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BlowCorp’s Next Big Thing – a Sketch

Here’s a comedy sketch I wrote a couple of years ago. It includes a corporate ideation session, an abusive boss, and Mark Wahlberg’s nipples, if that’s the sort of thing you enjoy. I never found a way to do anything with it, in part because we only had a very small stage at ImprovBoston to work with, and in part because it requires some camera savvy to make the last sequence work.

BlowCorp’s Next Big Thing


I’ve Got Dreams to Remember

I just found these on my phone from when I was keeping track of my dreams each morning a couple of years ago. I should start doing this again.

5/2 Dream: Two people are tuning music for some beach game. One of them is my sister. Horrible noise comes out of their stereo, then they fix it. They ask me: “Does that sound ok?” I Joke: “What?”

I have a kid in my back. My brother as a kid? Maybe my nephew? Flicking ants from my arms.

It’s announced that we will play a game. Here are the rules: We will be shown a picture. If it makes us want to take our clothes off we snap our right hand twice and take them off. If not we snap the left hand once. I run away laughing.

5/3 Dream: Very vague. Invitations being sent out. 3 were not addressed by workers, but were sealed. Wedding. Maybe? We were cursing them for not doing their job well.

5/4 dream: don’t remember

5/5 dream: Some rich people have a team of servants that they expect to be at their beck and call. One rich man starts talking about himself at length,not realizing that his female servant left the room. The servants are all played  by actors from 80s TV that I forgot about. Dixie Carter is one of them.

I start to read an article from a Harvard journal about men’s hands. What they say about a man’s health and character.

5/6 dream: Work stress dream. Colleagues were quantifying exactly how much I slowed down the processes at work.

5/9 dream: I only remember that I purchase something from a cashier. I think maybe I helped come up with a new way of selling to customers.

5/17 dream: I’m at a department party at work. H comes over and starts hugging me. Says I am funny, and that my gift to the department was hilarious. As it turns out, I packed up these fake severed arms and some weird angry mask accidentally. But people thought it was funny,so all was good.

5/18 dream:A series of obstacle course activities for the face. Most involve water spray and rotating apples.

The Denial Dial.

It’s the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. This week sucks, traditionally. The days are short, the air is cold, I’m often feeling less than healthy, and the blues ensue. Always, always, always. Why would this year be any different?

In some ways it’s worse. We’ll be saying goodbye to the best president I’ve known in my lifetime and ushering in the era of Trump. God DAMN it. That is just wrong. Every time I think of it, my mind starts to desperately backpedal. I’m looking for the UNDO button, and when I can’t find it and don’t want to linger on my despair, I instead hold the DENIAL dial in place. It produces a soft shhhh noise. Sometimes I have to put it on high, but it is never off. Maybe that’s unhealthy.


Reality is unsettling. I’m on the verge of possibly (probably?) being laid off, which is equal parts terrifying and exciting. It’s long overdue and forces me into action. I can’t stay in this apartment in Somerville without a regular paycheck – that is for certain. So, once I hear about the job officially, I’ll move in with Max in Providence. I’m very lucky to have the opportunity to do that.

So. I’ll have a warm, safe place to live with someone I love. I’ll have an opportunity to throw myself into writing, to finish some big projects, to start some new ones. Maybe I’ll make it happen this year.

Or maybe I am about to fail at life, epically, and maybe I will never-


Everything is an irritant.

Allergies. I suffer from ’em. When an irritant is within 50 yards, my body reacts in a variety of annoying ways. Sniffles, and a nose that is constantly just a little runny. Itchy eyes. The worst is a full-body skin itchiness that has no dependable cure. The itchiness can only be observed and endured until it is finished with me. Benadryl cream helps a little. Cortisone is also ok. Zyrtec is my friend. But these tools often seem like ineffectual psychological shields rather than actual weapons. Like facing down a gun-wielding outlaw with some choice Kahlil Gibran quotes. Would that we lived in such a world.

For a few years, I went to see a doctor whenever my face got itchy. Surely medical science would have some sort of topical ointment that could not be purchased over the counter at CVS. Nope. Sorry. I was generally told to stop wearing makeup, or using any product on or near my face for a time. Not only was this “cure” 100% ineffective, I looked as though I had spent a sleepless night trapped in a dirty shed.

I saw an allergist to find out what was causing the irritation. This involved one of those nifty pin-prick allergy tests that I found fascinating. Science! I loved watching the little bumps emerge on my arm in reaction to the substances being tested. I would honestly like to have this test for home use. Why should science be left to trained medical doctors? I want in.

The results were not particularly surprising. My biggest triggers were cat dander and weeds. But I also had some degree of reaction to All Of The Things.


“Ok,” I said. Problems identified. So, now what do we do about it? The allergist handed me a list of instructions that included washing my sheets in hot water and avoiding things on my list of allergens. As it turns out, they hold off on administering allergy shots if you’re not an asthmatic 11-year-old. You must instead learn to incorporate itchiness into your life plan. Embrace the eye redness and revel in the sinus congestion.


Kahlil Gibran said it best “ Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.” That’s all well and good. I just wish it would play fair.


My heart is a goddamned idiot. And I must live with that fact.

Sometimes, the married part of my past feels like a fictional tale. It’s a story I’ve told so many times that it has become a rote recital.

