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Well, it sure has been a while… Also, The History of Pull-Ups?

Man, it has been a while. A really, really long while. An age, in fact, since I’ve posted anything. Life got busy and excuse, excuse, etc. However, if the Mayans are indeed correct, and there are only 3 more weeks left until everything we know in life comes to a crashing halt, I want to spend my last days as man was intended to spend them: blogging. 

So, shortly – very shortly – I shall return with my newest entry. One I’ve been prepping for quite some time:

The official, unabridged, previously classified, spallang meesteak wriddan: ‘History of Pull-Ups’

Until then…

Ms. Wilder’s Class

Hello, dear readers.

I have returned from my brief hiatus, and I come bearing gifts (one of them being this overwrought introductory paragraph). This week I have brought for you: great pestilence and famine! Also, I have a new piece of prose, if you’d prefer that. I’ll let you choose… 

Ah, you’ve chosen the prose, have you? Very well.

Today’s entry is a special one for me and I’ll tell you why. One, it is a much more recent work than what I’ve shared prior; a better reflection of both myself and the things I like to write: vitriolic sarcasm presented through the eyes of a self-centered asshole. Two, it is one of the larger and more gruelingly-assembled pieces I’ve ever, er, assembled; A whopping 10-page final manuscript (which I’ve trimmed in hopes that you internet people – notorious for your short attention spans –  would actually read it) signaling the end of my college career. My swan song, in a way. It’s called ‘Ms. Wilder’s Class’ and I hope ya dig it. – MOSES 2.0

Ms. Wilder’s Class

“Who have we not heard from yet…?” she asked, scanning the room. I pretended to be writing something to avoid her gaze.

“Has everyone gone, then?” she asked. I began scribbling even faster, as though the harder at work I seemed, the more invisible I’d become. I was so close. So goddamn close. What had started out as scribbling had turned into the words ‘so close’ being written over and over again. Suddenly, something – a weird feeling – made me look up and glance across the room. And there I saw him. His two fat eyes staring over at me; eyes that hid nothing and expressed even less in brain function. The type of look reserved for sloths or for someone who accidently left their brain at home, sitting atop the nightstand. And yet, it was the look of a madman.

“Uh, Ms. Wilder…” he began. No. Fatty! Don’t do it. I’m so close. I was scribbling really fast now. The words ‘so close’ repeated endlessly across my paper.

“Yes, Graham-Cracker?” she asked. No, Fatty! No! I was nearly out of space on my paper by this point. How dare he make me waste another sheet. Don’t do it, Fatty! No! If you say one word, I’ll –

“Jimmy didn’t go yet,” he finished. The class turned toward me and I sighed loudly, slumping down in my chair. Oh, Fatty. You wild man. You daredevil. You fool. I’ll have to kill you for this, you know.

“Jimmy-Pop! Why didn’t you speak up?” asked Ms. Wilder, sharply. Her gaze ripped through me like razor blades. The wounds of such were nothing, however, compared to that knife that Fat Brutus had slid into my back.

“What was your favorite part of Charlie Brown’s story?” she asked. Charles, or ‘Charlie Brown’ as our teacher annoyingly dubbed him, looked over at me expectantly. Oh, how I hated him. Charles and his terrible, terrible stories about alien pirates or dinosaurs with lasers or whatever the hell he passed off as ‘writing’ these days.

“Uhhhh… I… liked the whole thing.” I looked up at Ms. Wilder. Just buy it, would you? Please? Buy it and move on, you wench.

“Something specific, please,” she said, firing more razor blades from her eyes. Nope. She didn’t buy it at all. Oh, how horrible she was.

“Fine. Um… I liked the, uh… spelling. The spelling was decent.” This was a lie. He spelled with all the elegance of a drunken spider tap-dancing in a china cabinet. Everyone in the class was staring at me now. Oh, how I’d love to smack each and every one.

“Oh, Jesus. Alright. Um… I liked the part with the…” I couldn’t believe the words that were about come out of my mouth. “That part where the ninja’s-“

“Samurai,” he corrected.

“Samurai. The part where the samurai shot that, uh… gun with the… cat ammunition-“

“The ‘Cattling Gun?’”

“Yes… Yes, the ‘Cattling Gun.’” God help anyone who ever makes me utter the phrase ‘Cattling Gun’ again. Christ, if raping the English language were a crime, Charlie here would be on death row.

