The Museum of Sudden Disappearances

MUSEUM available as an ebook at Amazon Or, for temporal travelers, PAST IS PRESENT at Amazon.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Collision, Collusion, Confusion


(a tale of total terror)

Headlights whitened her rearview mirror that night, suggesting two small UFOs weaving side to side, speeding toward her car stopped at a traffic light. She was backlit in the front seat, frozen in light and shadows. In a nanosecond, she understood this was a game-changer on a lonely stretch of road. If the other driver didn't apply the...

The oncoming truck thundered into her trunk, hitting her Bernie for President 2016 bumper sticker, turning her car into a squeezebox on wheels. Barbara Wanderly saw the dashboard roaring toward her as she smashed face-first into the steering wheel, oblivious to the tornado of metal, vinyl and glass.

Time passed. Paramedics rushed the unconscious woman to the nearest hospital. It was after two a.m. on June 16, 2015 when Barbara, strapped to a gurney, rolled out of the ambulance under a starry sky. Comatose. Adrift in a netherworld.

Later that day, Donald Trump stepped off a golden escalator and officially announced his candidacy for the presidency.

Barbara remained in a coma, and was eventually transferred to a nursing home. Months blurred by; years were a rolling fog. Until one morning her eyes blinked open. She heard a vaguely familiar voice nearby. She felt a bed beneath her, and saw a large, strange room with beeping monitors and bedridden strangers.

“Hello?” she said. Her voice sounded faraway.

A teenage girl in a blue smock appeared above Barbara’s head.

Barbara remembered headlights. “What’s the…date?”

The wide-eyed nurse’s aide said, “April 1, 2019.”

After Barbara processed that, she managed a weak smile. “Who won? Hillary Clinton...or Jeb Bush?”

Confusion clouded the girl’s eyes. She leant back, pointed at a TV set suspended from the ceiling, the source of the familiar voice.

“Excuse me, excuse me!” The speaker's right hand moved in the air with the geometrical precision of a hummingbird. “No collusion! Fake news! That much I can tell you, believe me! No collusion!" 

Barbara saw an afternoon press conference on the White House lawn. Reporters faced a president with orange hair combed in multiple directions. He was chattering about...a car accident? An automobile collusion? He denied colluding into a car full of...Russians. The police report was a hoax. "No collision, no collusion!" he said.

Barbara squinted—no, it can’t be—and recognized the new president. “Where am I?”

The girl said, “Fairfax Nursing Home.”


United States.”

Barbara felt a surreal jolt. Her hospital bed spun like a top. Was she awake, dreaming, vegetative? 

She concluded: I'm in a parallel world.

Barbara Wanderly, vowing to swim back to consciousness in a couple of years for an update, sank into the safety of her netherworld.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Salvation Tip for Spiritual Dogs

Ready? Set? Get your Pet...into Paradise

Is there room for pets in Paradise? Of course. Would you want to spend eternity without your pet? No way. Heaven would be a hell-hole without Snuffles the dog or Muffy the six-toed cat.

"So," you ask, "how can my pet get kicked upstairs to the Sweet Hereafter? Wishing it will happen won't make it so. I want a guarantee."

What follows is a visionary tip. Read it here first, at the ever educational Museum of Sudden Disappearances. This is a simple, screamingly obvious, one-step procedure. Follow it, and Fido gets a ticket to join the angels.

The key step is baptism. A baptized baby has a shot at heaven, unless the baby grows up to be, say, Whitey Bulger, or goes through life saying the world's stupidest four words, "You got a haircut." An unbaptized baby, who grows up to be a world-class philanthropist, is still out of luck. No baptismal certificate? No heaven for you, buddy boy, you're undocumented.

Pooches with proper papers 
ride this escalator to Paradise.

The same applies to pets. Dogs and cats, once baptized, are eligible for Heaven. Unless they bite the mailman or crap on the carpet, which is a mortal sin, and may result in their heading in the wrong direction. In which case they'll spend eternity in Doggie Hell, tied to a post outside of Satan's Supermarket, stranded by the automatic sliding doors, facing the plate glass windows, whining, and wondering why their master refuses to exit the store after a million years. 

Trixie last saw her master back in 992,084 B.C. Still waiting.

Satan's Supermarket is open 24/7 x eternity. Once dog owners grab a shopping cart and enter, they never come out again. This is what's in store for Fido if he craps on the carpet, and then pretends he didn't do it and dummies up with that look on his face that says, "I've been framed!" Next stop: Doggie Hell. And it's Fido's own damn fault. There'll be no leg-lifting on the Big Fire Hydrant in the Sky for him.

