Category Archives: tall-tale-ish musings


So, uh. My name is Matt, I guess. And I’m a Shockers-addict. (deep breath) Wow, uh. Never in a million years did I think I could say those words, gosh. Oh for the visitors out there, a “shocker” is a nickel-sized candy, of the Sweet Tart family, but more chewy and much more sour. Wickedly-tasty and unfortunately for the hundreds of thousands like me, highly addictive. (cough)

When you eat one, as many of you know, taste-buds that have lied dormant in man for thousands of years suddenly spring to life – WHOOSH – shockers_new05.jpgand what follows is some kind of nucleo-chemical reaction of sorts that can only really be described as, pardon my vulgarity, an orgasmic experience. Addicts commonly refer to that initial moment the shocker hits the tongue as “sour street,” you know, “I’m taking a walk on sour street.” I’ve also heard, “Dippy Time,” and “Screwing the Jew,” the latter mostly in the midwest.

After that initial surge, the pleasure doesn’t end there. I wish it did. Next comes the chewing phase, a.k.a. ‘Chew City’ ‘Chew Chew Train’ ‘The Pancake Express’ ‘Putting on that Jew-make-up’ and the like. The more experienced shocker eater will learn to flatten the candy until it’s thinner than an amoeba cell (had to the shit out of that one!) and just let it sit on your tongue for over an hour until every last sugar particle dissolves. All worries and fears dissolve with it, along with (as many of us found out the hard way) any desire to take care of yourself, pay the mortage bills on time, answer the doorbell, unless of course you’re expecting the Shocker-Man to deliver his next shipment. Gosh, you know, for nine years straight, I was living from one shocker to the next. Did a lot of things I’m not proud of. Sold my entire pog collection for one pack of shockers back in ’98. Dressed up as a purple shocker three Halloweens in a row (jerry-rigged an old California Raisins costume if you’re curious). Pushed a girl down a well. Um. Dark times indeed.

But here I am, thank God. Haven’t had a shocker for, let’s see, three minutes, so I’m well on my way. But there are so many who aren’t so lucky. Who “took a left on sour street,” so to speak, and just kept on walking, down past those famous “salty dunes,” sinking deeper and deeper into the “shock-sand,” as they say, until sadly they eventually, “lost their hamster in a jew fight.” Again the latter expression coming pretty exclusively from this small town Atkinson, Nebraska. You can get a pretty delicious roast beef sub there. So here’s to those who’ve fallen! By the way, anybody got a mento?


Filed under fictiony, tall-tale-ish musings

my balls dreams

So this is pretty hard for me but, here goes nothing. Ok um. I’ve had two “balls dreams” in my life. Firstly, what’s a balls dream? (valid question) Well, a balls dream, as I see it, is when you’re dreaming, and you’re with someone (a female friend, your mom), someone who wouldn’t normally have balls in the real world, and uh, you’re dreaming, you’re talking about Episcopalians, the flat tax, whathaveyou, and then POOF, this person shows you her balls! Just, lays em out, down come the pants (or the skirt), and out come the balls, just completely, you know, nothing sexual, just something that shouldn’t be there, is, for some reason, uh oh, they’re there! Make sense? Um. Balls.

And uh. My first balls dream was way back in elementary school. This girl who I was sort of friendly with, but was also sort of in competition with in terms of who was smartest in the class, this girl, we’ll call her “Megan,” she showed up in my dream one night out of the blue (you can see where this is going). We’re talking about the latest homework assignment or something, I don’t really remember the details, but what I do remember is that big set of balls she sticks out of the front of her shorts. Doesn’t say anything, doesn’t want approval for her balls. Are they too oily? No, none of that. (gross!) She just puts em out there. They look like a second chin only much much lower. And, yeah, since that balls dream, I never could look at Megan the same, cause that’s what balls dreams do! They completely taint perfectly cordial relationships. Because it’s impossible to get that image out of your head. She became Megan-balls for the rest of time I knew her (she’s still Megan-balls somewhere!) and there’s nothing I could do about it. (sigh)

