Friday, February 17

Lost Friday - "One Of Them."

Season 2 - Episode 14 - "One Of Them."

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Another Lost Friday is upon us. We have much to discuss.

This was an odd episode. Odd in that it was important, heavy and extremely conducive to the plot; however, this was all accomplished with a handful of characters and only three storylines. A true Lost rarity, considering their cast is a little over two dozen at this point.

What they did this week they did very well, throwing just the right amounts of mythology and conflict into a truly exciting and dark episode, on the heels of yet another week of reruns.

So, how'd they pull it off? For that, we go to the skinny, courtesy of Wikipedia:

In flashback, the 1991 American invasion of Iraq is underway. Sayid is seen ordering soldiers to burn and shred documents. Some are resisting, and as Sayid's commander orders them to continue, American troops burst in and attempt to identify the commanding officer. Sayid informs them their commanding officer has abandoned them.

Sayid is held captive by the Americans, who have captured his CO. Acting as a translator, Sayid attempts to get his CO to reveal the location of a captive American pilot. Sayid's CO tells him to grab the American's gun and kill as many as he can. Pressured by the Americans, Sayid resorts to torture and learns that the pilot was executed. Though he is thanked by the Americans, who are pulling out, Sayid vows never to torture again.

On the island, Ana-Lucia takes Sayid into the jungle and he tells her to go back after seeing a woman walking nearby. Sayid follows the women quietly; it is Danielle. She tells him she was looking for him and was going to come to his tent that night. She asks him to follow her, but he doesn't trust her, since the last time they met she set up a diversion and stole Claire's baby. She gives him her gun as a symbol of trust.

She takes him to a man she captured, who is in a net hanging from a tree. Danielle tells Sayid not to let him go, because she thinks he is "one of them". The man identifies himself as Henry Gale from Minnesota, saying he crashed in a hot-air balloon on the island about four months ago. Sayid frees the man, who attempts to flee before Danielle shoots him in the back with an arrow. When Sayid says she almost killed him, she replies that if she wanted to kill him she would have done so already. She says that he must be tied up and brought to their doctor.

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(Rousseau and Kate giddily discuss boys, hair products and pillow fights.)

Meanwhile, Sawyer is unable to sleep due to a chirping noise coming from the jungle. He asks Jin to help him but he ignores Sawyer. Sawyer goes into the jungle and finds Hurley eating from a hidden stash of food from the hatch. Hurley says a tree frog is making the noise. Sawyer blackmails Hurley into tracking the tree frog, agreeing not to tell anyone else that Hurley has a secret stash of food.

Sayid brings Henry to the hatch and tells Locke the man claimed he and his wife were in a hot air balloon that crashed on the island. Jack interrupts and notices Henry's injury. Sayid says they wanted to learn as much as they can about the man while he is still wounded. Jack intervenes and treats the man by removing the arrow from his shoulder. Sayid asks Locke to change the combination so he can find out more by torturing Henry. Sayid tells Jack to put him in the armory so no one else will see him. There, Sayid closes the door behind him, locking out Jack and Locke.

Sayid interrogates Henry, who says he and his wife were in a hot air balloon crossing the pacific ocean when they crashed four or more months ago on the north shore. He said he was rich because he owned a company that mined for non-metallic minerals. He met his wife at the University of Minnesota. She got sick with a fever and died three weeks ago. He describes his hot air balloon and says he dug his wife's grave near where they crashed.

Meanwhile, Sawyer and Hurley find the frog. Hurley offers to release it deeper in the jungle, but Sawyer suddenly kills the frog in his hand.

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(Under an HMO, this is usually the best hospital you can get.)

Henry is unable to recount the specific details of burying his wife. Sayid believes he is lying about his identity, stating he would know everything about digging his wife's grave. He beats Henry as Jack and Locke listen from outside. Jack takes action by holding Locke, telling him he will only let him go if he opens the door. The timer goes below a minute and Locke complies by unlocking the armory. Locke arrives at the computer and begins typing the code. However, in his haste he mistypes and has to waste time correcting it. As the timer passes zero, Egyptian hieroglyphs are displayed accompanied by the sound of a machine "spooling up," like a jet engine turbine. Locke presses two buttons on the computer which are presumably the code, resetting the clock and causing the sound to die down. Jack stops Sayid and locks Henry back in the armory.

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(Man, Claire gets scooped up so much, she should come with handles.)

