Archive for ‘Reflection’

November 1, 2011

This Week in J.Miz, Volume 15

by J.MIZ
edited by ANDREW HICKS

Being fat on Halloween is an extra-special thing.

  • For Halloween, I’m going as a shy, conservative, demure, celibate lady. Now THAT’S a fucking costume!
  • Handing out “treats.” My Halloween costume is “The Bad Influence.” I’m giving the kids cigarettes, airplane bottles of booze, and HPV.
  • The Jack-O-Lantern started with turnips. Suck on that, Hallmark! I want a damn Turnip-O-Lantern.
  • Why do fat women always look so angry? I’d be ECSTATIC if I got to eat that much delicious shit!
  • An 80-year-old woman asked me, “How has such a pretty girl like you never been married?” My reply, “Guys only like to FUCK crazy girls, Gramma!”
  • If you discover a shortcut and it then replaces your regular route, it’s no longer a shortcut.
  • Whenever I masturbate, I have this EXTREMELY detailed fantasy about having sex.
October 12, 2011

My 5 Most Abused Forms of Alcohol


I used to drink so much the labels looked like they were on backward.

Next week, it’ll be a year since I quit drinking. Though I am extremely grateful and proud that I’ve been able to do it, I feel like it might not be commonly known to the people in my life that I used to drink a LOT. This is a list of the top five alcoholic substances I abused during my decade of hardcore drinking.

To give you just a tiny idea of how much beer I used to drink, this is what my Mondays were like 9 months out of the year: Wake up around 4 pm, hungover/still drunk from the night before. Eat about ten bucks worth of Panera. Go to my men’s bowling league, where the other members of Team Ramrod and I would take turns buying pitchers of Bud Light for the next three hours. Then, it was off to the shithole bar up the street for three more hours of cheap draft beer, jukebox songs, shuffleboard games and loud, obnoxious laughter. Then we’d go to the casino, where I’d drink more draft beer until the bar closed at 3. This was something like two gallons of beer every Monday. And I didn’t take the rest of the week off or anything.


Wine didn’t really enter the picture until my wife got pregnant with my oldest child. I took that old doctor’s cliche about, “One glass of wine won’t hurt you,” and ran with it. I’d buy the magnum-size bottles of chardonnay or sauvignon blanc — cheap stuff like Liberty Creek, Crane Lake, Turning Leaf and other brands that sound like names of bad apartment complexes.

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September 2, 2011

Too Old For This Shit

Where the shitnipples did I put my trunk?


I turn 40 in just a few months time. People tell me this means I’m now officially a Grumpy Old Man. I always used to mock the idea that you could only be Grumpy, or indeed Old, once you passed through the mystic portal of fortyness. I’ve been Grumpy since I was 11, when I used to tell my fellow pupils to go buy a brain, or tell adults who insisted on being cretins to go and boil their head. In a vat of Sulphuric acid, if I remember correctly.

But that’s the point. I’m no longer sure I remember correctly. This isn’t a creeping senility, or a momentary lapse of memory. This has been happening on a daily basis since my 35th birthday. Halfway through sentences. Halfway through journeys from one room to another. It’s like someone’s hit me with a baseball bat and I’m in a bit of a daze. I’ve always been known by friends and my wife as Memoryboy, for my freakish ability to remember the most arcane details about things, people, situations. Now I can barely hold a coherent thought from one end to the other.

Goddamnsonofabitch. I know there were other examples of the kind of mental decay that’s been visited on me in the last few years, but I can’t remember now what any of it is!

Oh… that’s right. My wife, stifling giggles, has just reminded me that loud noises… hell, even moderately quiet noises… now make me jumpy. Boy that was fun on Halloween. It was even more fun on Guy Fawkes Day – a kind of 17th Century “Hang A Terrorist” holiday, celebrated to this day by setting off random fireworks. Every banger, whizzer and colour-splashing crack of thunder saw me wince, or cringe, or shift involuntarily out of the way. It’s like my body is trying to tell me something, if I could only remember what it is…

It’s like something has clicked over in my metabolism. I’ve worn slippers without irony. My hands and feet are starting to get inexplicably cold for longer periods of time. Young people have been annoying me since I was one of them, but now,  it’s as though the last remaining drops of patience in my soul have been poured out, I want to tell them, as I did as a child, how insane and pointless they are.

