Burphole #1 is available on book, kindle, and audio versions. Click here and get your copy.
Life is hard. There are going to be moments in your life where you are going to think, “Maybe I don’t want to do this anymore.” Perhaps your doughnut doesn’t have enough sprinkles. Maybe your Coke isn’t as refreshing as promised. Your favorite television character is getting rooted in the ass by someone you don’t like. “No means no!” you scream at the screen. But not this time. No means shut up and bend over. It’s not fair. I know. But, it’s ok. It can all be avoided by sheer will. Just go to your happy place.
The “happy place” was invented by Jesus Christ himself. People used to live their most tragic, horrifying moments in vivid, HD, surround sound. Super aware of every nano second. And then people witnessed an odd occurrence. While J. Star himself was pegged to that wooden cross, he began to speak.
“This is not happening. I’m not really here. Artichokes soaked in vinegar. This isn’t painful at all. Mary playing with my balls. That sweat isn’t stinging my eyes. In fact, I see rhubarb and quinces. Oh, so tasty…”
A young girl is staring up at Jesus Christ on the cross. She has positioned herself so his body is shielding her from the oppressive heat of the sun. Sunbeams, a halo around his head. (Although, the term “halo” has not been invented yet. So, his bulbous head is simply creating a nice bit of shade.) She listens to him wax poetically about pastries and reach arounds. As a buzzard lands on the crossbeam of the cross, Jesus flinches and starts to repeat anxiously, “Go to the happy place. Go to the happy place. Go to the happy place…”
An old man walks up and joins her. He asks the young girl why she isn’t off cleaning someone. Or collecting frankincense. Or whatever young Jerusalem girls do.
She replies, “I’m listening to this peasant talk about some place. The happy place. What is this happy place?”
He shields his eyes, looks up and listens.
Jesus starts singing, “Always look at the bright side of life…”
“He’s singing,” says the man.
“And talking about this place, among other rude things involving food.”
“The happy place.”
As the man looks up at the cross bearing peasant, he says, “What is this place? The happy place? Where is happy?”
The young girl responds, “I’ve never heard of it. Happy. Is that close to Rome? I’ve never been anywhere near it. Maybe it’s close to Rome.”
“Maybe,” says the old man. “Oh my god, did you see that? That crow just snatched out it’s eye!”
The young girl shrugs. “Well, a crow’s gotta eat too.”
Jesus Christ, tormented by the heat of the sun, the holes in his flesh, and a fucking crow, suddenly yells, “Kelly Clarkson!”
“The Happy Place” is truly in the eyes of the beholder. Perhaps it’s a desert where the Joshua trees are made of pistachio gelato. Cacti, the flavor of sour apple Jolly Ranchers. Tiny mammals made of hash brownies that poop little chocolate chips. A confectionery world where everything is joyful.
Maybe your “happy place” is a place of revenge. A thanksgiving gathering where you finally get to wrap your hands around the neck of your childhood stealing Uncle Albert. The one that introduced you to a penis so crooked that you were surprised when you saw a straight one. Walking through the world thinking every man housed a question mark in their pants. Which, ironically, formulated an opinion of why would anyone want one of those around their face? A horrible intrusion into a world where furry vaginas are far superior. And a place where flannels are always appropriate, especially for this wonderful moment of hearing the crushing of a wind pipe.
Maybe your place isn’t happy at all. You can’t recall a time where you were experiencing true joy, so you create the next best thing: A “cool” place. A place where the game is on. Potato chips are abundant. Pink Floyd’s “Animals” softly plays in the background. You’ve got your comfortable clothes on. Especially that one button up that seems to accent your wide shoulders while hiding your protruding gut. Someone is barbecuing out on the patio on a perfect day. The pool is clean and refreshing as it beckons you to attempt a cannon ball. The beer is cold. The whiskey is warm. It’s not Sodom & Gomorrah or anything, but it’s chill. A cool place.
Oh, the places you go when you are getting nailed against your will. Or, when listening to Millennials bloviate on shit I just made up…
ME: So, Harriette. What do you think of the rights of transgendered lobsters in relationship to the right winged fishing industry of the northeast coast of Australia?