“Where the… Samurai shot the… the Cattling Gun at the robot ship-“ I looked over to him for approval because, had he interrupted me again, I’d have scooped out his eyes with an ice pick. He nodded, much to the disappointment of my ice pick, and I continued.

“…And, it exploded… disengaging the force-field or something… and freeing the… zombie slaves… or whatever.” I felt a sharp pain as I said these words. With any luck, it’d be a heart attack and it’d kill me. Then again, maybe I was already dead. I’m pretty sure Dante had described something not entirely dissimilar to this in the ninth circle.

“Thank you, Jimmy-Pop,” said Ms. Wilder. “Who’s next to read their story? Annie-Oakely, would you like to go?“ The ridiculous-looking punk-girl from across the room nodded and began to read. Her voice was lovely, like the sound of a bicycle chain getting stuck in an exhaust vent. Her prose, however, was even lovelier, making me wish that she, herself, would get stuck in an exhaust vent. Jesus. What plebeians they all were. And I, a patrician amongst them, was expected to give feedback to these sorts of things? Nothing less than hurling their work into an incinerator and then launching that incinerator into space could possibly convey my personal thoughts. But instead, I was required to give ‘positive assessment.’ Well, I could positively assess that the majority of them would be cleaning toilet bowls for the bulk of their future. Punky Brewster finished reading and the usual few hands shot up into the air.

“Jacquie Tobacky,” selected Ms. Wilder.

“Well, dat Charactuh, duh one wit duh, uh—“ she picked at her bright-pink, press-on nails. “Duh pet store ownuh. I felt I could identuhfy wit her.”

“Uh… yes… Thank you. Who else?” Even more hands shot up this time. Sycophants. I could wave my hand around like a mongoloid, too, but my only criticism of Annie’s story was that it never should’ve existed. Ms. Wilder looked around the room, clearly wanting only the best and brightest of this group of top analysts. One by one, they gave their testimonials, each one lowering the general IQ of the room. I tried to save myself and blanked out for a few moments, attempting to drown out the concert of stupidity that was playing loudly throughout the room. The conductor halted and played an all-too-familiar note that I knew as judgment.

“Ah, last once again, eh, Jimmy-Pop? What was your favorite part?” Oh, Christ. Here I was again. New tactic this time…

“Um… well… the perspective of the narrator was inconsistent and failed to realistically exposit the empirical nature of her proposed daily quandaries.”

“Ah… well… Um… I see,” responded the old bat. “Alright. Well, I think we have time for one more story-“

“Uh, excuse me,” said a voice from the doorway. A greasy-haired boy in ripped jeans and a wife beater entered. I heard the dumb girl behind me whisper: “Do you see his sexy tattoos?” to the even dumber girl behind her. I was surrounded by troglodytes.

“Hi, um… I just transferred in,” said the tattooed lady-killer, with all the air of someone who cleans himself with his own tongue and defecates on the sidewalk.

“Well hello, then. Have a seat. We were just going over everyone’s stories,” responded the teacher.

“Yes, I saw that in the syllabus, actually. I brought one to share,” he said, sitting down in the seat in between that smelly kid and myself. Hmm… What was the smelly kid’s name, again…? I always just called him ‘Smelly Kid…’

“Oh, very well. Your name, please?” asked Ms. Wilder.

“John Putzki.” Ms. Wilder began scribbling his name into her binder and then stopped and stared ahead for a few moments, clearly deep in thought – or, well, as deep in thought as the old hag could possibly get. Depths that, I assume, made puddles look great enough to house ocean liners.

“Uh-oh,“ I heard Smelly Whatshisface whisper to the new guy. “She’s clearly trying to think of a nickname for you.”

“What?”

“She gives everyone in the class an awful nickname. Mine’s ‘Tony Bologna,’” said Smelly.

“Oh, that doesn’t seem so bad,” responded the new kid.

“Well… My name is Steve…”

“…Yeesh.”

Ah, yes! Steve. That’s right. Steve was my favorite, actually. For, aside from his scent, which gave the impression that he had cured meats spoiling in his pants pockets, he wasn’t so bad. Definitely less of a blathering idiot than the rest of these blathering idiots. His stories, too, were entirely bearable. His last one, in fact, was not completely terrible. Steve was the cream of the crop in a field that only grew shite.