Sayid is back on the beach talking to Charlie about what happened in the hatch. He thinks Henry is an "Other" because he feels no guilt about torturing him. He states Jack and Locke will never understand that feeling, because they have forgotten what the Others have done to them. He asks Charlie if he remembers that the Others hanged him from the tree and that the Others are merciless.

Well, there you go. There's a lot to pick apart this week, so let's go to the numbers.

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(What is she holding under her arm? A trout? Just curious.)

4. The first big easter egg of the episode was the realization that Kate's dad was responsible for the initial capture of Sayid during the Gulf war. If that didn't hammer the point home hard enough, we were treated to a nice (real) photo of Kate when she was younger. The big question is if Kate and Sayid will ever make this connection.

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("For British eyes only.")

Speaking of the flashbacks, take a look at the top secret footage that was shown to Sayid. You'll notice that the code numbers on the frame read 23108-42. Yet another little writers secret that will keep me up at night, speculating.

Personally, I believe that Henry Gale is an Other. Sayid's right; he would have remembered burying his wife in perfect detail, considering that he apparently did it three short weeks ago. Also, it should be noted that Sayid beat the living hell out of him; truly one of the more violent scenes we've seen on the show. That little smirk that Henry shoots Sayid just after Jack restrains him was enough to make me want to jump through the TV and kick him in the face myself. This was a good episode for Naveen Andrews to show off his acting chops; he was incredibly convincing.

8. Henry Gale is the name of Dorothy's uncle on The Wizard of Oz. Take that into consideration when you think about the hot-air-balloon connection. Another argument that Henry is lying.

15. I'm firmly convinced that the writers included the Dharma ranch dressing into the show as a jab to those of us who were complaining about it a few weeks ago. If you remember, a lot of nerds like myself were upset that Michael would shoot a perfectly good gallon of dressing on an island with limited food as is. Now, we see that either Dharma really enjoys ranch, or Desmond really despised it. Your call.

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(As Charlie rambles on, Eko secretly wonders how fast he could saw him in half.)

16. The 'frog' scene with Sawyer and Hurley existed for one reason: To prove that Sawyer was an a-hole, plain and simple. He's such a likeable jerk, that they had to do something to prove he was really mean. Now, Sawyer has the goods on Hurley and Charlie both, so he can use that to dangle over their heads in the future. I especially liked Sawyer's "ranch dipping" comment.

23. Okay, let's pick apart this hatch business. The clock hit zero, the other 5 hatch symbols started to pop up (minus the Swan hatch, which they are in), and Locke hit the button just before all hell broke loose. That's what we know.

The 6 hatches seem to be represented by the 6 stations of the constellation Orion. They are the Goblet, the Arrow, the Swan, the Serpent Handler, the Hunter and the Crow. I looked it up. So far, we've seen two of these hatches. When that clock hit zero, it would seem like the other 5 hatches were being 'called up' in preparation for whatever happens when that button's not pressed. The sound was like something big was revving up, perhaps the blast doors were getting ready to drop.

Now, let's get creepy for a minute. The symbols themselves make enough sense in astrological and symbolic terms (also referring to the experiments that Dharma does in each hatch), but it was the order in which they came up on the clock that are cause for alarm. Heiroglyphics tells us that these symbols are essentially a command to die, or "Cause to die." See for yourself:

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(Well, something tells me that this will all end quite nicely.)

Does this prove that it's a self-destruct command, perhaps? Who the hell knows, not me.

42. If you haven't been a regular viewer of this page, you're probably not aware of my theory. Everyone has one, but mine still has yet to be disproven. In fact, after last night, it became even more of a possibility. Okay, here goes. Stay with me on this.

My theory is that the numbers are entered every 108 minutes to prevent satellite detection of the island. As long as the numbers are entered in the Electromagnetic hatch, the field it sends up is capable of making the island disappear to radar. This would allow Dharma and Hanso to do whatever they wanted on the island, and keep up the experiments essentially forever. The ultimate irony is that the castaways are essentially avoiding rescue by continually pressing the button.

In Dharma's mind, when the button's not pressed, that means that the station must be unmanned or what have you. Instead of an 'incident' (being finally detected and having their utopian society shut down), the clock simply 'wakes up' the other 5 hatches, drops the blast doors and self-destructs the whole damn works. No fuss, no muss. It's not a very exciting theory, but it makes more sense than any other theory I've heard so far. Prove me wrong.