HARRIETTE: Well, I think transgendered lobsters should have every right to, uh, be whatever gender they want to be regardless of the views of the racist white….
ME: No, I said “right.” Not white.
HARRIETTE: Yes, I heard you. What is the difference of saying right and white?
ME: It’s Australia. It’s all white.
HARRIETTE: No it’s not. The Aborigines are not white. And they are Australian. The original inhabitants of Australia, I might add. Before those fucking white…
ME: Oh! Ok. What about the Aborigines? Do you think their rampant homophobia and murderous, disgruntled tendencies have an adverse affect on the LLGBTQ community? I mean, how long can we stand by and let them murder transgendered lobsters in the name of their lord, Larry the sea lion? They are eating the lobsters, Harriette.
HARRIETTE: Ohmygod. That’s horrible.
ME: Not when you serve it with drawn butter. But make sure you cook them when alive, or they poison their flesh with gay juice.
ME: That’s right, Harriette. What the fuck are we talking about?
Joe looks over the random artifacts magnetized to the refrigerator door. A concert stub to a Boyz 2 Men show. A kitty cat hangs in there. Butter, Windex and “lady stuff” need to be purchased in the near future. A magazine photo of two Maine lobsters locked at the claws. This last piece seems out-of-place from the squeaky clean positivity of the rest of this curated collection.
“Why do you have lobsters fighting on your refrigerator door?” says Joe.
A voice from down hall, slightly audible. “What was that?”
“I was wondering why you have two lobsters fighting on your refrigerator.”
“They’re not fighting,” says the voice. “They’re holding hands. Did you know lobsters mate for life?”
Joe knew that wasn’t true. He actually had extensive knowledge of the North Atlantic lobster from his many summer jobs on a lobster boat. The North Atlantic lobster is very aggressive. And simple. It was all fucking and fighting. Not like their more organized and intelligent cousins of The Caribbean or New Zealand. Those lobsters have a society and move in migrations. But the North Atlantic lobster is a selfish, hateful, solo being. In fact, the refrigerator photo was an example of something called a “claw lock.” The result of a fight that neither lobster has given up on. A frozen stalemate. In fact, these lobsters have been known to have sex while in “claw clock.” Fucking and fighting at the same time. Which is some gangster shit.
Joe takes a deep breath and says with a shrug, “For life, huh? I didn’t know that.”
“Isn’t that beautiful?” says the voice from down the hall. “Even lobsters find love.”
Joe immediately regrets seeing the lobster photo. Because it’s an example of one of his biggest pet peeves. Anthropomorphizing animals into jolly, happy Disney characters. Animals are fuckers. Rabid, hungry, abusive, destructive fuckers. Why doesn’t anybody say, “Hey. Look at my dog over there by your kid. I bet he’s contemplating biting her fucking face off. Because he’s an animal, dude. And your kid’s annoying.”
Joe changes the subject. “Boyz 2 Men, huh? I didn’t know they were still around.”
“I love, love Boyz 2 Men. They are one of the best groups ever. Maybe the best.”
Joe hates that comment. Boyz 2 Men, the best ever? For fucks sake. First the lobster thing, and now this? He considers walking out of the voice’s place, but he did have to fight traffic to get over here. He should probably stick around and see if he gets a blow job, or better. Maybe a claw lock…
“I miss the old days when “Surf & Turf” was Maine lobster and a succulent tenderloin,” thought Little Billy as he pushed his plate of fish lice and ox blood gelatin away.
Eating lobsters is fucking gross, everybody. It’s a sea bug. An Arthropod. Just like spiders and crabs and scorpions and shrimp and fish lice.
Fucking lice, dude.
Even the American natives to New England ate arthropods reluctantly. It’s a last resort, survival thing. Only after you have exhausted the rotten potatoes, the dried dog tongues, the sycamore leaf salads, do you venture out into the ocean for the fucking bugs that crawl around the bottom.
Little Tatunka looks at her plate of sea lice, disgusted. She shifts her gaze to the horizon and takes a deep breath. As her eyes glaze over she thinks, “I’d rather be fuckin’ raped, kid.”