On Getting Fried

Sue me…I just liked the image.

This edition of the Strange World is about the trials and tribulations on becoming someone. In my case, it refers to either finishing my M.A. on Creative Writing and becoming a college/university adjunct professor (because I can’t deal with non-adults at the moment) and/or becoming an established fiction writer (one who sells at least 14 copies of any publication). Which one is easier? Neither! The good thing about this is that you’re progressing with every second that goes by.

My freelance writing has stalled completely because I have to be constantly writing and reading for school. I am happy to announce, though, that my writing has become exceptionally diverse. It’s no longer the formulaic dark humor, psychological horror, and satire. My latest work is bordering on what I call “societal fiction” with traces of science fiction. It is not an easy read and it is quite technical. However, I have kept my trademark controversy since, it seems, I cannot write anything too conventional. This is, perhaps, because I’ve gone through so much weird shit in this life that barely anything shocks me anymore. My influences have converged and have materialized in my writing as a hodge-podge of non-conventional ideologies. I guess some people would consider this as an extension of the psychological horror I’ve been writing up to now? (Yes, that is a question mark at the end of the preceding sentence). I’m thinking Camus.

Anyhow, I just wanted everyone to know that I have not expired . . . yet. I’m just keeping myself busy trying to write quality material.

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Rant #001 – e.g., on P.C., Pt. 1

RANT #001

Let me start off by possibly offending you: “Political correctness is a mental sickness.” It is censorship of free speech. Is it offensive to some? Yes. But there are MANY things that are offensive to me that no one gives a fuck about. So who gets to determine what should be banned and what should be accepted? Personally, I don’t give a rat’s ass about the criteria used. I am not or will ever be politically correct. I am who I’ve always been and will remain that way. Obviously, this cannot be an exclusive philosophy. Everyone has to deal with some sort of criteria for certain situations. For example, a junior high school teacher must watch his or her P’s and Q’s around those very sensitive children. You can’t have a class discussion about Mel Brooks’ Blazing Saddles or All in the Family’s Archie Bunker (Let’s not forget to mention George Jefferson since this is the yin and yang of pre-PC comedy).

When did the bullshit begin? Let me take a quick guess: cigarette smoking. You can’t smoke in theaters, hotels, restaurants, buildings, sports arenas, even bars because it’s “offensive”.

But before you begin an argument with me, let’s analyze the definition for political incorrectness. Most interpretations for this term agree that it is an attitude or policy where someone does not care if it offends or upsets people(s) with a disadvantage (pls., define) or have been treated differently because of sex, race, or disability. So . . . they’re talking about discrimination. However, terms like this carry a hefty, fluffy GRAY AREA which can be recalled at any given moment. The aforementioned examples are proof. While some will consider Bunker and Jefferson politically incorrect individuals, others with similar ideologies will be quick to label them rude, stupid, mindless, or any of hundreds of adjectives. These are the “superiors” of society; those whose shit don’t smell. These are the individuals who really started this expurgation. They are the serial killers of comedy. Let me explain with another example: Blazing Saddles, a 1974 Mel Brooks film, is considered racist (another word which has ceased to have any logical and/or specific meaning because of its overuse). Sure, the “N” word is mentioned but the person being referred to quickly destroys any assumption that the white race is superior. Actually, actor Cleavon Little explicitly debunks any idea about white supremacy by exposing the era’s white man’s (and woman’s) intense ignorance. So, tit for tat, right? Not for all. They will argue that it is not okay to mention the “N” word while it’s okay to use any other offensive name for any other race. So . . . what if you’re a black, Caribbean Latino? A black Jew? A white Rastafarian?

Oh, am I politically incorrect because I said Black? What’s the term you’re supposed to use this week, then? It seems to change every time someone decides the previous term is offensive. What about Orientals? God forbid! You mean Asians, right? Yeah, nice argument but Asia is huge and Japanese don’t like being confused for Chinese and Koreans don’t like being confused for Filipino. And so on and so on because India is located in Southeast Asia. My take on this: You’re all full of shit and if you are offended, live with it. Nothing in life is fair and people make mistakes all the time. You are human. . .period!