And the reason I’m writing about this is that last week, I had my second balls dream! My boss. My female boss. We’ll call her “Stephie”. We’re discussing “the Internet,” in my dream. I’ve giving her my big shbeel about what I think the web can do. She’s smiling. She’s impressed. But little do I know, perhaps a little too impressed, I look down, whoops, she has some balls. Don’t look. Oh man, I looked. Happy, dangly balls, she has some. They’re just out and about, getting some air. “As you were saying about the magic of the web?” Stephie smiles politely. I’m frozen. “Uh…well the um…” I fumble, I stutter and BOOM, I wake up, sweaty, confused, but with the deep down understanding that (sigh) I now work for Stephie-Balls. There was no way around it. “Did you get the Fed Ex out, Matt?” “Uh, yep,” I chirp. Balls. “Did you think the promo was confusing at all, Matt?” Balls balls. “No I thought it was actually one of the better ones we’ve done.” “Oh really, that’s good to hear.” Ballsyballballsbouncyballyballs. And more balls. (sigh)

Yep. I know. It’s a curse. But what can you do? Two balls dreams in 25 years is not too shabby I guess, right? I’m just nervous a little. Um. I hope that one of you (my ball-less friends reading this) isn’t the next to go the way of the balls. God forbid I have a balls dream about someone I really deeply care about. (sigh) And those are my balls dreams.


Filed under anecdotes, office, stephie, tall-tale-ish musings


Lately, yeah, I’ve had this weird dream problem where – ok, I’m dreaming about something normal, walking down the street or whatnot, but as soon as my dreams start to skew off into the fantastical, for example, I’m walking down the street and suddenly encounter a giant flying yarnball asking me directions to the nearest meatshop- my mind immediately rejects my dream and I wake up! It’s as if my brain is like, “Nah, sorry I don’t buy it. Yarnballs? Get serious,” and I’m quickly pulled ball-of-yarn-1.jpgout of crazyland back into hot-bedroom-land! Yeah, I’ve turned into this boring, literal dreamer all of a sudden (I never thought I’d say that), and it sucks, it plain sucks. I understand people that can’t suspend their disbelief in the waking state but come on, dreams are all about weirdo, exploding bluebirds and, I don’t know, Finnish scientists walking all slanty, spaceships morphing into goats – I want my yanrballs back, I’m not kidding. Bring back the yarnballs please, I’m suffocating – I can’t – I just – I can’t dream about the coffee-machine at work anymore. Or stamps. Help me please. Help me find my yarnballs again. Yarnball. Blehh.


Filed under office, tall-tale-ish musings

no clearance in niche

So yeah I had one of those “no clearance in niche” dreams again last night where I fall into the subway tunnel for one reason or another (I dropped my ipod this time), and of course the train starts coming, I’m all frantic, trying to climb back on the platform (which is just too high for me to get back up obviously), and my only recourse then is to test the validity of that famous slogan you see everywhere: no clearance in niche. Um. But each time, just as I squeeze my body into that rectangular hole, as worried subway-goers yellingly remind me, “Wait! There’s no clearance in that niche!” (as if I’d forgotten), just as those headlights draw near and that enormous metallic knife is about to presumably chop me in half, I wake up for crying out loud! I wake up sweaty, half-relieved that my spinal-cord wasn’t severed, but half-frustrated (maybe it’s actually 30/70 in favor of frustration), cause part of me really wants to know, is there actually for real no clearance in that niche? Even for me? Someone who just recently found out after a visit to The American Museum of Natural History (and I don’t mean to toot my own horn or anything) that he’ll only weigh .620lbs on the surface of Haley’s Comet? Even no niche-room for me?

Anyway, I’ve always (since birth practically) been curious why they put that warning there in the first place? Did some over-confident (perhaps over-plump as well?) MTA worker once get caught on the wrong side of an oncoming train falsely-thinking, “Oh I have clearance in this niche, no big deal.” Then, SQUOOSH. “What happened to Fred?” “Well he thought he had clearance in that niche.” “You mean that little rectangular thing?” “It’s deceivingly small, Bill.” “Really?” “Well Fred was over-plump too.” “Maybe we should put a sign there just in case.” “Fred was fat just admit it.” “Yeah you’re right. Talk about a crash diet.” “Wow Bill, you’re on fire tonight.”

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Filed under tall-tale-ish musings, throwing it out there

the biter and the scratcher

Basically back in nursery school, I only had to worry about two things: the biter and the scratcher. It gives me chills even thinking about them. These were two kids that, for one reason or another (I blame parenting), they decided to express themselves through biting and scratching respectively, and yeah, I was really scared of them. childsmonetpainting_tcm4-118616.jpgLike, really scared, to the point of, well let’s just say even if one of them was using a crayon I desperately needed to finish the tops of my trees or whatever, I would have been like, “Forget it,” which was pretty huge for me cause I took my landscapes really seriously back then (still do).

