The Joy of Dissent


I like playing a game called “Escaping Terri Schiavo.” I sit on the couch and allow television entertainment to beat me into a vegetative state. Slobber begins to collect on the right side of my Snuggie. (I dribble from the right only. An insignificant observation, I suppose, but try dribbling from both sides at once. It doesn’t work. As if the saliva is drawn to the lowest hanging testicle. Science is cool.) My focal point drifts from the screen to a small framed picture of a raven haired lady. Or is it a giant Burmese? It doesn’t matter. Nothing really matters. Imaginary doctors enter the room to study the stupid grin that my face muscles have frozen into. “Maybe he should die,” one doctor says. While a second replies, “But does he have a right to?” The final laugh track of an episode of “Two Broke Girls” fades out. And for that fraction of a second where the dead air meets my dead eyes, the doctors reach for the plug.

And then a miracle happens…


Every kiss begins with Kay.

Terri: Oh yeah? So, why is she tackling him? Did he consent to that tackle? Or are we watching the beginnings of a rape? A cluster of rubies does not validate an unwanted sexual advance, lady.

Doctor #1: Don’t touch that chord! She just uttered an opinion. A crass opinion, but an opinion none the less.

Doctor #2: Did we make a mistake? I was sure she was gone.

Doctor #1: Maybe that was an anomaly. Let us wait a minute.

Doctor #2: Yes. An anomaly. Hmm.

A chance to live longer.

Terri: Well, maybe I don’t want to live longer. It all depends on the quality of life, right? What I’m saying is this pancreatic cancer is unbearable! You can take your pill and shove it up your ass! Please, baby Jesus, will you bless me with sweet relief! The sweet relief of death!

Doctor #1: I don’t know how to explain it. The brain machine still reads zero.

Doctor #2: There must be a malfunction.

Doctor #1: Yes. A malfunction. Because this can’t be.

Doctor #2: Impossible. Or is it?

Because girls don’t poop.

Terri: Of course we do. We also fart. Do your toilet drops come with a flame thrower? Because it’s not the poop that smells. It’s the fermented gas that was a kale salad. You can’t battle chemical warfare with a drop in a bucket. You need to incinerate the air, Agent Orange.  It’s similar to a French Hooker. There’s no amount of perfume that can cover the stench of broken dreams and a carton of Gitanes.

Doctor #1: It’s a miracle!

Doctor #2: It can’t be a miracle. We are men of science, god damn it.

Doctor #1: Will someone turn off that television, please.

Doctor #2: Yes. Can’t you see we are working here?

Doctor #1: Terri, How did you do that?

Doctor #2: Terri. Can you hear us? Do you have another opinion?!

Doctor #1: She is not responding. How… What…

Doctor #2: She’s gone, Doctor. It was just an anomaly. We should pull the plug now.

Doctor #1: Yes. An anomaly. Ok. I’m pulling the plug.

Doctor #2: Do you think those poo drops work?

Doctor #1: Of course not. I’ve smelled your farts, Doctor. There is no cure for that. Impossible.

Doctor #2: Impossible.


If you are looking for the meaning of life, I’d say it is to be cynical and combative. Positivity does not fuel the soul. I mean, whatever, little Timmy. Your finger painting is cool, but that’s it. Look, I put it on the refrigerator for the whole world to see. Isn’t that enough? Now I have to pretend you are Basquiat or someone greater? It’s a finger painting, dude. It’s ok. Fuck no, you’re not getting any ice cream. Listen, if you can chisel the rock in the backyard into something we can sell at the flea market, then I’ll drive you to the Cold Stone and you can buy your own ice cream. Oh, don’t cry, dude. Jesus you have thin skin. Crying is going to get you nothing. Go cry to your mother. Maybe you can squeeze a bicycle outta her, or something…

ANYWAY. I suppose you can go the LACMA on a positivity tour. “I’m working on me,” you think. You stare at some shit smeared on a canvas. Appreciate that shit for what it is. Shit. And then shuffle on over to the sculpted penis, and yep. It looks like a penis. Appreciate the hell out of it. And then go outside and swallow a .44, because exciting it isn’t. But, I would argue, if you took that penis and shoved it right through that shit stained canvas, and then fire balled your mouth full of whiskey through your crack pipe approved lighter, then things would get interesting. The minimum waged security guard might even tackle you to the floor. Maybe, just maybe, you might even feel a profound joy wash over you. “I’m alive!” you might scream. “I’m alive!” I’d buy you an ice cream for that. Any flavor you want…


Little Billy: I brought you a puppy, Grandma. We got him from Pets For The Elderly. He’s your new companion.

This ain’t no game. This the rap game.

Grandma: Well, which is it, asshole? Is it or isn’t it a game. I’m getting so angry I’m going to kick this puppy! UMPH! Oh, yeah. I feel good! Oh, hey Little Billy…


This is a small book in print, Kindle, and audio version. You can help by picking up a copy. I’d appreciate it.

Here are some audio essays in album form. They are cheap and you probably already have an Amazon account. The smallest amount of effort in the least invasive way. Thanks!

If you prefer iTunes:

Here is the audiobook.

Here are the audio essays.

If you wish, you can stay in touch on Facebook and/or Twitter. 

Beyond that, thanks for paying attention at all.

Hipster Gandalf (aka Aaron Atadero)

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