Naturally, given the world we live in, I’ve been shouting at the TV for some time now, but I’ve graduated… I used to only shout at the easy targets – the politicians telling us they know what they are doing, the adverts that dared to tell me – short, fat, balding, greasy, hairy-arsed and clueless me – that I’m “worth it too.”

But now it’s everything. Every advert, every programme, every ridiculous flickering parade of mediocrity that passes for entertainment in the arena of the damned. I shout. I point, like that makes some miraculous difference and makes my rage more valid somehow.

The button has clicked over in my brain from “Thirtysomething, clinging to patience and humour and some desperate hope that advertisers are aiming even vaguely at me” to “Bath-chair.” Like I’m suddenly this old and scowling bastard, in my slippers and my Grumpy Old Man face. If I had a stick, I’d hit people with it. In fact, the only reason I’ve refrained from buying a stick is not to get arrested. And somehow, all of a sudden, the fact that people deserve a damn good stick-whacking has become the height – the very pinnacle – of logic and good sense to me. I’ve become my Gran! And suddenly I’m right, they’re wrong!

I feel the gaze of all the proper Grumpy Old Men upon me now, and they are smiling grimly, as though they have been watching my progress and now are happy to call me one of their own. As though they’re telling me “You see? You were always Grumpy-in-waiting, but now you have the urgency, the forgetfulness, the inexplicable back pain – don’t mention it, you’re welcome… Now you are truly one of us, My Son.”

Don’t mess with me. I’m getting too old for this shit.

July 21, 2011

Share Your Toys

Clifford braces himself for another love attack from a marauding 1 year old.


Much of the tedium in parenting comes in the little moments. They’ll always need their diapers changed, they’ll always need to be fed, you’ll always have to clean up after them. And so on. But sometimes, those routine activities can produce a satisfaction that spreads across the spectrum of human emotion. I had one such unexpected reaction a couple nights ago.

My wife had bought the kids a set of four plush toys, characters from “Clifford, the Big Red Dog.” These are my 2-and-a-half year old Sarah’s new favorite toys — she calls them her “puppies,” and she makes sure they travel with her to every room in the house. Meanwhile, Silas, the 1 year old, just really likes Clifford. Specifically, he likes to grab Clifford by the neck, crawl on top of him and roll around while chewing on whatever plush protrusion is near his mouth.

Silas was in the middle of his Clifford Love ritual the other night when Sarah decided to take the big red dog away from her brother. We’ve been trying to teach Sarah to share her toys — and have instituted a zero-tolerance policy — but to this point, we’d been met with defiance and old-fashioned ignoring of instructions.

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June 18, 2011

Suburban Unemployment Blues

edited by ANDREW HICKS

Emily Toops seeks gainful employment as bench swing guarder. So far, all her bench swing guarding work has been done on a pro bono basis.

As a 19 year old who’s never held down a job, doesn’t have a driver’s license and isn’t planning on returning to college next year, I often hear phrases like, “You need to sort out your priorities,” “Get your life together, dammit,” and, “What did I do to deserve such a sorry excuse for a daughter?”

When I was a kid, I always assumed that at 19, I’d have accomplished all my dreams. I’d be a well-received actress living in a swanky apartment in Chicago’s super-elite Gold Coast neighborhood with my boyfriend Orlando Bloom, summer property in Barbados and Steve Martin on speed dial. I now realize in order to make this childhood dream come true, I do, in fact, need to get my life together and find me a job. Which isn’t as easy as it sounds.

A lot of the ol’ “go-to” ideas that instantly come to mind when considering first-time employment have already been exhausted. Babysitting isn’t going to happen. I hate children with an intensity that puts me somewhere between the psychos of lore who hand out arsenic-laced candy on Halloween and crotchety old people who like to scream at local young’uns to “get the hell off my lawn.” The kids who live in my neighborhood are tiny minions of Satan, and I’d sooner exorcise them than watch them for an hour. All the little bastards around here have nannies, anyway.