I visited a friend at his bar tonight, and while speaking of my ex, without thinking, held up my fingers to place virtual quotation marks around his name. It felt natural. Remember “Dagwood”? I took that trip with “Dagwood.”

I would love to laugh this off and move along, but I  feel like I’m having trouble processing my past in a healthy manner. It feels as if my mind is a computer that is unable to work with a string of code that represents a whole decade of my life. Of course. That decade does not follow any rational rules. Try to explain the concept of denial to a young child. Hell, I’d like to read a good rationale for taking a long car trip with a person who despises you. When you’re NOT IN the story, it’s a weird fiction. But when you’re IN it…it’s your Bible, your Koran, your Torah; and you must martyr yourself for this Very Important Story.

Maybe your heart is a lonely hunter. or something more poetic. Mine is a pathetic Valentine, written on faded construction paper, delivered by a pathetic Cupid, played by a sloppily-diapered Ernest Borgnine. Or at least it was at one point in time. When was that? Seven years ago? It’s so strange to think about now.

Time passes. Old wounds heal, and we find love again. Life is weird this way.

Guten Freitag, meinen Freunden.

“I’m tired of talking about bravely overcoming deafness and blindness all the time. Stop tapping shit on my palm, and leave me to my day-drinking. Seriously. Fuck right off, Annie Sullivan.”

~Helen Keller, probably.

The Camry is in the shop until tomorrow morning, getting some long-overdue maintenance work done. So I’m stranded in Somerville for the night. I’m taking the opportunity to rest and maybe write a little. I need to get my writing muscles working again. I’ve become the intellectual equivalent of Alfalfa on Little Rascals, so I must pump iron.

Tomorrow, I’ll drive to Max’s place, and we’ll go on a Newport trip. We’ve been checking out the mansions – one or two each weekend for the last two weeks. The architecture is often interesting, but some of the interior design is a bit too busy for me. Also, the children’s nurseries with their stiff, scary dolls sitting awkwardly in tiny chairs set off many dormant creep-out alarm bells in my mind. It’s as if the dolls are whispering to me. Where are the children? Who murdered little Ronald? Why did little Ronald have to die, mother? 

So, there’s that. Then a Tom Stoppard play on Sunday, because we are cultured. I took Monday as a personal day, and I did not give a reason, because – hey – it’s personal.The truth is that I’m just planning on being out late in Providence and don’t want to rush home.  But if anyone does ask me, I’ll stammer and turn red to make that person feel sorry for asking. Maybe force them to assume I have an embarrassing condition like an ass rash or I need to visit the boobs doctor.

Prince may have cursed the Camry

Theory: Every once in a while, your life needs to blow up.

My car may or may not have died tonight. It seems to be alive at the moment, but it may have suffered a serious palpitation or stroke or other serious event that signifies an impending death.

I was almost home. Less than a mile. Zooming along, singing along to my Prince CD.

YOU. I would DIE 4 U.

And the Camry answered. Without a sound or a warning. I stopped at a red light, and felt the brake pressure change. Everything jammed. The dash lit up: Battery light, Oil light, and Check Engine light. Hello, old friends. I’ve never seen you all at the same time.

On my good list: The AAA operators, the guy who came to tow my car to my house, and the state policeman who waited behind my car while I crossed the McGrath Highway to the local Burger King to use the restroom.

PEE. I would DIE 2 P.

Naughty list: The two women working at Burger King who decided to close 20 minutes early, and would not let me in to use the restroom. I wasn’t planning on ever buying a Whopper in this lifetime, but I must now cast bad juju at you and all of your establishments from this day forward. I hope the cattle rise up and trample all over your kingdom, fuckers. Thanks for nothing. May you be spend a lonely evening crying into your work smock, watching a cardboard crown circle a toilet bowl endlessly like a cheap metaphor for whatever dreams you may have had in this sad, finite life.

Not how I wanted my evening to go, but I’m at peace with it. Sometimes life needs to shake you up, challenge you. Whatever happens with the car, I’ll handle it. Life will be challenging, and then I’ll figure it out.


Emcee Pink

Mike Pence. If you were to make up a name for a governor who was so goddamned no-nonsense, he looked like this hair was tattooed on for the sake of efficiency, you might just land on the name “Mike Pence.”

Mike Pence. A name you can trust, without a bunch of unnecessary vowels and syllables. All-American, like shitty reality shows, shitty sitcoms, and shit beer.

Mike! Pence!

Our country needs a vice president with a name that hits hard, but with a thud like a blunt object. You want businesses to treat gays with the respect that the constitution and the Supreme Court affords them? Well, here’s a stack of bibles for ya, bucko. Enjoy the THUD of GOD. How do you like that? Mike Pence don’t play around, no sir.

We are not a nation of losers looking for handouts. Mike Pence! So all of you slow elderly losers, and smelly unemployed losers, and undateable disabled losers can go blow it out your loser a-holes. OK? OK!

Mike Pence!

But, how will it end?

The world seems mad at the moment. It seems as if every coalition formed over the last century is in danger of disintegrating. Up is down. Black is white. The worst of 80s fashion is back, and Donald Trump is a serious presidential candidate. It feels as if we’re all walking around in a shared fugue state, just lumbering forward into a pointless future, pointlessly.

None of this is new. History is rife with tales of calamity. We’re overdue for some major worldwide catastrophe.

At least it won’t be boring. I’m already on the edge of my seat.