“Why don’t you go next, Johnny Appleseed,” said Ms. Wilder. The clever bitch. Mr. Appleseed took a few pieces of paper out of his coat pocket and unfolded them. It was such a scene of class that I half expected his lunch to be wrapped up in one of them. He began to read.

“The war had been rough. Those lucky few that had actually slept, awoke to the grey dawn. A bird chirped in the distance – the first sound any of them had heard in some time that didn’t send fear rattling through their aching bodies; that didn’t make them duck and cover their heads. The war was over, sure, but the uphill battle they would face, of returning to one’s old life, returning to normalcy, would be a far longer and much tougher fight than anything they had experienced down in the trenches…”

As he read, the room faded into a quiet that it had never known before. Even that dilettante in the corner looked up and paid attention. Ah, what lovely blue eyes she had. I hadn’t ever noticed, as they had never appeared in any direction other than staring directly down at her thinly-hid cell phone. Fatty’s expression, too, had somehow unglazed itself – maybe there was a lone cog turning up there, after all. Even Smelly’s foul scent seemed a little more potpourri and a little less fecal matter than usual. We were all glued to every word he spoke. Oh, and what words he spoke, indeed. I, myself, a man whose enjoyment of fellow classmates’ work generally fell somewhere in between eating my own feet and skinny dipping in a pile of mousetraps, was in awe. This story was… it was impeccable. Its pacing, characterization, everything. Perfect. And oh, how I hated it.

“Well… Um… I…” began Ms. Wilder, who was stumbling over her words as though someone had left them in a pile at the foot of the stairs. “Thank you for reading that, John. It was… very lovely. Very, very lovely.” She didn’t’ even call him by his nickname? Christ. Next, gravity will flow upward, and fish will sprout hands and learn to box. Something was going on here. The class remained silent for a moment.

“Ms. Wilder,” began Fatty. “I think John’s story is my new favorite. It’s even better than Jimmy’s.” Many of the other students nodded in agreement. So that was it, then. My empire was crumbling. The crown ripped from my head and the throne being cleaned and dusted for its new king. And what of me? Forced into living among the hay bails and the farm animals? A jester? No, I would not be kicked to the curb so easily.

-MATTHEW ZIMEL

Ms. Catalina

Once upon a time, my writing professor said to me,

“Matt, my boy, you decadent and radiant figure, whose hair shines like the flowing artesian wells, and whose limbs, so strong and powerful, would make even the mightiest of Redwoods weep (NOTE: I may be paraphrasing), I beseech – no, demand – that you write a one-page monologue using J.D. Salinger’s ‘A Perfect Day For Bananafish‘ as your inspiration. Only someone of your unparalleled wit and grace could accomplish such a task! Also, it’s a required assignment, and you’ll fail the class otherwise. So, go do it.” 

And do it, I did. It’s called ‘Ms. Catalina‘ and I hope you enjoy it lots. – MOSES 2.0

Ms. Catalina

Ms. Catalina was lying in her grand, king-sized bed, staring thoughtfully up at the ceiling. She puffed on her long cigarette and blew smoke ring after smoke ring, each one drifting slowly downward and around the pen of the beady-eyed man who sat beside her bed. He looked toward her expectantly, tapping his notepad with his thumb and biting his bottom lip. Behind him stood two other men: a meek, anxious little man whose hands scratched nervously at his thighs, and a tall, slender man, clearly bemused, bearing an old-fashioned camera around his neck. Ms. Catalina took a really long drag, made yet another smoke ring, and looked down at the man nearest her. They exchanged a smile and she began to speak.