If you've noticed, almost all of the photos this week are from the next new episode, entitled "Maternity Leave." This will be a Claire-centric episode, and from the looks of it, is going to be all kinds of crazy.

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("Welcome to Dharma Hospital. Cash only, please.")

Here's the breakdown on "Maternity Leave." Aaron gets sick. Claire starts to remember what happened to her when she was kidnapped by the others. Determined to find out what's wrong with Aaron, she tracks down where she was taken, which appears to me a medical-based hatch. Sort of like the Dharma Hospital. True, it doesn't fit in with the supposed symbols of the 6 hatches, but since it's a medical facility, it probably can be assumed that it's separate from the rest of the experimental hatches. From there, Jack and Locke try to keep quiet about the prisoner they have locked in the armory, and continue to attempt to get some answers.

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(A hatch inside of a hatch? You just blew my mind!)

Thanks for stopping by. I'll see you next Friday, if you happen to be one of those turds that only reads my page once a week. Sure, Lost Friday has been continuously recognized as the best weekly Lost recap on the net*, but my other stuff is pretty good, too. Check it out; you'll only be moderately disappointed. Contact me at communistdance@yahoo.com with any questions or nerd mail. As always, here are links to every Lost Friday on the planet:

SEASON TWO - EPISODE 13 REVIEW
SEASON TWO - RERUN EDITION: VOLUME 6

SEASON TWO - EPISODE 12 REVIEW
SEASON TWO - EPISODE 11 REVIEW
SEASON TWO - EPISODE 10 REVIEW
SEASON TWO - RERUN EDITION: VOLUME 5
SEASON TWO - RERUN EDITION: VOLUME 4
SEASON TWO - RERUN EDITION: VOLUME 3
SEASON TWO - EPISODE 9 REVIEW
SEASON TWO - EPISODE 8 REVIEW
SEASON TWO - EPISODE 7 REVIEW
SEASON TWO - EPISODE 6 REVIEW
SEASON TWO - RERUN EDITION: VOLUME 2
SEASON TWO - RERUN EDITION
SEASON TWO - EPISODE 5 REVIEW
SEASON TWO - EPISODE 4 REVIEW
SEASON TWO - EPISODE 3 REVIEW
SEASON TWO - EPISODE 1 REVIEW
SEASON TWO PREVIEW

*Sources not yet verified.

Thursday, February 16

Skyrockets In Flight.

The following post has been rated:
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For sexual content and dialogue. The saga continues...

Loud Neighbor Update - Part III
'The CDP Strikes Back.'

If you remember from this post, and this one that followed, we've been having some issues with our next door neighbors, with which we share a bedroom wall. Since late December, they have kept us up at night with their loud, almost acrobatic and Vaudeville-esque intimate moments.

For the first month, I ignored it and the Missus didn't even know it was happening. In January, it became a round-the-clock sex-travaganza that was impossible to escape from, driving me completely up the wall and into a bout of insomnia and irreversible alcoholism. In February, it started to attract the attention of the Missus, who isn't to be messed with when she's trying to get some sleep. Knowing that I'm about as productive as Duke in a 'don't suck' contest, she grabbed this matter by the short hairs and starting getting things done.

Finally, after two months of being annoyed, we wrote a firm-but-fair letter that we slipped in their door, politely telling them to stop bringing us into their sexual exploits. For those too lazy to go back and read it, here's the note that the Missus sent them:

Hello-

You don't know me, but I also live in this apartment complex and share a wall with you. You may not be aware of this, but the wall we share is paper thin. I appreciate the fact that you are a loving couple and therefore do what all loving couples do in the comfort of their bedroom. Unfortunately, I'm getting a bit tired of being made a part of it night after night. This is a polite request to perhaps watch the volume on your nighttime escapades. It is beginning to cause me a considerable amount of difficulty in sleeping and also, quite frankly, it's a bit uncomfortable to become unwillingly part of such an intimate part of your life. Thanks for your understanding!

Wouldn't you know it, the letter did the trick. We didn't hear them at all from that point forward.

For about three days, tops.

Now, the neighbors are back with a pornographic vengeance, and we're actually sleeping in the living room because they're so loud. I'm starting to think that they both have Tourette's Syndrome over there; and it makes me wonder how they convinced their respective families that they could function independently.

