Category Archives: Social Topics

5 Handshakes To Assert Your Dominance Over Mr. Tiny Hands

By Quin Asselin

An excerpt from The Adult Issue, out now!

Everyone makes that same mistake when they see Ralph from the front desk. They go, “Well shit, Ralph has some tiny hands so it shall be easy for me to crush them into a mealy flesh paste before I go to Denny’s for their limited edition Holiday Harvest Skillet.”

But if you’re really looking to add some sizzle to your season, you better be read up, Peach Tea. For Ralph and his unremarkable hands have felled CEOs with a couple of baseball gloves for clodhoppers. Here’s some techniques to consume with your noodle before taking on the big dog himself.

 

The Rock and The Hard Place

Take the small yet formidable hand of Ralph the Intern into the welcoming embrace of your preferred spank mitten. Then take your southpaw and eclipse his little pygmy digits. You are a vice grip in your eighth grade woodshop, you’re Anton Yelchin’s new car, you’re the ocean swallowing the Titanic. You must be deaf to the screams.

 

The Pachaug Punisher

A bit of forewarning: This is an advanced level shake that requires the aid of an entire river to complete. A very spitty mouth will do in a pinch but that can be a dead giveaway for a certain hawk-eyed intern. You’re gonna reach in for that standard shake (American, not Australian ya goon) and hold his lotioned hand interlaced with your quintet of meat pistons. Then take your Grade A USDA certified beef sausages and lock him in. Sweep the legs, then either roll him into a gulley or unleash a Biblical torrent of expectorate from your negotiation orifice. You haven’t had a shake/workout like that in a while huh?

 

Maybe Just Be Nice to Ralph?

I’m really not sure what your problem with Ralph is. He’s a decent intern and those mitts of his are still mighty enough to schedule all necessary appointments. He can type around 90 words a minute, even on a big boy keyboard. So maybe you shouldn’t be mocking a man who’s making the best of the bad hand he was dealt.

 

A Hammer

This one is less of a handshake and more of a hammer and a putrid little baby babuu boy hand embracing each other. Plus, this shake is great for those who are with Ralph in a Home Depot or an under construction Denny’s a couple months before you really give his palms a pulverizing. You know, doing this could really end up hurting him a whole lot. If you’ve got such a beef with Ralph don’t you think it’d be best to maybe try and talk it out with him? Why do you always gotta be escalating shit to new levels like this?

 

Mazda Meathook Masher

This is a pretty cruel and unusual handshake, even for a saucy little cornball like yourself. First you’re gonna have to steal the keys to Intern Ralph’s modestly priced 1998 Mazda Miata. You won’t be able to miss it because it’s a flashy red sports car that he parks in my spot every-goddamn-day. Start joyriding that baby all over town until you’re out completely devoid of fuel/motivation (whichever comes first) then return to the last known location of Ralph, he’ll be there. Shake his teeny tiny flesh gripper and inform him of all the misdeeds that led to his Mazda’s disappearance. His hand will limp and his face shall grow pale, as you compress his carpal tunnel into the world smallest neutron star.

Ralph may have never done anything to deserve such unjust hate at your very hands, but just looking’ at him you can totally tell that his diminutive flesh carrots were due for a squishing. And you and me kid, we’re gonna take this town’s hands down a peg, one lowly unsuspecting trashbag of an intern at a time.

Change Of Scenery? The Islanders Are Looking For A New Home And My Uncle Knows Just The Place

By Jesse Saunders

An excerpt from our latest issue, The Fake News Issue!

It’s been a stressful season for the New York Islanders, the renowned hockey team known for playing hockey similarly to other teams. In a development which proved shocking to fans everywhere, moving the team and forcing them to play in the middle of a Brooklyn bar and concert venue —  the Barclays Center — was not as positive an experience as everyone and anyone could have expected. This is not the end for Everyone’s Favorite Team When Every Other Sport is Off-Season, though. With rumors that the team could move to Queens, or possibly even the seventh circle of hell – Staten Island – fans across both Nassau and Suffolk counties aren’t holding their breath for positive news any time soon.

Up-and-coming businessman and my favorite blood-related uncle, Dominick A. Vito, might have just the answer, though. As it so happens, he came into a piece of property that is mere minutes from the Islanders’ old place, the Nassau Coliseum. And, according to sources close to the situation, the place is “friggin’ yuge.”