I mention in the first paragraph that there are many things I find offensive that have not been “approved by the superiors”. OK, I find people with bad body odor offensive whether the smell comes from bad hygiene or a physiological disorder. So why should I accept this? NO, dude! Shower once in a while, you bastard and if it’s not bad hygiene, wear cologne, perfume, splash yourself with Scope or spray yourself with Lysol. Should I continue? What about individuals who “flatulates” in public loudly? Oh, yeah . . . “farts” not “flatulates.” What about burping loudly in public or spitting up phlegm on sidewalks?

Many of these will not be considered political incorrectness while others will . . . if it fits the current agenda. Yes, the biases are unending. Stereotyping and profiling will always exist because utilizing these currently unaccepted traits will help catch your neighborhood thief or drug trafficker. It will help you detect bullies and sex offenders. Again, here we use the gray zone to benefit those who seek positive results. The fact is that a stereotype becomes a stereotype by documenting a repeated issue whether it is behavioral or physical. “Am I implying something?” “they” will ask. Don’t care. Everything nowadays is either racist, sexist, misogynistic, islamophobic, homophobic, and all the other labels used these days whenever someone is “frustrated” over something. Yes, people, it’s all superficial. It’s the manipulation of freedoms. This is why I am not offended whenever I am called any of the terms just noted. If anything, being called any of these names will make me feel good because the verbal abuser has proven to me how much more intellectually advanced I am. See? Two can play the same game.

 

Sequel

Let’s go backwards this time.
I am sitting next to the A/C because I haven’t figured out how it can be blowing cold air yet the room feels like a sauna. There are blood stains behind the bathroom door and the decor is mid 1960s. The outside looks like a free clinic with adjoining rooms for the terminally ill. The good news is that this is the last hotel I’d have to experiment with. One stop was eliminated to add to this final one. “Why,” you may ask. Well, I’m going to get a tour of my new school tomorrow. Graduate school, that is. In the middle of nowhere. I am not exaggerating. The closest eatery to campus is twenty miles away. I have to attend a workshop next month for more than a week and I refuse to share a campus room so I will be checking out cheap, wham-bam, roadside roach motels to save some money. I may be spared, however, and be able to rent at a cheap chain hotel. I’ve barely slept since I started this vacation so I will present myself to my new school adviser with bags under my eyes reminiscent to a seventy year old woman’s breasts. Yes, I will look like John Hurt in “1984.”
So enough of the future. Let’s talk about the previous stay at northern Georgia. I ate in one night and ordered Chinese which very nearly killed me. I swear to you: this was the worst food I have ever eaten. It kept me in the bathroom half the night. Never again. What else? Oh, yeah, I almost needed a step stool to get on the bed. It was THAT HIGH off the floor. The love seat had armrests for people with arms with an 164 inch wingspan. In other words, my elbows would rest parallel to my face. Good thing I don’t suffer from sweaty armpits.
There are more adventures that await me, I’m sure. I still have the drive back. For the first time ever, I will be happy to get back home. However, I can guarantee you that at this time next year, I will be enjoying cool temps somewhere in the North Pole.

Thank you, tornados. Thank you, floods.

It seems to me that catastrophe follows me whenever I go on a road trip. This phenomenon occurs whether it’s a simple trip to Cocoa Beach or a pilgrimage to seek out the infamous wood chipper used in the movie “Fargo” in North Dakota. This is especially disturbing because I am a fiction writer whose influences include David Lynch, Thomas Ligotti, Albert Camus, H.P. Lovecraft, and Franz Kafka. In other words, I go on road trips to be inspired by the strangeness of empty highways, abandoned buildings, and bizarre characters NOT to fall into the comical ridiculousness that overtakes anything remotely creepy. And guess what? Here I am again in the same situation en route to North Carolina! So how did this begin? Well, I can only write about the first day which is more that I have experienced in month-long trips. I guess I am bound to write many sequels to this first day entry.