Both kids mostly kept to themselves unless you invaded their dens and BAM, they sprang, with ill consequence. One kid Matt Yerman (who oddly enough used to vomit once every year in class all over everything) got entangled with the biter and was left with a gash across his forehead the size of a thermos, his parents picked him up, he needed four stitches, and he missed snack! Part of me always wanted to see the scratcher go up against the biter (sort of like Godzilla versus MechaGodzilla) but no such fireworks occurred.

The scratcher eventually moved away but the biter stayed around and we ended up becoming quasi-friendly in high school. Yeah, we had choir class together. Needless to say, he kicked his habit, but of course I couldn’t resist, one day I half-brought-it-up, “Do you remember in nursery school sometimes maybe biting people or whatever?” And he was totally shocked, he had no memory of being called the biter and, in fact, he doubted he’d ever been able to bite anyone. I assured him, “Oh you bit people. You bit them big time.” And he got sort of mad that I kept pushing it, and then he got real quiet. I can only imagine what was flashing through his head, fragments of memories of tearing young flesh I suppose, carnage he’d neatly tucked away in his psyche until I reawakened him to what he really was: a beast. He committed suicide three days later. No I’m kidding, but he did quit choir, which was sort of a shame, cause he had a really great falsetto.

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happy ignorance

fortune-cookie.jpgI was sitting waiting for some Chinese take-out the other night and the people behind the counter started conversing boisterously, presumably in Chinese, and I had this deep feeling all of a sudden: I really wished I knew what they were talking about, cause, for one, they seemed pretty entertained and, also, in my conceited mind, I wanted to make sure they weren’t making fun of my new mock-turtle-neck (why did I wear it out of the apartment anyway??).

But then it hit me: that the not-knowing was somehow even more soothing, cause it preserved this mystery forever. I’d never know what they were talking about and that was a-ok, since if for some miracle I learned Mandarin (or Cantonese?) in that instant, this mystery-bubble would most likely burst once I realized, oh she’s just talking about getting flood insurance cause her sister recommended it. Wow, that’s um, sort of, oh Chicken with String beans, that’s me.

And this happy ignorance reminds of when sometimes you just wake up from a nap, you know, you’re still sort of in sleep-mode, you open your eyes and the first thing you see is what appears to be a wooden dragon! And you’re like, “Um, what’s a wooden dragon doing in my room?”  You’re sort of startled, so you squint your eyes (this all happens in an instant), you study the image and it still looks like a wooden dragon, wow! And for this split second you feel a rush, you feel touched by a magic of some kind, a mystery, an unknown.

dragonwood2.png But then you turn your head just a hair and you see the wooden dragon for what it really is: a hanger caught on a shirt funny. And you try to make it look like a wooden dragon again but you can’t, no matter how you turn your neck or whatever. The bubble burst. And you’re all like, “Jeez I never should have moved my head, cause then the magic would still be there.”

That’s sort of what I mean by happy ignorance, embracing the not-knowing, prolonging that feeling of mystery and swimming in it.

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Filed under anecdotes, tall-tale-ish musings, throwing it out there

hey you got something right there…

Can someone please remind me what the etiquette is when a person clearly has a piece of food on his face cause, the other day, I’m eating lunch at this soul food place with some coworkers, one guy orders corn-on-the-cob, so yeah, you can do the math. I tell the guy when I notice he has a kernel of corn just above his upper lip, “Hey, you have a little piece of something over there,” and he gets visibly offended, “Yeah I know, I was about to wipe my face, calm down there.” corn.jpgAll my coworkers laughed, I felt pretty embarrassed, all because I was trying to do the right thing and avoid his embarrassment of having food on his face! But instead it got all twisted, you know, and it was sort of implied that I was in love with this guy or something cause if I noticed the corn on his face quickly, I must have been watching his face pretty intently (that’s ridiculous coworker logic for you!)

Things have blown over at work but for the time-being, I’ve been on a courtesy-hiatus when it comes to this: now if I see anything on anyone’s face that shouldn’t be there, I keep my mouth shut. Let someone else point it out cause I’m done. Just know that other people may use the fact that you have food all over your face against you (cause it is pretty funny). They might say something snooty like, “Dude, you’re all over the place,” or “Ever heard of a napkin, Einstein?” Whew! It’s a brutal world, for sure.

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Filed under crazy world, etiquette, restaurant, tall-tale-ish musings