With amenities such as alcohol, my dad’s awesome jokes, semi-cold running water, and a pretty flat floor, what else could the team need for their new home? Uncle Dom even got that smell out of the carpet, so now it’s clean and fresh and ready for the blood of our least-skilled players, especially now that the other blood is gone. It just takes some seltzer; it really wasn’t that big of a deal. Have you met my uncle? If you have, you get it. He’s a hard-working man. I say that as a reporter, so now it’s a fact.

Angelo D. Vito, my dad and long-time bar-regular, gave a ringing endorsement of the establishment.  “Little Dommy was never very good with the girls, but he’s got Miller on tap, so we all know who really came out on top.”

“Women!” continued the lone patron who is, just to reiterate, the father to a woman who is me. “Who needs em?”

Disgustingly, critics of my uncle’s plan have said that the team needs “a stadium”, and “seats” in their new home. Others, though, such as my uncle and his brother, see this as an example of Big Hockey trying to hurt the average fan.

“Remember back in the day when the average boy could go from playing in the streets to beating up the opposite team for millions of dollars a day? I want that shit in my bar,” said the younger of the Vito brothers, the one that’s my uncle. Objectively speaking, he makes a good point. Those days of opportunity – the opportunity for a young white man to break another man’s collarbone and be celebrated, rather than to be forcibly removed from the Roosevelt Field Mall – are over unless we support businessmen like my uncle, who have proven time and time again that they are the true lifeblood of Long Island.

“Hey, Rangers suck,” Uncle Dom whispers, almost to himself. “Strong Island.”

Strong Island indeed.

What Is Luge?

By Brenna Lilly

An excerpt from our latest issue, The Fake News Issue!

As the world starts preparing for the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, a question comes to mind for all with cable TV –

What is luge?

First seeking wisdom from my peers, I received many a reactionary answer.

“Luge? Keep that fuckshit out of my Catholic home,” neighbor Mary Robbins protested.

“Luge? Haven’t seen that bitch since college,” pondered coworker Eric Downs.

“Luge? My wife told me to pick some up at CVS. She said it was like humping a dry carrot. A meaty, dry carrot, with those white flaky patches?” admitted stranger Todd Owen.

It seems that this sport has long been left undefined for the general populous, requiring us to fill in the details of a sport lain dormant in the dragon’s nest.

According to the National Olympic Newspaper for Sociological and Ecological Nutrition in Southern Europe (NONSENSE), luge can be defined as any sport that uses sleds and grease. The first ever recorded game of luge was played in 1483 at the dawn of English time when Richard the Third lubricated the track with the blood of his enemies. The luge-sled, known in French as the Grosse bite (translation: large cock), was a large and oily piece of wood. This game was organized to celebrate the inauguration of Pope John Paul IV, who won the electoral college by a landslide vote.

Today, luge is one of the most popular Winter Olympic Games. Players from all around Greenland and Canada’s Northwestern Provinces unite under a single steamy dome to participate in what has internationally become known as “The Lord’s Tournament,” gliding players into the hearts of man for 30 slippery seconds at a time while they evade death by mere millimeters.

The track is the most important element in the event of luge. In Italy, the luge tracks are greased with freshly-pressed oil of the olive plant. In Thailand, coconut oil is used. In the United States, they prefer raw unrefined pig fat, also known as “hitting that shit raw.” Some Olympic qualification tournaments have been known to use KY Intense Pussy Burn Jelly for Her, as well as actual strawberry jelly; the two products are largely interchangeable.  As for the sled, most Olympians choose to use discarded Macbook Pros; here at Hofstra University, our team uses trays stolen from brittle old men visiting the Student Center who can’t carry their own food. Their tears lubricate our newly-erected Joseph J. Shapiro Family Steam Dome.

This game is known as the second most dangerous sport in the Olympics, preceded only by Spicy Fencing (Supreme Edition). Mothers have wept sweet rose-scented tears at the edges of thousands of luge-tracks. And with good reason! Partakers of luge are a rare breed indeed; even the losers of such an arduous and life-changing sport must themselves be built by champions, forged in the flame, and cold as ice. To learn more, we asked internationally known lugerino Anita Nuthername to tell us a little about this fateful game of death and how one finds “success” at it.