Bunnie & Clyde, pantry robbers, 
paying the price in Doggie Hell.

Mr. Munchie peed on the rug, then blamed the mailman.
 Now he's inmate #6789X at Hades for Hounds.

Let's move on to the nitty.

You ask: "How can my pet get baptized? Because I don't think my neighborhood church provides this service."

holy water font

Solution: buy a lawn sprinkler at the hardware store, and a whole lot of garden hose. You may have to hit several Home Depots to get enough hose. Set the sprinkler on your front lawn. Connect the extremely long hose to the sprinkler, and run the other end into the River Jordan. If Lourdes, France is closer to your shack, access that. Or simply have your parish priest come to your house and bless your water tank or water pipes.

Now you're ready to rock the sprinkler. Turn it on, and watch holy water spray the air in oscillating waves. Your job is done. Go inside, watch TV. Nature is about to take its spiritual course.

It's a hot summer day. Dogs do what dogs do. This:

"Wow, Scooter, this hits the spot! Arf arf!"

Then the news travels around the neighborhood (this is why the sprinkler must be located in the front, for maximum visibility, not the back yard). Pretty soon...

"Yo, Baxter and Toodles, this is grrrrrrrrreat!"

Baxter: "Don't hog all the holy water, Chuckie!"
Chuckie: "I ain't."
Toodles: "Are so."
Chuckie: "No way."

And then everyone is in on it.

From across the street, the McMutt family drops by. As you can see, Mrs. McMutt believes that getting spayed is a mortal sin. "Don't get spayed," she said, "get sprayed."

Catrina Scratchowski, the next-door neighbor, joins the party.

Even the neighborhood trash can inspector arrives.

What happens when our furry friends get blasted with holy water? You guessed it: Rapture. Check these photos: two neighborhood dogs ascending toward that Fire Hydrant in the Clouds. Within five minutes, as they rose like balloons, neither dog could be seen with the naked eye. 

Scooter Adams (left) and Yo-Yo Schneider:

Fyodor Dogstoyevsky takes flight.

Charles Barkley waves bye-bye.

You ask, "What if the neighborhood pet refuses to run through the sprinkler?"

Answer: this is what happens when you dance with the devil.

Hell cat (for real)

Devil dog (oh, Hell yeah!)

No sprinklers for this little dude, and now he's payin' the price.

On the other hand, this guy (below) earned his wings. How? By never amputating the mailman's leg or doggedly sniffing people's zippers. Or breaking into the pantry, eating a two-pound bag of dry rice, getting diarrhea, redecorating the living room, and rendering the house into...well, an EPA-designated hazardous waste dump.

"My name's Sparky. I never made a mess. I knew how to hold it in...all day long!"

Finally, your holy water lawn sprinkler not only offers salvation, but signifies diversity. Which explains how this little nitwit got in on the action. His name is Gerald Jitters. Mr. Jitters is adjusting the water pressure prior to his baptism.

"I got every right to be here too," proclaimed Mr. Jitters.

Gerald Jitters demanded equal access to the holy water, which is guaranteed by the inscription on the Statue of Poochie. Gerald recited from memory:

Statue of Poochie
(on Belle Isle in the Detroit River)

"Gimme your tired, your poor pets, and your chewy toys. Your huddled squirrels yearning to breathe free in a tree or on a telephone pole. The wretched raccoons of your teeming garbage cans. Send these, the homeless hounds, tempest-tost kitties. I lift my hind leg beside the golden hydrant and shout, 'Life! Liberty! And Triple Flavor Kabobs!'"

BONUS: Within 60 feet of that sprinkler, all dead grass will rise from the dirt, like Lazarus. Lourdes meets lawn care.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

America's #1 Cliche


Can this cliche be stopped?

Hospital ER's Overwhelmed by Verbal Tic Infection

Summer is here. You enjoy a walk in the woods. There's nothing like getting in touch with nature while wearing headphones (noise-canceling, killer cans the size of hubcaps), smoking designer weed nicknamed BrainBurst, while littering beer cans on the hiking trail and sending Zenlike texts to your friends, which cryptically say: K. As you know, that ticks them off.

