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Archives: May 2012

Stupid advice for naive graduates

Every June, assuming I’m sober enough to remember what month it is, I give advice to graduating students. These students then base their entire lives on my advice, succeeding or failing in life only because of how closely they followed my genius. Or I assume so, at least.

Skeptics may note that I’m not technically a genius. They may also note that a few minutes before writing this column, I accidentally sat on my own arm and was surprised to have done so. Do not listen to these jealous fools. Just listen to my advice, which is sound:

– If you’re giving an important presentation at work and your groin itches, do not try to subtly scratch it by leaning against the edge of the conference table. You’re not fooling anyone, Itchy McTableballs.

The laundromat and the county jail are very similar

The washing machine in my apartment building broke, so I was forced to go to a laundromat today. I’ve never been to a laundromat in Los Angeles. No one I know has ever been to a laundromat here. After spending 12 minutes in one, I understand why. I’m writing out this column by hand as a helpful guide for police after they find my corpse. Here is a list of people who may have killed and/or mutilated me beyond recognition:

Cocaine addict who keeps angrily staring at me. I’m watching Youtube on my phone. I’m watching Youtube on my phone. I’m not noticing you, or how weird it is that your hands shake involuntarily, or that creepy twitch you keep having. I’m watching Youtube on my phone. I’m watching Youtube on my phone.

Elderly owner who guards the change machine. “You do laundry?” the bitter old woman asks accusingly. I nod and point to the very obvious laundry basket in my hands. “We not change factory,” she says. “We not here make change for fun time. Last guy who get change without do laundry, he learn lesson.” I nod and walk away, frightened to test her.

Drunk who wandered in and just started asking people questions for no reason. Yes, that is my shirt. Thank you, it is neat. Yes, I do think peanut butter is the best condiment. No, I’ve never been to Tijuana. Cheap hookers, eh? Well thank you for the tip. Ah yes, I suppose you would have to cut a hole in a paper plate to keep the crabs from jumping from them onto you. Well, thank you for sharing. You’ve been an absolute delight.

Plane of Darkness

I was 30,000 feet in the air, and the sky always looked the same, as if the plane hadn’t been moving. I was surrounded by the beasts. Half man, half child, ninth graders at oldest. San Francisco schoolchildren on a class trip. There were 50 of them, drooling and shouting at the top of their lungs like wild beasts. The savagery, the utter savagery, had closed round me. Imagine my growing regrets, my longing to escape, my powerless disgust, the surrender, the hate. One comes to hate savages, hate them to the death.

The vile little bastards jabbered on endlessly, speaking of Lana Del Rey and Gossip Girl characters and futile high school athletic competitions, torturing me merely for attempting to listen. It was maddening talk, gibberish. Real sentences, but with incoherent words. Bobby was stoked on Sara and sometimes Mara but hella hella stoked on Beth, who lived in B-town and was “rolling that push-up bra.” Their words had with them, to my mind, the terrific suggestiveness of words heard in dreams, and phrases spoken in nightmares. And for a moment it seemed to me as if I also was buried in a grave full of unspeakable secrets.

Jet Blue was normally an adequate courier, offering us food and water as if we were actual people, and free satellite TV so none of us would talk to each other. Yet theTVs were broken that flight, and every moment without them seemed to lead me further into the heart of an immense darkness. The horror! The horror!

I’m a doctor now. Please just go along with this

If you’ve read this column for years, you probably know a lot about me. For instance, you know I cannot accurately recall any events from the years 1998-2002, on account of what experts call “being drunk in college”. You also know I’m a widely respected expert on bears, that I competed in the 1992 Olympics as an Irish gymnast, and that I have a bucket list with “sex with Asian lady” at the top of it. But did you also know I’m a doctor?

Well, I’m not, but I’ve decided to add the title to my name anyway. There are too many regular Paul Ryans in this world. The Twin Cities metro area has eight of them. Los Angeles has 12. Wisconsin has a Congressman with the same name, causing at least one stranger every day to make some tired joke about me running for president. The comic book world has a famous illustrator with the same name. The soap opera “As the World Turns” had a character named Paul Ryan who died while fucking a raccoon or something weird like that. Taylor Swift’s birthname was Paul Ryan before she changed it for show business.

Ramblings Letters: The Cambridge Edition

Over the years, I’ve received countless e-mails from readers of this column. Some are from people with legitimate complaints, and the other 99.9 percent are from frail old women who just found out about the internet and haven’t seen a goatse image yet, so they don’t know how much worse things can actually be.

Due to overwhelming popular demand (and a sincere laziness on my part), this week’s column is a selection of some of my favorite letters. All of them are real. I couldn’t be this funny on my own if I tried. Enjoy.

“Sir, I think you are a disgusting pig to write such trash.”

“You need serious psychological help.”

“Don’t put shit on pages that Poland is a shitty place. I come and beat the fucking shit out you bitch.”