“Yeah, it’s really all in the buttcheeks,” said Nuthername, clenching hers tightly so that a squeaking noise could be heard through the entire luge practice complex, in turn inspiring her teammates to do more luge. “You just gotta squeeze ‘em real tight. That’s how Richard the Third would have wanted it.”

When asked how long Nuthername had been practicing the luge lifestyle, she answered, “Since the day I was fucking born. When my mother, God rest her tender soul, squeezed her very own luge-ly buttcheeks and birthed me out, I was set forth onto my sled and into the track. The afterbirth followed suit.” Following this exchange, Nuthername paused briefly. “I miss my cheeky Mama,” she whispered to me, her glutes still squealing. Tears began to well in her eyes and, for the first time that day, it seemed as though she had more on her mind than just indentured swervitude. “But I just wish she would have explained to me what the fuck luge is.”

A Woke Review: Hidden Fences Is Important

By Rojanaye Daley

An excerpt from our latest issue, The Fake News Issue!

Hidden Fences has become one of the most #woke movies of the past decade. Honestly guys, I’m #shook. After I watched it, I felt the warmth of Martin Luther King Jr. as my third eye opened. It’s so woke guys. Like Malcolm-X-became-my-spiritual-guide woke, but like only when he said violence was bad. Like I went home and ghost wrote seven Buzzfeed articles about this movie woke. Ever since #OscarsSoWhite, writers, producers, and Hollywood actors have taken enormous strides to ensure that their audience not only receives more diverse stories, but that said stories are treated with the respect and admiration that they deserve.

I stumbled upon this movie by wandering through my local refurbished neighborhood, hoping to find some cool new place to pretend I discovered.  I came across this new alternative movie theater. At first they were hesitant to let me in, so obviously I climbed in through the window and claimed the land as my own. This hidden gem has the appearance of apartment, featuring a small kitchen with a moderately stocked fridge and some family photos. Their patrons feel more at home by providing old couches to sit on, and instead of a screen, there is a small television. The owner of the theater was super nice, and offered to bring me jewelry and money. The youngest of the customers began to sob obnoxiously. The environment was clearly designed to force visitors to make bonds with the other audience members, forcing millennials to take a break from the phones and connect on a deeper level. I normally give local spaces 5 out of 5 stars, but the broken glass and crying children kind of killed the vibe and ruined my experience. 😦

Hidden Fences is the crime story, similar to the likes of the 2015 Oscars, 2017 Grammys, or that blackface Othello movie. Stanley, played by Denzel Washington, is framed for a crime he did not commit. He is sent to a detention center called ‘Camp Green Lake’, where he and the other inmates are forced to dig numerous holes in the desert every day. As Stanley comes to terms with his life, he uncovers the mystery of the holes and makes some friends along the way. The film has an incredible star studded cast, including Octavia Spencer, playing the mysterious and captivating Madame Zeroni, and Taraji P. Henson as the Warden. These actors’ names are just pronounceable enough so you’ll feel cultured when you remember them, and you won’t feel racist if you can’t get them right. There hasn’t been a story so captivating since Hamilton. I would know, I’ve seen it live, and I’ve memorized all the raps.

Inspired by true events, and directed by Tyler Perry, this movie had will have you whipping and nae nae-ing on the edge of your seat. This movie is so bad and bougie that your ‘boxer braids’ will look even more fleek than they did when you entered the trap house. On a scale of ‘My African American friend over there’ to ‘Living the Life of Pablo’, watching this movie will totally get your one black friend to give you ‘the pass.’ Do👏🏻not👏🏻watch👏🏻unless👏🏻you👏🏻are👏🏻ready👏🏻to👏🏻be👏🏻woke👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

Party Blackout Allegedly Involved Alcohol-Induced Vomiting, Sbarro’s, And The Commuter Lounge Bathroom

by Party Boy

UNIONDALE — Verbal evidence from my friends and some strangers seems to allegedly suggest that I vomited on a girl, rolled around in some beer, vomited again, and then passed out in the commuter lounge bathroom.