It all begins a week ago when I noticed the “Hell on Earth” tornado and flood anomaly of the Midwest. Of course, I had made reservations to visit Missouri and Arkansas. I figured it would go away by the time I was scheduled to pick up the rental car. Guess again. Quickly, I had to put “Plan B” into effect. First, I thought about Cocoa Beach (again) but there’s a lovebug invasion in central Florida. Next, I thought about Texas but this is exactly where the tornadoes are originating from. Scratch that. Okay, what about Maine. After all, I love the place and I had driven there at least ten times in the last decade and a half. The joke was on me again since the storms were curving to the northeast mainly affecting New York which is one of the worst places to drive through. Ok, fine, what about the Carolinas? That seems to be the winning combination even though record high temperatures were expected. Whatever. A day before the departure, a fire broke out in Jacksonville closing Interstate 95. Hmm. I think someone’s trying to tell me something. Luckily, most of the fire was controlled the following day resulting in the opening of the Florida-Georgia state line. Not that it mattered because the first stop was in a town about fifty miles south and the stay was for two nights.

Come Saturday morning and I hit the Florida Turnpike north, a private highway that will nickel and dime you to death with frequent tolls. The plan, as always, was to get off on Fort Pierce, travel a mile east to the entrance to Interstate 95 for a more direct route to coastal Carolina and without the annoying tolls. Here is where I had an “X-Files” moment. For some unknown reason, I missed every single sign for the exit. Needless to say, the GPS was off because I’ve travelled this road many times. But the signs were never there, I lost track of where I was, and missed the exit completely. This is where the downward spiral began. First, there was an accident which held up traffic for many miles without having an opportunity to exit. It was then that I noticed that I was almost out of gas. The next exit was many miles away at a remote area called Yeehaw Junction (population negative forty-three). I was envisioning myself calling Triple-A for gas but fortunately, I came across a service plaza (a glorified rest area with overpriced chain restaurant food and extremely long gas lines at the pump. I, first, decided to fill up the tank which became entertainment to the other patrons as I fought constantly trying to swat away the horny insects (the dreaded aforementioned lovebugs). Where else but in Florida will you find two bugs attached ass to ass attacking your face as they perform the flying fornication waltz? After filling the gas tank and brushing off the bugs glued to my sweaty face, I proceed to the parking lot. Starvation had set in because it was past two in the afternoon. I walk inside to have lunch and the lines are immense. I waited over thirty minutes for some fish and chips because all the employees except for the cashier apparently were having an orgy in the back room until she blew up.

So, back on the road again. Now I need to find I-95 by travelling eastbound on State Road 60. Ten minutes into the drive, a piece of metal flew off a truck and destroyed the windshield of the rental car. It cracked by glass but fortunately did not shatter. After several phone calls, I ended up going to Melbourne International Airport to attempt a car change. As I waited to get a new SUV, I was offered doughnuts by the employees.  Will something else happen? All I know is the rest of the drive felt surreal.

I reached the hotel without additional incident. That is, until I walk into my assigned room. First thing I noticed was that I was going to forcibly engage into the “War of Human Against Flying Insects.” This is what happens when you reach the hotel many hours after check-in and you’re reduced to seedy joints because of the cancellation of the original trip. Needless to say, I lost the battle and was held captive by the aerial creatures. As if this wasn’t enough, the A/C was not working correctly. After waking up several times with bugs pasted to my my sweaty forehead, I went downstairs to complain. They couldn’t do anything for me because they were totally booked. However, the brought up an industrial fan they use to dry floors. It worked brilliantly but the room sounded like an airplane hangar between the noise of the defective A/C and the high speed air blower. It did accomplish one other thing: it kept the bugs away from where I was sleeping for the two days I was there.

So off I go to the next mysterious destination right off North Carolina’s Outer Banks. I wonder what awaits me there. So far, no more catastrophe on the room but the GPS has taken me by the most f**ked up route ever. I even saw a dilapidated home in the middle of grasslands with a huge Union 76 sign on the front yard.

I have arrived!! Let’s see what adventures await me. Stay tuned for more on this trip.

NEW WAVE IS 40 YEARS OLD

 

Something exciting would occur every twenty more or less years in the world of music. The 1920’s introduced blues and jazz to the mainstream. The 1940’s had the Big Bands. The 1960’s, probably the most versatile decade in music, had the teen idols, girl groups, popular folk, the British Invasion, and psychedelic music. The last of these eras occurred in 1980 when New Wave became the standard.