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(Bill Cosby sez: "Oh, no they didn't! With the yellin' and the kissin' and the shazza-frazza-blazzah! Eat your pudding.")

Yesterday, we stopped screwing around and took the issue to the leasing office. We're far too refined to start banging on the wall; we're going straight to the top, here. So, the Missus goes into the leasing office, and tries to be as tactful as possible with her story:

MISSUS: Um, I'm having a problem with my neighbors. At night, they-

LEASING OFFICE: You can hear them having sex, right?

MISSUS: Yes.

The Missus goes on to say that the noise started in late December, that we wrote them a note to no avail, and it's so loud we can't even sleep in our bedroom without getting charged $2.99 a minute.

So, the girl at the leasing office punches their apartment number into the computer, and makes an interesting discovery. First off, they have lived over there for three years. Keep in mind that I never heard so much as a peep or giggle from that side of the wall until after Christmas. Maybe they got something really exciting as a gift, and they're still celebrating it. Maybe a TiVo or a CraftMatic Adjustable Bed or something.

But, here's the kicker. They just got married...in late December. Interesting. This leads me to one of two possibilities.

1- They're trying to have a baby. This is what my first assumption was, considering that they were getting it on anywhere from 4:30 am to 4:22am on any given day of the week. A lot of couples try to get pregnant right after the wedding, as a way to instantly ruin their lives in one fell swoop. This is probably the most logical conclusion. I'm beginning to question their fertility, however. If she doesn't have a bun in the oven by now, it ain't never happening. In fact, we've become so ingrained into their lovemaking that I'm afraid the Missus is going to get pregnant by osmosis. If this were to happen, we shall name the baby 'Ungh!' in honor of the neighbors that made it all possible.

2- They waited until they were married to get it on. This concept is complete and utter bull rip. You don't live with your fiance' for three years, and choose to stay celibate until after the wedding. That's preposterous, and statistically impossible. It can't be done. Furthermore, if that's what you believed in, you wouldn't have moved in together before the wedding anyways. No way.

Well...maybe, I suppose. Almost impossible, but it seems highly unlikely. Judging from what I hear them say through the walls in the heat of passion, they don't seem like very religious people. I hear the mention of a God or Gods every now and again, but it's usually taken way out of context, and peppered with blasphemy.

So, it would seem like they are trying to get pregnant over there, and before the post-wedding decision to have a baby, their lovemaking was just too sparse to be noticed by me and the Missus. Good for them! However, like I have said in the past, I can deal with this situation a lot better than I can deal with a crying baby all the time. I cannot stand children; I probably won't be able to stand my own (I'm half-kidding, here).

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(Randy 'Macho Man' Savage sez: "Ooooh, yeah! The Macho Man is gunna take those fools down a peg or two! Are you gunna finish that sandwich?")

But look, baby or not, they are in violation of their lease by making so much noise in the middle of the night. Our leasing office wrote them up a letter, and they should be getting it when they come home from work today. I hate to rain on their baby sex parade (there's a search term I'll be seeing soon on my stats page), but I like to sleep, and their neighbors are far more mindful than ours when it comes to the business of getting down. Hopefully, upon getting a letter from the people they rent from, they will take it a bit more seriously than our pitiful attempt at a compromise.

Now, I didn't get a chance to see what the leasing office letter's going to say. Frankly, I'm very curious as to how they will tactfully word it. I know for a fact that I get home from work about 20 minutes before the neighbors do, so maybe I can sneak over there and read it before they come home. Of course, getting caught would mean almost certain death, but I really want to see this letter. Maybe I'll even have time to scan it and post it here. Oooh, scandal!

More information as it develops. If they don't stop making so much noise after this attempt, we're going to start audio recording them, and posting it right here on the CDP, along with names, addresses and phone numbers. Then we'll slip the web link under their door in the middle of the night. Or better yet, I'd be more than willing to help out in any way I can to finally get this girl pregnant. Blasting Death From Above 1979 through the walls should do the trick; you can't listen to that album without becoming 92% more fertile.

UPDATE!

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(Bill Cosby sez: "Update!? You got the updatin' and the not waitin' and the frizzah-blizzah-blazzah! Eat the puddin'.")

I came home from work a little early with the specific goal in mind to snag that letter from their door before they got home. I wanted to read what the leasing office had to say, if they mentioned who made the complaint, and how they tackled the delicate issue. I knew that what I was about to do was borderline illegal and certainly a breach of privacy, but the neighbors obviously threw those cares out of the window the day they decided to rock the casbah all hours of the night.