Which brings to mind "ticks." Ewww. The woods are dangerous, filled with ticks and poison ivy. Perhaps a barefoot walk in your silk micro briefs with mesh ventilation wasn't so smart. At least the smoke from BrainBurst repels the mosquitoes and tsetse flies. Bravo: you had the sense to leave the other designer bud at home, the one called InstaComa. Let's face it, tripping on a dead tree stump crawling with maggots, then collapsing into a doob-induced, three-day coma in the middle of bear and rattlesnake country...isn't what Joni Mitchell had in mind when she sang Woodstock

I'm going to camp out (pass out?) on the land
I'm going to try an' get my soul free
We are stardust
We are golden

But you're nothing if not sensible. Still, you ask: What's the #1 tick in America?

Here at The Museum of Sudden Disappearances, we have no idea. But we can certainly reveal the #1 Verbal Tic in America. And deep down, you already know it. In a sense, it's so obvious, it's hidden. Hidden within plain sound. It's a cyst on society's sociolinguistic tongue.

Note the glazed eyeballs, 
symptomatic of verbal tic addiction
(see Physicians' Desk Reference, page 666).

Before we mention it, beware. Once you see the phrase written here, you will make note, and remember it. The problem? You can never again not hear it. So be warned, you will hear it at least several times each after day after day after day. And each time you hear it, your psychological well-being will take a hit, resulting in an unending erosion of your psyche. Think of it as the verbal equivalent of a cattle prod, a nasty jolt to the ears. 

Still with us? You've been warned. You can stop reading and hit the Museum's exit, hit the crash bar on the door and flee. Otherwise, at the end of the day, you may start to lose your composure. You may punch your head through a wall as America's #1 Verbal Tic grinds into your ears. Because...

Come on, people. How many times have you heard " the end of the day...blah blah blah." Turn on the TV news. The radio. Hear it in daily discourse. Over and over like a drumbeat. It's the go-to mindless mantra of our times. These six words, "At the end of the day," have replaced these six words, "When all is said and done." Remember that? Remember when everyone said, "When all is said and done..." Those six words were interchangeable with these six words: "When you get right to it..."

Why is it always six words? Consider this...

Book of Revelation. The Number of the Beast: 666. What if 666 is a Biblical, apocalyptic reference, foreseeing the three dominant verbal tics of the 21st century, which will usher in endtimes? Imagine the world getting incinerated, not by nuclear war, but by a widespread, verbal tic exploding our brains. A weaponized cliche which, after you hear it for the quadrillionth time, detonates inside your skull.

At the end of the day at the end of the day at the end of the day at the end of the day at the end of the day I want to drop to my knees and flat-out scream (like James Brown, live at the Apollo) because at the end of the day I'm at my wit's end.....

How creepy is this? An actual photo of a verbal tic getting under your skin. The tic flies out of your radio while you're listening to a sobering, educational interview on NPR. The tic lands on your ear lobe, burrows in. Now, each time you hear "...(because) at the end of the day," the tic torpedoes a little further along in your bloodstream, heading for your brain.

All we need is to be needed? Is this dude serious? No. All we need is to never again hear, you know, those...six words.

Yes, even Lebron James got bit by the tic at this year's NBA Finals.

No. Caption incorrect. It should read: Lebron says " the end of the day, we were down two games, but, you know, at the end of the day it's just day's end which is at the end of the day."

If you made it this far, if you're down here reading're infected. You're aware of the most overused, verbal crutch of the 21st century. Next time you turn on your TV or radio, be warned: the tick will fly out of the speakers and head for your head. It may take a half hour. Or seconds. 

tic transmitter

How will you regain your sanity? You have one option. It's a medical procedure not covered by your insurance. Blue Cross Blue Shield does not cover verbal-tic removal. So you're gonna have to pony up the big bucks. 

This poor dude (pictured below) turned on the radio, and within four measly minutes the tic flew out and hit him in the sweet spot. Mr. Lovejoy was rushed to Massachusetts General Eye, Ear and Tic Clinic, where a surgical team succeeded in flicking the tick. Per doctor's orders, the patient can never again turn on the news.

Perhaps you ask: "What if the patient goes outside and hears someone saying " the end of the day," and is again hit by the tic, and has a relapse? 

Well, we Americans are known for our can-do spirit. Look how Mr. Lovejoy and his son, Dudley, solved the problem.  

Whenever Mr. Lovejoy and Dudley emerge from the bunker, they're always dressed in their Calvin Klein beekeeper suits. In the (inevitable) chance that someone stops them on the street, and says, "Hello Mr. Lovejoy and little Dudley! Just so you two know, at the end of the day, I am at peace because my intentions are good and my heart is pure." 