New wave originated between 1978 and 1979 when a change in direction was much needed in music. The early seventies were filled with burnt-out hippies who were finally mellow because the Vietnam War had ended. Sugary pop filled the airwaves with the likes of the Carpenters, America, Captain and Tennille and numerous other forgotten acts. Then came disco and much of the world began yelling “the end is near!” Luckily, punk music was emerging in Europe to contrast the lush disco orchestrations that filled many clubs around the world. Though punk was not at all a commercial music genre, it did spark up the idea to “homogenize” it in both America and the U.K. The result was New Wave.

40 YEARS AGO . . . unbelievable!  1979 was the year that New Wave began showing its face not only in clubs but also in popularity around the world. Of course, England was the frontrunner for this genre with Elvis Costello (since 1977), the Tubeway Army (Gary Numan), and the Clash, to name a few, but the U.S. was also brewing its own version with Blondie, the Talking Heads, and Devo who broke big in 1979 along with the B-52’s. Meanwhile, across the pond, the big names were XTC, the Flying Lizards, Ian Dury and the Blockheads, the Boomtown Rats, the Cure, the Buggles, the Records, Gang of Four, the Stranglers, Orchestral Manouvres in the Dark, and the Damned.

However, the term “New Wave” is difficult to define. Many agree that it meant a complete change in musical direction which makes perfect sense. This is especially true when you consider bands that were categorized under New Wave but could have equally been placed in the rock, reggae, or pop bins at the records stores. Bands that fall under this category include the Police, the Records, Sniff ‘n’ the Tears, Nick Lowe, and Joe Jackson. Even acts such as the Cars, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and the Pretenders were considered “New Wave” by the record companies to cash in on the latest craze. New Wave’s popularity increased immensely in 1981 when MTV invaded every household in America.

Another New Wave sub-genre was the “Two Tone” sound or the revival of 60’s ska music. The Specials (AKA) released their very successful debut album in 1979 which opened the door to other ska groups in 1980 such as the Selecter, the Bodysnatchers, the (English) Beat, and Bad Manners.

Alas, New Wave went through a transformation soon after 1982 when terms like “Progressive, New Romantics, and Alternative music” became the “in” thing. Synthesizers, samplers, and sequencers became the most elements in recordings. These bands included Ultravox, Duran Duran, Alphaville, and a whole array of bands that didn’t fit in with the original New Wave blueprint.

New Wave is now 40 years old. Gone are the days when music was fun because, for the most part, New Wave was an early sixties revival without the innocence. Fans would run to the record stores on Tuesdays to see what was new on vinyl. Clubbing was a way of life and threads were as wild as zoot suits. Sadly, as with everything, New Wave became out of style and music, overall, became, once again, mediocre at best. Music’s last hurrah would come just a few years later with the short-lived, Grunge music.

Controversy is good publicity

It’s been a while since I’ve written on my blog. There are many reasons for this. First, I’ve been busy writing stories. It is not easy writing in an unconventional way when you are surrounded by . . . well, conventionalism. This is not me. I am not one among the billions. Life is not supposed to be a routine which begins when you are “supposed” to be part of the rat race. This has affected my philosophy on religion, politics, and thought process.

The second reason is because I’ve been trying to get into graduate school. This is also not an easy task. Last year, I was victim to the disorder in the school system. I will not mention who I am referring to but it was very disappointing. Additionally, I have also applied to be a junior high teacher with the Department of Education. Imagine that!

There are other reasons but I will not get into them at this moment.

My writing has become very controversial and disturbing because of the philosophical changes last year. I have realized that I do not have to emphasize the genre “comedy or dark humor” because it comes naturally. My latest project (writing) deals with a man who defies all the institutions practiced in America. The story deconstructs the norms of society and questions everything from established religions to the corruption in government. It is an exploration on individualism, existentialism, and rebellion. It is also a reminder that progress and evolution has been detrimental to society. However, it also touches upon the mind’s capacity and its potential.