My roommates and I made of the plans to go out to a party at one of Hofstra’s fraternity parties because we were sick of getting drunk and crying in our own dorm room. The night was started with a pre-game in our friend’s room: several beers were shotgunned and several shots were consumed. No one was sure on the number. When asked for comment my friend Steve said, “you drank a shitload that night, man. Like we all saw everything coming.” He then called me a, “Fucking idiot who needs to get his priorities straight.” I told him to let me live my life and now he has threatened to stop buying weed for me.

After I arrived at the party, I was allegedly a “riot” according to this one girl in my Math Excursions class. “Yeah, you were like dancing on this wall really getting into it. You’re so weird in class I didn’t know you had this wild side in you,” said one girl who chose to remain anonymous. “I came over to try to dance with you, but then you fell right off the wall into some beer,” she recounts.

At this point I allegedly started rolling around in the beer yelling, “Wrap me in a dough and call me Babe the Dirty Pig Boy. Feed me your dinner scraps!”

My friend, Deborah, who just happened to be at the party, helped me up. When asked about the situation she said, “It was really just a strange night for you. You were adamant about being wrapped in dough for a while then went into the frat house and ate all their hummus!”

I replied with, “That’s crazy! I did that!?”

At some point after this, the time cannot be certain, the cops showed up. Almost as soon as they arrived, I started vomiting a hummus-y beer mixture out of my mouth. My clothes were unscathed in the morning, so I was shocked when I was told this news. My friend Molly sorted it all out for me, “You threw up all over me. Down my shirt, on my shoes, everywhere. Then you made out with Stacy! And you know I have a crush on you!” I ran away shortly after that, scared of her crying or forcing me into commitment, so she did not give anymore quotes.

Several minutes of the night cannot be described, because no one was with me. My friend had left to go to the popular late night convenience store, “Bricktown.” When he found me, I was lying on a tree singing Rhianna’s 2007 hit, “Umbrella” despite sources confirming that Future was playing at the time. He allegedly put me around his shoulder and helped me walk back to campus. “You know how much more I can lift than you at the gym,” he said on the situation, “it was a breeze carrying you back.”

The two of us then went to Sbarro’s, the best pizza on Long Island, where we ordered several slices. I was said to have taken one bite and then immediately vomited on the floor. My friend then took me to the commuter lounge where I destroyed it with my vomit and urine and proceeded to pass out, pants at my ankles.

My other roommates were then called to come get me with their car, for they were sober. When asked to comment on the situation my friend Mike said, “You kept telling us, ‘if you try to make me move, I’m going to scream,’ you’re such a little fuck!” They eventually got me to my dorm and into bed.

I awoke the next morning with the feeling that goes along with a blackout: What happened last night? It could have been anything. I could not expect how disappointed I would be in myself after hearing the story.

At time of print, we have very few details regarding the appropriate amount of apologies that must be made, or if the girl from Math Excursions will call me back.

Like what you’ve read? Check out Nonsense’s first ever Humor Variety Show TODAY Friday the 31st, at 7pm in the Hofstra Cultural Center Theater!

Do NOT Fuck These Bugs, Sebastian

By The One Who Keeps You From Harm

Do not fuck these bugs, you little scallop sack. Do not even THINK about fucking bugs when I am talking to you.

I’m sorry, Sebastian, that was harsh. I should be calmer. I know it’s hard for you, Sebastian. A man with your disposition, he gets urges sometimes. We’ve all been there, it’s something we’ve all been through. But you have to overcome it. You’re about to come of age, and I know this world holds many wondrous things for you, many new things that you are about to experience for the first time. Turning 30 is really quite something.

But the one thing you must always remember is that I am your legally appointed guardian and it will always be my business what goes on in your bedroom. Or across a cot of shimmering laurels on the floor of a glistening forest. Or in the thick, warm mud of some South American swamp. Or in the majestic hive of some colony of worker bees. Or in the viscous sap of a tall, tall Douglass Fir. These things are my responsibility to know and scold you for, and as thus, I will always be watching you from a distance of 15 feet. Enough to give you your privacy while still maintaining a firm grasp of control upon you, as you are the only thing left in my life that I can assert power over.

To make things easier for you, Sebastian, I have collected these bugs for you here so that I may explicitly show you which bugs you are forbidden to have sexual relations with.

