There is a mattress in my dining room again, which I consider a bad sign because it’s a heavy thing, and not only do heavy things weigh you down, but you’re supposed to reach a point in life—aren’t you?—when you’re past mattresses being dumped on you where they don’t belong. I thought I’d reached that point, but to make matters worse, this is not [Read more…]
I have chest pains. I’m serious. I am five minutes away from calling an ambulance. The only thing stopping me is that my friend Milt recently called an ambulance because he felt chest pains, and it turned out he was having a panic attack, which is not life-threatening but just as expensive. The ambulance charges the same for panic attacks as it does for pulling you back from the precipice of death—roughly the rate of a pair of healthy human kidneys on Chinese eBay. I hear I should call the fire department instead, because they provide EMS, and it’s cheaper than ambulances. I’m probably having a run-of-the-mill heart attack anyway, not a stroke or a pulmonary embolism or anything special—no paddles necessary. Very [Read more…]
Funny thing: When you donate your body to science, they don’t actually keep it. For me this was a surprise. I thought that was the whole point. When my mother donated her body to science back before she died in 1991, she did it so she wouldn’t be a burden, she said. And I get it. She died way too young, and we, her idiot spawn, were unequipped to deal with the bureaucracy of burial and such. Our heads were not in the right place. Imagine having to deal with funeral arrangements in your twenties. My mother imagined it, and rightly understood we’d be inept at it. So [Read more…]
I was raised in a trailer two miles north of the Tijuana border. Or maybe that’s open to interpretation, because I wasn’t actually raised there, but I did live there for a while with my mother. Still, I’m fond of this part of my personal history because I think it makes me an authority on all things Mexican, especially food and tequila. Did you know, for instance, that the margarita cocktail was (possibly) inspired by a German bar patron named Marguerite? I bet you did not know that. I see your eyes are rolling back. It must be because you’re so stunned by [Read more…]
When I was a kid, I feared the apocalypse. But religion just angered my mother. When the pasty neighborhood Pentecostals approached us on the sidewalk, extending their damp pamphlets and their harbingers of doom, my mother would stick her arm out traffic-cop style and shout, “Get back!,” like she was warding off an attack by bears. I think it was probably the fear part of religion that angered her the most, which is ironic, because [Read more…]
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