It is, once again, a surreal manuscript reminiscent to Franz Kafka and David Lynch but with a twist: it is also an unconventional love story. Only time will tell if it’ll have a happy ending or not. (It is rare for me to write “snuggly cuddly” stories.)

I am referring to this story as the “4 A.M. project” because my insomnia has worsen and I seem to always wake up at this time. I get out of bed, make a cup of coffee, and begin tapping away at the keys. Seems like this has become my preferred time to write but it will eventually kill me.

I would like my readers to add any comments or ask any questions concerning the content of this post. It would be greatly appreciated.

The status quo is a “no go”

Some of you may be wondering whatever happened to my blogs. In a nutshell, I feel I’m not receiving the response I had anticipated. Additionally, I believe comedy should be kept to a minimum since it becomes stale quickly. Because of this, I will tackle more serious matters in the near future with my postings. To be truthful, the main problem here is time. There are countless issues on my plate presently and keeping a blog site active is not a priority at this moment.

I am applying to graduate school, editing a novelette, getting ready to publish a book, in the process of becoming a teacher, writing a few short stories and some flash fiction, and many other goodies. The time frame is small so wasting time is not an option. As you know from previous posts, I have been monitoring my health more closely. I’m happy to say that I’m in tip-top shape except that I have to shed a few pounds. My diet has been greatly reduced in quantity and I am mainly consuming “fungus” and quinoa-based foods. I am also sleeping much better.

Topics that will be covered once I have some time to breathe and I can dedicate time to the blog will include GMO’s, the FDA, existentialism, the DOE, and I may even get slightly political. I will extensively write about the flawed society we live in and the shortcomings of peers. Occasionally, I will dedicate a post or two on three of my favorite hobbies: music, books, and movies.

Now, this doesn’t mean that my old humorous characters will be laid to rest. There will be cameos which would include the infamous 63-foot crab, the fiendish Lee the Tree, and the assortment of personified creatures that may have put smiles on your faces.

Your opinion and comments are needed, though. No one is perfect and any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. I may not get back to you immediately but, rest assured, that I will get to your feedback and take your words into consideration.

 

The sequel​: Doctor Visit & Eliminating Exaggerated​ Misconceptions, Pt. 2

The second part of a two-part blog post. To read the first part, go to https://douglaslynnblog.wordpress.com/2018/07/16/doctor-visit-eliminating-exagerrated-misconceptions-pt-1

…and please, pardon the misspelling on the title.

Let me start by saying that you may be able to teach a dog how many dog biscuits he desires by softly biting several of your newly pedicured toes but it is doubtful he will be able to do your calculus homework. Besides, if you push the dog too far, he’ll just bite off your whole foot. What exactly do I mean by this ludicrous example? Well, my new doctor turned out to be a gem not to mention his assistants. However, I feel there’s something missing in the equation. Specialists usually take care of this problem but my hesitancy revolves around “wondering where the missing quarter pie went to.” After some deep thought, I realized what the missing link was. A nutritionist.

Dr. Fu, I mean, Dr. Wong told me I was quite low on potassium and prescribed me five (yes, 5) potassium pills the size of the Stay Puft man. I am to take one a day and return to the office next Friday to feed the vampires once again. I’m still wondering when I’m getting my free pair of movie tickets. Everything else on the blood and urine test came out perfect except a little detail I noticed upon examining the results which pretty much tells me I shouldn’t have drunk so much straight rum and tequila years ago. No biggie. Turmeric seems to be the wonder drug for everything and I pop those supplements like the old butterscotch Life Savers.

But going back to the nutritionist . . . It is not much a nutritionist as an alternative medicine know-it-all what I need. These are the ones who deal with everything the FDA disapproves of. Oh, have I mentioned before that the FDA is full of s**t? Let’s put it this way: the FDA FORBIDS Vitamin B17 in the U.S. Supposedly, it’s a “cancer-cure” pill but only my readers in the U.K. can shed some light on this since, apparently, it’s only available in the Motherland. Next thing you know, the FDA will also ban Curcumin. Anyhow . . . As is, I take enough vitamins, minerals, and amino acid supplements to keep GNC in business until scientists discover that snacking on beet marmalade covered wrinkled eyelashes from gender-confused, insecto-primitivoe from Southside Uranus is good for you. It’ll probably taste better that vegameatavitamin syrup too. This overindulgence of pills might be the reason why I always pass my blood exams with flying colors. At times, though, you get caught up with all that’s available and you forget to research the drug interactions and end up in the hospital. This happened to me when I started taking Ginkgo Biloba. Let’s just say the reaction was not favorable.