So, I pull into the driveway to see the neighbor guy's car already there. "What the...hell?" I mutter to myself as I'm putting the car into the garage. Not only can I no longer snag the letter, but he's almost certainly read it by now, and is crying like a little baby in his echo-blast chamber of an apartment. This was a moment I wanted to be a secret part of, but like every other game in life, I get screwed over more than this guy's wife.

Dejected, I toddle up the steps to my apartment. Upon reaching the second floor, what do I see?

I see a suspicious-looking envelope from our leasing office...stuffed in the wrong door.

"Oh...crap," I said out loud, looking around to see if anyone else was on the floor. I thought for sure that the leasing office thought that this particular apartment was the one giving us trouble, when in fact it most certainly was not. I could imagine the backlash, as some elderly single man gets a threatening letter, stating for him to keep his sexual activities down. This was something I couldn't allow to happen; not on my watch.

I got right up to the door, SWAT team-style, and snagged the envelope without standing in front of the peephole. The envelope was sealed, but it was mighty thick, so I'm assuming now that my fears were for naught, and this was just a harmless envelope to a random attendant. Unless, of course, the leasing office decided to enclose a brochure entitled, 'How to have really quiet sex.'

I still don't know if the loud neighbors got the letter or not, and it's only a matter of time before we see how they react to it, or how the wrong apartment renters react to it. It's amazing what I know about these people, even though I've never even seen them before. I guess it must be what it feels like to know so much about me through this page. Far more tactful, however, with less moaning.

What do you think about all of this? Sound off in the comments section with suggestions and stories.

Hey, before I go, here's some upcoming US releases I'm looking forward to. Henceforth, so should you.

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Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not - 02/21

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Architects - Revenge - 02/21

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Smoking Popes - Live At The Metro - 02/28

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Polysics - Now Is The Time! - 02/21

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Streetlight Manifesto - Keasbey Nights - 03/07

Lost Friday will be torn from my loins tomorrow. Five posts in five days? Believe it, baby.

Seriously, someone needs to start paying me to do this stuff. I can rock a deadline like nobody's business.

Wednesday, February 15

The Bit.

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For most of my life, people have told me I should do stand-up comedy. This is due in part to the fact that not only am I good looking, but also insanely funny. So funny, in fact, that I should be allowed to talk into a microphone on an illuminated stage, thus proving that my jokes are more important and thought out than yours. It's the only real way to separate the contenders from the pretenders.

The thing is, my public speaking woes have all but destroyed these dreams, leaving me to wonder what might have been. Also, I'm pretty pale, so when those stage lights hit me, I disappear completely from sight. To those in attendance, it would look as if a radiant, heavenly glow was standing behind a microphone, talking at length about airplane food and fanny packs.

Nevertheless, I often fantasize what my routine would consist of, and how it would be received....

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MC: All right, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for coming out to Open Mic night here at the Ha-Ha Hut. Let's all give a warm welcome to a young man making his first stand-up appearance ever. Here he is, the CDP!

(Polite applause from friends and family, pompous silence from locals and other comics. Brief camera flash as my mom takes a picture. I take the stage sporting a fake moustache and briefcase, and pull the mic from the stand.)

CDP: Thank you. Thank you very much. I appreciate it.

Well, it's great to be here in (name of city); I took a walk downtown this morning. Hey, did you ever notice that the homeless guys always make you feel bad for not giving them money?

(Very light applause, somone in the back says 'yeah!')

It's like, excuse me, buddy, but it's not my fault that you were drafted in Vietnam, right? I mean, it's not my fault that you were spit on when you returned, and your wife and kids up and left you without a dime. It's not my fault that you took shrapnel to the head, so you can't hold down a decent job. I mean, come on!

(Crowd is stunned. My mom claps twice before she's restrained by my sister.)

...Okay.

Well, nevermind. I'm just kidding the homeless. They're good people. Some of my best friends are homeless. It's not like there's any homeless people in the crowd tonight. Shopping carts aren't allowed in the club.

(Muffled laughter from the back.)

So, like I was saying, I was walking around downtown this morning, and I went to McDonalds for breakfast. I had an Egg McMuffin. Have you ever seen these things, these Egg McMuffins?

HECKLER: No!