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June 7, 2011

Reg Strikes Back

edited by ANDREW HICKS

An epic battle is waged between Ertel and his supposed twin at a convenience store that is very, very blue.

Ever have a friend come up to you and say, “Man, you look EXACTLY like ______ who works at _______”? My buddy recently told me there was a dude at a Sunoco convenience store who was my twin. I couldn’t figure out for the life of me who in his right mind would want to look like me. Was it a lack-of-self-respect thing? Did this other me not realize I already had the market cornered on the disheveled, night-fry-cook-at-Denny’s look?

Totally off the subject, but a waiter once remarked to me that I look a lot like “an older Elton John.” An older Elton? That fucker’s like 65. I left the dude a .000001% tip, which was less than a penny, so I actually left him a rudely worded IOU instead of a tip. However, in honor of the Tiny Dancer himself, I’m going to name my nameless body double “Reg,” which was Elton’s nickname before he was Elton.

In my head, I kept hearing the phrase, “You look just like____” until it consumed me. I started having visions of Highlander-style epic sword battles with my doppelganger*. So, after a sensible breakfast, some impromptu sword training courtesy of Nintendo Wii tennis, and a bagged lunch of various condiment packages I stole from Wendy’s, I had to drive to the Sunoco store to meet Reg.

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June 3, 2011

Dear Ex: Anonymous Kiss-Offs

edited by ANDREW HICKS
creatively conceived by ALLISON STEIN

Dear Ex: You were not as attractive as I led you to believe.

Dear Ex: Thanks for all the child support. You’re not her father.

Dear Ex: I feel like I can tell you now — you don’t have to pray about EVERYthing. Pretty sure you’ve got the green light from the Almighty if you wanna have a popsicle.

Dear Ex: I’d undercook your meat sometimes.

Dear Ex: I still laugh my ass off that the guy you married after me turned out to be huuuuuugely gay. Not mature, but funny as hell.

Dear Ex: Weekday daddy busted a jizzload on your side of the bed.

Dear Ex: I made out with your mom more than I made out with you. And she was better at it. But that’s no secret.

Dear Ex: Remember how I said you were the best sex I ever had? The only orgasms I ever had during our marriage were the ones I gave myself. Thanks for nothing. Love, Me.

Dear Ex: I could tell you were not a habitual marijuana smoker when we got high and you spent the next two hours scratching down your entire body while singing a song called “Itchy Time.”

Dear Ex: Your brother used to try to have sex with me every time you weren’t home.

Dear Ex: I find it completely hilarious that I actually slept with more women than you did, and they were better in bed.

Dear Ex: I still get good laughs telling people how, every time you saw a stray dog or cat walking on the side of the road, you would stop the car, pull over, throw open the passenger side door and yell, “Go home! Go home! Go home, doggy! You have a home! Go there and be safe!”

Dear Ex: Your mother doesn’t love you. She told me once she wished you’d never been born.

Dear Ex: We might have worked out if we hadn’t been so hopelessly incompatible in bed. We made the best of it, but in all fairness, your squeaking noises during sex ruined the mood. Also, it would have helped if your dick stayed hard the whole time.

Dear Ex: Dental hygiene is important. Brush up!

Dear Ex: I used your toothbrush to clean the sink. Every time.

Dear Ex: I fucked a random Italian man the night before our wedding.

Dear Ex: Your hair is not growing back in. Not even a little, so stop spending the equivalent of the national deficit on Rogaine. You’re fucking bald.

Dear Ex: Remember that night you were so drunk, but you swore we had sex? We didn’t. I had sex with your best friend. You watched from a chair in the corner, holding your dick in your hand.

Dear Ex: If I’d known when I left that you’d become an evangelical Christian… nah, screw it, I still would have left.

Dear Ex: I appreciate you staying in contact with me for seven or eight years after I broke up with you, saying you always wanted to be friends. I do find it curious, however, that since you’ve married that doctor, I haven’t heard a single word.