***

I started writing this post yesterday morning. The reaction to the Stay Puft potassium has been intense. How can ONE pill knock me on my a** so rapidly? I almost had to super glue my butt to a porta-toilet because of it. The worst part is that I still four more days to go. Meanwhile, I have an ingrown hair on my neck which is quite inflamed. What a mess and it’s always right before my birthday (next weekend).

In conclusion, it seems like if it’s not one thing, it’s another and one must be disciplined enough to understand that “it is what it is” when it comes to life’s disrupting events. Now, I must teach my Chihuahua the concepts of quantum physics before he devours my feet.

DOCTOR VISIT & ELIMINATING EXAGERRATED MISCONCEPTIONS, Pt. 1

Last Friday, I had an appointment with a new doctor. This is always a problem for me for numerous reasons. First and foremost, I hate doctors because of my past experiences with them. Secondly, I have to pay for everything. I lost my insurance in my last job because of the required ACA imposed on corporations. I worked for a small company which was already going under so my healthcare was axed followed by my employment. It wasn’t necessary for the owner to do this but even though I was very knowledgeable at my position, he despised me. Karma’s a bitch, they say, and it wasn’t long after I received my walking papers that he received a social call from the notorious reaper (which probably was followed by a close encounter with Lee the Tree but I guess I’ll know for sure once it’s my turn to travel to “the beyond.”) But, as they also say, “one closed door opens another one” and this resulted in my going back to school for my English degree. The third reason why I do not like doctors is interconnected to the first reason. Fear, at times, may create misconceptions which may develop into highly ridiculous misunderstandings about practically anything. Huh? Exactly! Let me explain.

Here is an example of what I’m trying to say: Just because the doctor has a common Oriental last name, you shouldn’t expect him to look like Fu Manchu or Hong Kong Phooey. Also, the person that draws your blood is not Nosferatu or a giant leech with breasts. In both of these cases, I was wrong but, as I was lying down on the examination table, I wondered why there were so many eye impressions on the office’s roof where blood is drawn. Better yet, why did they insist on drawing my blood while lying down? Simple! You don’t feel anything while you’re being drained from your blood supply. I had something else to worry about once I came to my senses thinking that the eyes belonged to concealed albino vampires lurking within the white popcorn roof. Momma Bloodsucker rolled in an electrocardiography machine and, suddenly, I had a past life regression (or an acid flashback) dealing with electroshock therapy at a castle’s dungeon in Avar Khanate which has to erred because Nikola Tesla was only eight years old when that country became history and the only thing shocking he had experienced at that point was watching a sixty-three foot crab emerge from the Great Sheffield Flood with binoculars anticipating the Battle of Elkin’s Ferry across the great pond. In a matter of seconds, my body was covered in electrodes which brought to mind the two weirdo kids in the dumbest Skittles commercial ever.  Traditionally, the back ends of the electrodes are covered with gorilla glue which would explain the enigmatic roof décor. Once the technician crudely yanks off the electrodes from very hairy chested men, their eyes would jump out of their sockets and attach themselves to the roof thus leaving the impression. To my surprise, the process took about fifteen seconds and my extraocular muscles did not need to be put to the test.

Dr. Fu, I mean, Dr. Wong then walks in and begins his routine consisting of 156 questions followed by a grab and squeeze throughout my tense body. He kept on asking “does this hurt” but I had no pain anywhere. Next came the urine test. I was sent to a restroom which had a small door on the wall where you place your sample. I kept thinking the small door would open and an Allen Funt German clone’s head with a “Wim Wenders rule” tattoo across his brow would appear continuously shouting “Was ist das?” I was actually afraid to open the door and place the small bottle inside.