CDP: You've never seen an Egg McMuffin before, Sir? Well, they take ham, cheese and eggs, and-

HECKLER: Not funny!

CDP: You got that right, it ain't funny. Instead of Egg McMuffin, they should call it a 'Dead...Mc...Dead.....Dead.'

(One person laughs really hard. The sweat from my upper lip causes my fake moustache to go limp on one side.)

CDP: And what's the deal with Ronald McDonald? If you ask me, I think there's something going on between him and the Hamburglar. Am I right, people?

(Slight chuckle from young ladies in front row.)

Like, I think they might be re-routing donation funds from the Ronald McDonald house to support their prostitute and meth habits.

(Crowd gasps. Two women in the front get up and leave.)

CDP: Oh, don't act like you weren't thinking it!

HECKLER: I think you suck!

CDP: Fair enough. Now, who's up for some impressions?

(Crowd groans as three more people get up and leave, including the Missus. I try to get my moustache to stick back on, but it's hanging by a soaking wet thread.)

CDP: Okay, this is my impression of the President.

HECKLER: This is my impression of your mom!

CDP: You don't even know my mom!

HECKLER: You idiot! I'm your dad!

(My dad throws money onto the table for the waitress and storms out of the club in a huff.)

HECKLER/DAD: This guy sucks!

CDP: Um...let's give it up for my dad, everybody!

(Nobody claps, not even my mom. Moustache finally falls off.)

CDP: Okay, what was I going to do now? Oh yeah, my impression of the Hamburglar.

(Reach into suitcase and put on bandit-style Hamburglar mask. The elastic band snaps, and I'm forced to hold it over my eyes with my left hand, while holding the mic with my right.)

CDP: My fellow Americans, this is your president, George-

(Varied groans.)

NEW HECKLER: OH, COME ON!

CDP: What?

NEW HECKLER: YOU'RE WEARING THE GODDAMN HAMBURGLAR MASK!

CDP: Oh, that's right. Robble-Robble!

(Remaining crowd begins to boo loudly.)

CDP: (Still doing Hamburglar voice) Come on, Ronald! We don't need these people. Let's go smoke crack in front of some sick kids!

(Coasters begin to whiz past my head. In the distance, I hear the sound of a shotgun cocking.)

MY MOM: I HATE YOU! YOU'VE RUINED EVERYTHING! (Gets up and leaves.)

CDP: ...So anyways, I was at the grocery store the other day, when-

(50-pound stage light suddenly comes loose and lands on my head. Microphone, mask, suitcase and myself hit the floor in a heap. Silence and shock engulfs the crowd.)

NEW HECKLER: ...Woah...what a finale. (Starts clapping.)

(Suddenly, the whole club begins to applaud and cheer, standing up and hollering for an encore.)

OVERHEARD IN AUDIENCE: You know, I didn't really 'get' what he was doing until the very end. That bit with the stage light was brilliant.

WOMAN WEARING SCARF AND HORN-RIM GLASSES: Oh, I know! What a great performance artist. He's symbolizing the death of the traditional 'stand-up' comedian. And that thing he did with his 'dad,' genius!

HONEST-TO-GOD GROWN MAN WEARING DEPECHE MODE SHIRT: Amazing. I wonder if he'll do a second show.

(I'm still on the ground, completely and totally unconscious. An audience member picks the fake moustache off of the floor as a souvenir. Eventually, I'm taken to the hospital by club staff, where I'm treated for massive blunt-force trauma. The very next day, I'm offered a $50 million deal with Comedy Central. Fake moustache from first show ends up selling on Ebay for $8,000.)

Hmmm. Maybe I will try stand-up someday.

Tuesday, February 14

Bee Mine.

Happy Valentime's Day.

In honor of this wonderful annual celebration of love and chalky novelty candy, I want to share with you the greatest love story I know.

You know, for as much as I talk about my wife, I don't think I've ever shared with you the story of how we met. I make a point not to get too sentimental or personal on here, but in this case, I really think you'd get a kick out of this most joyous and romantic union between me and the Missus. If anything, it will shed more light on why we are as strong and loving as we are to this very day.

It was December of 1999. The electric buzz of the 21st century was tingling the private areas of every red-blooded American. President Clinton was still leading the nation through a time of amazing prosperity, surplus, and an abundance of neon fanny packs and jogging suits. The song '1999,' by an up-and-coming artist known as Prince was rocketing up the charts and uniting people of all races and creeds on the dance floor. It was a magical time to be alive, and if you weren't yet alive for it, chances are that you're unable to read anything I've just written. It's your loss.