Not to worry. The Lovejoys will be protected. That verbal tic will fly from the speaker's mouth, but bounce off the Lovejoys' beekeeper masks. 

So you see, a beekeeper mask can prevent Armageddon. This blog entry ends on a positive note (after a litany of horror). Because here at The Museum of Sudden Disappearances...

...we're all about being super positive (six words).

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Why Facebook is a Digital Pee Pad

The Darkly Dark Side of Facebook

From this...

The #DeleteFacebook movement is accelerating in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica fiasco. this.

Aside from stealing data and subverting elections, an overlooked question remains. In a sense, is Mark Zuckerberg...a cyber Santa Claus?

Cyber Santa: "Ho ho ho!"

Said another way: Is Facebook like a giant quilt of Christmas cards? Billions and billions of electronic, holiday greeting cards? A digital daisy-chain of bullshit that celebrates Christmas year round?

The answer is obvious. 

Ah, holiday greetings, mailed or emailed at Christmas. Here’s a boiled-down definition of many Christmas cards: one-upmanship. Here’s a boiled-down definition of one-upmanship: national pastime.
This kid just got a Christmas card...and can't believe how narcissistic it is.

We’ve all received that heartfelt card from a faraway friend. Their radiant letter requires sunglasses to read it. Ninety-nine percent of the message is a yearly round-up of the friend’s gilt-edged life and accomplishments, a shimmering success in every respect, nary a misstep. And worthy of capitalist canonization, whatever that means. For instance:

Dear Museum of Sudden Disappearances,

Merry Christmas! I stayed hammered for two weeks on the beach in Tahiti, celebrating my promotion as CEO of ExxonMobil. When I returned to my Bel-Air crib, I replaced all the chandeliers and bought seven Lamborghinis on a whim. I call them my Mondaymobile, Tuesdaymobile...oh, you get the picture. Then, holy smokes, things finally improved when Columbia Pictures called and begged me to star opposite Jennifer Lawrence in...blah blah blah.

The final 1% of the missive? At the very bottom, the focus shifts, and the missive becomes dismissive. You find this niggling afterthought:

PS: I see you’re still living at the same address.

Think of that PS as a 9mm pistol equipped with a suppressor. You almost can't hear the shot. It's almost a masterpiece of subtlety.

photo of a "subtle insult" delivery system

Gore Vidal understood the holiday spirit: "It is not enough to succeed. Others must fail." 

Gore Vidal, an honest Ebenezer Scrooge

Enough. Let’s return to Facebook. Let’s imagine a Facebook member whose name is Sonny.

To Sonny, Facebook is his daily Christmas card to the world of friends and unfriends, showing the I-don’t-give-a-shit planet that Sonny’s life is a nonstop holiday. His posts and updates are digital documentation of his deified destiny. Via pictures and text, we see Sonny as the gold standard for humanoids. A life coach on steroids. Batman vs. Superman? Alien vs. Predator? How about...Sonny vs. Tony Robbins?

Hardly anyone (capable of shame) posts selfies after a five-day binge—tattered bathrobe, bewildered hair, maroon eyes, and a silver string swinging from their lower lip. Oops. That’s drool, a slo-mo yo-yo.

An honest selfie, the one you never see on Facebook.

Sonny posts photoshopped pics of himself on Rodeo Drive, entering the showroom (by invitation only) of the House of Bijan, the world's snootiest store. Everyone seeing his FB page feels like a total zero, calls Uber, and heads to the nearest bridge in tears.

Sonny's Facebook profile picture

But Sonny fibs. Sonny lives with Cher, his significant other. Sonny’s hunkered down on his PC, on the top floor of a rundown three-decker, with an overheated space-heater that uses two ten-foot extension cords that scream fire hazard. In the tiny kitchen by the yellow pee pad (a flattened newspaper), Cher Nobyl, a Russian Spaniel, is having a meltdown and barking. Translation: “Yo! I gotta poo! Lemme out before I have a Cher Nobyl disaster!” 

What's up? Me. I'm #1. Me is the pee that hits the world's pad.

The vulgar slang, "Up yours," comes from the root word: one-upmanship. The one-up people think they are the pee, and the world is their pad. Tired of feeling one-upped on Facebook, and feeling belittled and piddled on?

The Pee Pad Plebeians are rising up. The PPP Revolution has begun.

If you #DeleteFacebook, you eliminate #SelfLoathing. You regain endless hours of your life. It's an easy, three-step program. Be a three-stepper.



Then buy an overpriced MPPGA red hat, and make every day a holiday!