In conclusion, the doctor told me I was in perfect shape pending the blood and urine results which I should have late this week. This is outstanding news but it also makes me think that my prevalent problem is the yet undiagnosed ADHD and my exaggerated perception of things. That’s what happens to individuals who watch too many Monty Python animations as youngsters. Too late for me! It’s time for some “Lumberjack Spam in Seasoned Shrubberies” made from dead parrots and partial remains of Spiny Norman.

Diet Walking and Imaginary Creatures

It’s no secret that I am continuously trying to lose weight. Not because I’m obese and may get contracted to do a cameo on the New Zoo Revue 2018 or anything like that. It’s that my family members have a tendency to be on the heavy side (hmm…maybe that’s why they’re all dead). Don’t get me wrong. I wouldn’t mind being a hippo or a cow (oops, gender change) if it wasn’t for the insects. I couldn’t live with flies and mosquitoes flying around me all the time. Ironically, some past ex-friends attracted bugs too but they were always full of s**t so that’s understandable. If you’re male, there’s a self-test you can take to know if you’re overweight or not: stand upright and look down. If you can’t see a trace of your private parts, it means your smelly jelly belly’s been too much at the deli. It also eliminates any chance of being a sex god contortionist unless you get hit by a 1970 bright yellow Pontiac Cutlass 442 at 180 miles an hour blasting late 70’s disco music while you’re waiting in line to ride Space Mountain . . . but that’s another story, darling. Chances are you will be mistaken for a human pretzel if this happens to you.

At this point, you may be laughing but, if you’re not, it’s probably because you’re condemning my style of writing. I am very conscious of sentence structures and topic continuity. I deliberately break the rules because . . . why shouldn’t I? The run-on sentence is an indication of something exceptionally outlandish. The constant change of topics is me telling my ADHD to do what it’s good at.

Now, back to the original topic . . .

Dieting is not easy. You get to say goodbye to all your favorite foods that would’ve eventually killed you. Walking a minimum of 12,000 steps a day is my routine for now. This is how I lost 47 lbs. last year. I gained all the weight back because I looked like a stick figure and dogs were persistently confusing me for canine calcium treats. Anyhow, it is challenging to walk this amount of steps a day. You must find ways to entertain yourself. I usually walk in parks or malls and avoid gyms because they are filled with flesh-eating bacteria. I want to lose weight but not by being swiftly consumed by ravenous micro-organisms. Walking in parks exposes you to the element of surprise. These constituents include the walking dead, wicked fowl, vagabonds urinating in public, flying scavengers, and an occasional sloth sitting on a bench with hundreds of copies of the latest Watchtower propaganda for your unanticipated excretory system malfunctions. I usually pick the mall for my walking.

At an outdoor mall, you get to see the weekly sales on the window panes as sweat drips into your soon bloodshot eyes. Even this becomes boring after a while especially since I walk at sunrise when there are no shoppers, the stores are still closed, the security guard is sleeping somewhere undetectable or watching porn on his cellphone, and a relative of that damn park sloth is slowly decomposing on the one bench in the entire mall still waiting for unsuspecting victims. It did not take long to come up with a solution to the monotony. I set my mind to “juvenile” and downloaded Pokemon Go! I, now, walk with my friends Pikachu, Snorlax, Squitle, and Jynx even though Jynx reminds me of my first wife at times. This may sound exceptionally senseless but it gets the job done. I am not self-conscious of my environment, the now-rising grueling sunrays, the oceans of sweat, or even the baby Cthulhu which jumped on my head while walking next to the mall’s gigantic pond.

I don’t know how successful I will be with the diet this time around. Perhaps I should cut down on the pumpkin coffee creamer (Wal-Mart carries it year-round!) or the strawberry shortcake cookies baked by elves who do not participate on Pokemon Go! and are intimate friends of Lee the Tree. If all fails, I can always pick up some copies of the Watchtower from the floor and not leave the mall until I re-distribute them to shoppers not fans of Camus or Sartre. I’m bound to have shed, at least, 93 pounds by the time I get rid of them . . . or . . . baby Cthulhu became hungry and made me into a pile of bones which will trigger the damn dogs to come after me again.