about Archimedes of Syracuse.

The truth is, Mr. Lo Truglio is far too busy filming the new Brooklyn Nine-Nine spinoff: Boyle. To put it in shamefully blunt terms, it’s a masterpiece: a perfect blend of humour, action, mystery, and touching, tear-jerking moments. It immediately becomes a classic sitcom, and one of the highest rated television shows of all time.

The cover for the original Boyle: Season Two Blu-Ray disc (i.e., not the solid gold one that is sought after decades later).

What About You?

Is this a world you’d like to live in? One with another truly legendary sitcom to entertain and inspire us, a soulful new genre of music from a talented new musician, and a nickname that sparks joy in even the broodiest hearts? A world where every human being is brought together by the appreciation of one versatile artist? In simple terms, a world where Joe Lo Truglio is called “Jo-Lo”?

Stay well, folks!

How to Pretend Your Social Needs are Being Met During Quarantine: 12 Tips for the Techno-Socially Impaired

In the pre-pandemic age, it was easy for most of us to maintain a semi-social lifestyle. We saw people at our jobs, schools, and various other engagements. We exchanged words with pushy salespeople at Bath & Body Works. We could visit our friends whenever we wanted, or make new friends by meeting likeminded people through our interests. The average Joe or Josephine could lick a stranger’s eyeballs without a second thought about either party’s health.

Needless to say, things are a little different at the moment.

With the world organized into 2-metre-apart plexiglass-shielded standing-points, and everybody who isn’t an essential worker or a designated grocery-fetcher trapped in their homes, people everywhere are starving for socialization. Even those who have been disgusted by mall Santas their entire lives find themselves longing to sit on one’s lap. With the wonders of modern technology, instant messaging and so on, you’d think satisfying the beast of lonesomeness would be easy for even the most reclusive smartphone-wielding citizens. Well, you’d certainly think so.

I – like many others, I’m sure – am terrible at tech-based interaction. I don’t know what it is, but even my friendliest personal texts read like pamphlets for summer youth activities. I can’t hold a phone conversation with my own immediate family without becoming awkward. The second I see the “FaceTime call connecting” screen pop up on my device, even if I am the one making the call, I experience the brain equivalent of a mouthful of peanut butter. It’s as if I have the mind of a 17th-century English girl who lives at her father’s remote manor, and writes weekly letters to her cousin Ingrid overseas, but whose main mode of socialization is monologuing at the maid. The link of audio or video calls is too much for me. It’s aggressively immediate. I can’t take pause to let Winifred finish sweeping out the fireplace, or stop to think about which details of the annual cricket competition I should include in my letter to Ingrid. I have to scrabble for any vaguely cohesive thought I can get my paws on in order to keep the conversation afloat. The comments I grasp onto are nearly always idiotic, tedious, or insulting. Although we may glean some social value from it, my friend/relative/acquaintance and I usually leave the encounter feeling embarrassed. The feeling usually sticks with me for hours, days, weeks, or—in the case of an especially disastrous interaction—years.

So, what’s a gal to do? If I can’t see my friends in person, and conversations over technology usually make me out to be some Michael-Scott-esque dunderhead (pun very much intended), how can I socialize? We all need to interact with other creatures to keep a healthy psyche, don’t we? Yes! Probably! Does that mean we should work on our empathy, social intelligence, and self-confidence so we can communicate with people better, both over the internet and in person? Naaaah. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

I’ve thought up a few ways for techno-socially impaired individuals like myself to trick themselves into feeling like they’ve had a good human interaction—with a person-like object—without ever having to touch that filthy little Zoom icon. You’re welcome.

  1. Rewatch Friends, and make comments in between dialogue to pretend that you are a seventh friend. Who will your character be? The ghost of Mr. Heckles? Nomica, the Monica lookalike, and Russ’ little sister? A mutated rat who lives in the basement of Central Perk, cursed with the gift of telepathy? The choice is yours.
  2. Buy some of those paintings with the eyes that follow you around. Hang one in every room of your house…even the John.
  3. Get a $5 shout-out from a furry on Cameo. (I never claimed these were good ideas).
  4. Sit next to your refrigerator and wait for it to make that humming noise. Act like you’re letting it vent to you. What a good friend you are. That refrigerator is lucky to have you.
  5. Catch your mail carrier’s eye through the door. Touch the glass so they can line their hand up with yours from other side. Will it be awkward? Nah. Just remember to blow them a kiss after.
  6. Get every townsperson in the Sims to best friend status. Don’t own the Sims? Ooh, good for you; you’re a stable person who has no interest in obsessively controlling every minute aspect of a digital character’s life. Here’s a lollipop. And 4,000 dollars. And the Nobel Peace Prize. And a ruby-encrusted albino peafowl.
  7. Break the fourth wall every once in a while, just to keep the audience on their toes.
  8. Harmonize with John Denver in “Take me Home, Country Roads”. If you don’t know how to harmonize, just ad-lib a cowboy noise every couple seconds.
  9. Put some birdseed on your chest and lie outside. Try to make eye contact with the birds as they land on you. Maybe throw them a wink, if you’re feeling cheeky.
  10. Ask Siri to tell you jokes until she has repeated each of her answers twice and you no longer have a sense of humour.
  11. Write a ventriloquism act where your dummy is actually a supportive friend, and you just have a nice conversation about your lives and interests for 10 minutes.
  12. Video chat with yourself by switching between two devices. Sure, you could do the same thing in the mirror, but this is 2020, baby.

Stay strong, smart, and safe…also, keep reading this blog, if you have the time.