CONTRIBUTORS: Allison Stein, Lola Tucker, Andrew Hicks, J.Miz, Tony Fyler, Woo

May 20, 2011

Dirty Humor

by Paul Lao

Comedy is a lot like magic in the way Alan Moore explains it. The phrase “casting a spell on you,” is a literal meaning. Words in music, words that inspire, words that provoke anger, words that provoke sadness, words that hypnotize, words that are funny, forgotten words, words that build efficiency, words that define other words. If you think about it, there are many genres for the human language. In some cases we use what is called onomatopoeia which is what humans use to describe a sound of an animal or object that can’t be spelled but symbolized. We use imagery to help someone who is listening to visualize something less tangible like the fear of heights or how one copes with being numb from the waist down.

I have studied and dabbled in many aspects of comedy. I have done self deprecating comedy, impressions, story telling, one-liners, misdirection, religious, political, prop, sexual, racial, offensive, themed, low energy, high-energy, physical, satire, improvisational, sketch, mime, and a little bit of roasting. I even wrote a musical.

I have a lot of different friends, who all have different senses of humor that I had to adapt to in order to stay friends with. After a while I may forget their name but I will know to use a pun with those that can appreciate it. Or talk about the latest episode of Entourage and do a quick impression. Or even tell someone who knows my dad an embarrassing story.

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May 18, 2011

Honkies In The Hood: Woo and J. Miz Reminisce

by WOO and J.MIZ
edited by ANDREW HICKS and WOO

WOO: Growing up in the hood, being the only white boy for six blocks, I realized quickly I was kind of like a pet or a mascot.

J.MIZ: Six blocks? I wasn’t even allowed to cross the street or go more than two houses down, and I could only ride my bike in the driveway. Until I was 7, I thought my Christian name was “Honkey.”

WOO: I soon learned that if I was passing a group of people and they said, “‘Sup,” I could stop and shoot the shit with them. “Come here, white boy!” meant I was about to lose my dignity and leave with a horrible headache.

J.MIZ: I got my hair pulled a lot, but weaves were expensive back then. I did rock several Afrocentric hair styles at the hands of my neighbor. Please erase any thoughts of Bo Derek in 10. We’re talking three ponytails, twisted with bubble-gum ball rubber-bands and multicolored barrettes shaped like poodles or other various hood dogs. My mom’s last straw was the black hair grease. I don’t mean African American either. The shit was black! Imagine the whitest, finest baby hair coated in STP 5W.

WOO: Best part of growin’ up on the hood? Free bicycles. Anytime bikes were stolen, the culprits would only keep the parts they needed, and the rest would be dumped into the alleyways. I’d pick up a frame one week, a couple wheels the next, handlebars the week after that, etc. I must assembled 40 bikes in my lifetime. My parents only bought me my first one at age 5. This is why I holler “East Side!” till I die.

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March 7, 2011

Cerebral Ballsy


I am not an intelligent person. I just think everyone should know this as a fact. I don’t want anyone thinking I have the correct answer to anything, although I have plenty of answers. Nor should they believe I’ve done enough research on anything I may speak to, other than drawing from personal experience. No, this is not a disclaimer, just something to put in your hat for whenever my life intersects yours.

A person of my mental prowess rarely has the use for a word like “ponder.” However, this is something I have pondered for some time. How is it I get by? I mean, I am nowhere near the intelligence level I am expected to be. I know this because many of the people I come across talk to me as if I have a single clue. What the fuck they are talking about? I just agree and smile. Once they’re gone, I Google it and laugh that I didn’t know what they meant, or I hurry up, as I’ve spent a lot of project time finding out what I agreed to do.

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February 20, 2011

Deep. End.

edited by ANDREW HICKS

It’s kind of weird when you have one of those “big picture” moments, when something happens to you — or someone around you — that makes you reflect on the sum of the parts in life. I had kind of a big-picture weekend.

On Friday night, I attended a visitation to mourn the loss of a friend. I knew her better and was much closer to her in high school and a little bit after that. But, as most friendships go, we lost touch and hadn’t seen each other in a long time. In the past few years, I would see her once in a blue moon. We’d talk for a bit, the usual, “How’s your family? What’ve you been up to?” and things like that. We weren’t very close, but we were still friends, and we had shared some good times together. It was sad to have seen her for the last time. And to know that those who were much closer to her would miss her even more.

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