I was 17 years old, full of wide-eyed wonder and Surge soda. It was my senior year in High School, and I was in a hotly contested race with two others to become valedictorian. I would eventually go on to lose this race, when weeks before graduation I would be arrested for lewd behavior in the parking lot of a local Wendy's. The charges were later dropped (surveillance tapes proved that I did nothing to befoul the life-sized cutout of Dave Thomas), but my reputation would never return to its former glory. I was sunk faster than the opening weekend of a Michael Bay movie.

Zing!

You know what? Forget it, dude. I want to keep this story between me and the Missus. Besides, you wouldn't understand and appreciate it as much as your should. Oh, and nothing would have been funnier than those first two paragraphs anyways, so it's best to just trim the fat and move on. Let's talk about something else.

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I've been dumped twice in my life, and both were via-telephone, no less. I did the breaking up in two other relationships, maturely and in-person, I might add. Any other unions I might have had with anyone else (hundreds, perhaps even thousands of women) just naturally or mutually faded over time. I really didn't have any problems with that, as I honestly wasn't that great of a boyfriend, anyways. Nowadays, however, I'm like Supafly TNT. I could sell tickets, yo'.

Luckily for me, the Missus showed up and set me straight. She washed my hair, tore my braces off and wiped the crust out of my eyes. She threw a tiny shirt on my back and indie frames on my green eyes. Without her gentle nudging and almost tyrannical standards, I'd still be a turd. I really dodged a bullet, there.

I went above and beyond the call of duty for Christmas this year, so I didn't do too much for Valantine's day. I bought the Missus (and myself) a big box of Godiva truffles. Sa-weeet. They should be all gone by the end of the night, along with most of the wine.

That reminds me. Our loud neighbors, who kept it down for a few days after we sent them a firm-but-fair letter, are back to their old tricks. The next step is a formal noise complaint, which will be made this evening. More info as it happens.

One more thing. Here's a custom-made CDP valentine for you to give to a loved one.

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How are you spending Valentine's day? Any fond memories? Sound off in the comments section.

Sunday, February 12

State Of The CDP Speech - 2006.

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(The original CDP format, February-May 2004.)

The CDP Is 2 Years Old.

Really? Two years? 300-some posts? You'd think I would have gotten the hang of this by now.

First off, many thanks to the almost 70,000 people that have dropped by and said hello over the past two years. I don't know what you expect to find here, but I appreciate that you're looking and I hope you get some enjoyment out of it. I like to write and my ego has its own orbiting moon, so attention and traffic is always welcome. Your clicks make me strong.

I feel like I'm in a good place with the page. I like the way it looks, the traffic grows a little more every month, and I think my content is much better than it used to be. Sure, if you want to dig around in the 2004 archives, you can find out for yourself, but you should probably just take my word for it. Seriously.

Looking back just to the start of 2006, I've laid down over 30 good-sized posts in a little under 40 days. Not only is that a huge amount of life-changing, hilarious and absolutely free entertainment, it also equals a lot of time and effort on my part. I put a lot into this page, strictly because I like to write and be creative and current. Luckily for me, it doesn't keep me from my hobbies, because it encompasses everything that occupies my spare time regardless, with the exception of killing the homeless and grifting the blind.

I made several changes to the page at the start of the year, and I'll continue to make changes until it's just the way I likes it. If I can somehow find a way to increase traffic more, I think I could do a lot with the place. Change to an independent host. Start making videos and animations; expand my creativity a bit. Sell ad space and merch; perhaps even make money off of it(?). You know, once I actually start giving the people what they want and all.

We're light years away from that transition (2008?), but I think it could be possible in the future. Over year 1, I increased my traffic from 10 hits a month to 1,500. Over year 2, I increased it from 1,500 to 10,000. Who knows? Maybe by the end of 2006, I'll reach over 50,000 people a month. I gain ground every week, and it's 100% relative to how much I put into it.

Never mind that pipe dream right now.

In honor of the CDP's second birthday, fill up the comments section with me. There's plenty to talk about. Arrested Development. The Olympics. Lost. Dick Chaney shooting a guy in the chest. Arrested Development. Oh, and congratulate the CDP on two years of outstanding online service, if you have the time.