“My father was a strange man, and he always used to say: “Strange men are like fish: We swim, we eat, but we’ll never dance the mambo.” I didn’t quite understand what he meant, but I think he did. Or at least, I think he thinks he did. He might’ve even thought that we did or that we thought that he did or that he thought that we thought he did think he did, but that’s just a thought. But, boy was he a troubled man! I remember him always having these… war flashbacks at dinner. One moment, we’d be sitting there, eating, laughing, talking, ya know. Then suddenly, out of nowhere, boom! There he is, ducked behind the kitchen counter, wearing the meatloaf on his head, and throwing sweet potatoes through the window at the neighbors! Ya know… to this day, I’ve never eaten a sweet potato! Some long-held fear of one blowing up in my face, I guess. Not quite sure why. But anyway, he sure was troubled. He had this… this crazy obsession with deli turkey, too. I can’t explain it! He’d leave it everywhere. Drove my mother nuts, I’ll tell ya. You’d go to sit down, and uh-oh! There’s a piece of deli turkey stuck to your prom dress. You’d open up the piano, and whaddaya know, cold cuts come flying out! And he always kept some on him. You could bet that at any time, if ya looked hard enough, you could see some sticking out of his collar. He used to say of it: “How else am I gonna get to work?” Strangest thing. But… he had some good qualities, too. He was very kind to animals. Loved ’em. He’d always take us to the Dog Park. Mmmmm… what fun times we’d have. Well, until he attempted stealing people’s dogs. He’d go over while the owner wasn’t looking, pick one up, shove it into his pants, and start running like the wind! He once made it all the way around the block with a Doberman in his trousers! Yeah… they banned him from going. Yet, we somehow got in every Sunday. It was actually one of those very Sundays that I lost both my legs. You’d think it was a rabid dog or something, right? Nope. I tripped over a bench and, well, they just sort of popped off! The damnedest thing! And I know what you’re thinking: ‘But hey, I can see her legs right there!’ Well, just cause I lost ’em doesn’t mean I didn’t find ’em. Turned up in a Woolworth’s parking lot three days later! Ya know, they say I take after him, my father. But I don’t see it! Damnedest thing!”

The two men in the back of the room exchanged a glance. The small, anxious one beginning to scratch even more wildly at his thighs than before. The tall man let out a sigh and returned to his quiet boredom. The man nearest Ms. Catalina looked down at his notepad, back up at her, and toward the two men in back of him, before setting his eyes back on the woman. “Er,” he began, “yes… well, um… that’s all well and good, Ms. Catalina, but… er… we really are just here to find out if whether you’ll be voting Republican or Democrat in the coming election… The public survey…? Remember?

~MATTHEW ZIMEL

Dear Diary

We’ll begin today’s proceeding’s with an old, joke article I wrote. It’s a diary entry for when I transferred to Temple University. Enjoy! – MOSES 2.0 (Matthew Zimel)

Dear Diary

Dear Diary, tomorrow is move-in day. Temple University dorms here I come!

Day 1

Arrived. Finished unpacking boxes and it seems I accidently grabbed some other boxes instead of some of mine. Have been eating meals out of mom’s old bathing suits. I can only imagine she’s wearing my plates to the beach as we speak.

Day 2

Roommate arrived. Larry. He’s very nice. Hobbies include sticking googly eyes to all of our furniture and going into public restrooms to read the stall graffiti. Thinking of moving out.

Day 3

First day of classes. Some real interesting ones today: History of Balsa Wood followed by Advanced Ferret Tossing. Can’t wait. I heard that if you get rabies in the latter, you automatically get an A.

EDIT: Apparently I misheard. It’s only if you get rabies in the former that you get an A… I am both terribly confused and exceedingly intrigued by this.

Also, made some friends in class. Lost them immediately when they noticed that my book bag had googly eyes. Goddamn you, Larry.

Day 4

Shady guy followed me home, pulled out a knife and then stole my book bag. Said he’d never seen a googly-eyed bag before. Thought it might be worth something. I thought he was an idiot. I told him this. Now I am telling the doctor why I have eleven stab-wounds.

Day 5

Bedridden all day due to injuries. Larry brought me breakfast in bed: an omelet and some orange juice. I take it all back; Larry’s a great guy. Choked on googly eyes in the omelet. Tried washing it down with the OJ. More googly eyes. Larry is awful and I wish a piano would fall on his head.

Day 6

Back to classes after my day of rest. Got new book bag. It’s really nice. Some guy on the street thought so too. He told me this. He also told me that he wanted it and would take it by force. Wanted to say something smart again. My mass internal bleeding coupled with my profuse external bleeding helped to change my mind.

Day 7

Met cute girl at 7-11 today. Introduced myself with style and wit. She responded and introduced herself with profanities and pepper spray. I can finally see again. Where’s my book bag?

College life is great.

~MATTHEW ZIMEL

Oh, hello there. Didn’t see you come in.

Hello all!

This is Moses 2.0 (or Matthew Zimel, as society has dubbed me), descending from the Mountain to bring you funny photos, short stories, articles, and anything else I’ve created to help ease the pain of this awful, terrible thing that we’re all stuck with, called ‘life.’ So, welcome aboard.

I hope you have as much fun as I do.

~Moses 2.0 (Matthew Zimel)