 

1. The Juice Bug

Praying-mantis-copy

The Juice Bug is the most succulent of beasts. I see the way that you stare at its abdomen, that juicy hind section, and the tantalizing way its wings fold up underneath it. But tell me Sebastian, is it really worth it? Try not to see this bug as a mere receptacle of lust, but as a wonderful creation, beyond objectification.

 

2. The Spotted Wingdinger

ladybug-daisy

Ah yes, Sebastian. He is a beaut, ain’t he? But it is the case Sebastian, that a man of your age must learn to look upon beauty with refined sensibilities. Can’t something still have beauty without sexual attraction? Can you not look upon such fine wings and say “Wow, what a pretty bug and I’m not just saying that because I want to stick my penis inside of him. I actually appreciate him from an aesthetic standpoint, and my urge to ejaculate has since receded.” This is all I ask of you.

 

3. The Crawling Melonspear

SILVERFISH-ON-WOOD

Calm your breathing, Sebastian. I said calm it. This one gets me heated too. But I have since learned to keep such feelings at bay. I have long known the throws of lust, but longer have I known the power of repression.

Get your hand away from there. You filthy sack of philtered fuck. I am about to let you out of the house for the first time in your life, and this is how you scorn my generous freedom? Take note Sebastian: My pupils are dilated too. Rome was not built in a day, and neither were my deeply rooted-psychological barriers of sexual restraint. Let me help you. Here, let’s try another.

 

4. The Fat Lady, And All The Juice That She Bears

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Oh yes. You wish to know her in the most biblical sense. She is a lovely lady indeed, but do you not remember our conversation about the Spotted Wingdinger?

Well imagine that they are in love. Do you want to break up that relationship? Could you let your lust chip away at such a beautiful bond? These two live together, they breath together. They hold hands when they walk through the park. They kiss each other in the pouring rain. They make the most intimate love behind closed doors. They leave a camera on sometimes to record all the naughty discourse. Sometimes the blinds are open for the neighbors to see. The Fat Lady wears a chain around her neck, and the Spotted Wingdinger puts on that pair of tights, you know the one, Sebastian, you know it so well. And sometimes the Crawling Melonspear comes by, and he loves them both. He loves them both, and the Fat Lady she gets especially bothered when he loves her precious Spotted Wingdinger. Oh she loves to watch from the corner, she loves to hold the camera and watch them go at it. And who’s this, watching from the ventilation shaft? It could only be the Juice Bug. And she’s brought gifts, oh little gifts, little trinkets, little chains, little sticks and stones and goopy potions. And then together on the bed, all together on the bed, yes, they all writhe, they all scream, yes, they shout in the throws of passion. Together, all together, one-in-the-same and it’s all about love, but in some ways it isn’t? In some ways the Wingdinger yearns to be a receptacle for lust, in some ways the Wingdinger just wants the Melonspear to use him, to hurt him, to make him feel like he’s just been thrown aside—

SEBASTIAN, NO! Oh my sweet lips, you kissed my sweet lips, you kissed me right upon the mouth. Oh Sebastian, no, this was not my intention. I am five years your junior, do you not worry about the age gap? NO? Age is just a number to you?

Oh Sebastian no, I couldn’t. I couldn’t dream of it. Let us forget this ever happened. Let us get back to the matter at hand. Do not fuck the Fat Lady, And All The Juice She Bears, do not even go near her.

 

5. Actually, This One You Can Fuck

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This one is fair game, Sebastian. Fuck it hard.

 

6. The Last Bug Is…

grasshopper7

Oh my Sebastian. You want to know why my visage appears on this screen? Oh dear. Well this is rather awkward.

You see, Sebastian… I have told you that you may not fuck these bugs for a reason. I have raised you, and together we have lived for a hundred years. Well it’s seemed that way. But I have been keeping a dark secret from you Sebastian, and now, as you reach the cusp of the prime age of sexual maturity at 30, when a man mosts lusts for the tender appendages and exoskeletons that only bugs can provide… now I must reveal that secret to you.

The truth is, Sebastian, I am the last bug you cannot fuck. It is forbidden by the law of the land.

But oh, it pains me so. You don’t know how I have yearned for you. Oh my little wings how they ache for your tender touch. This is why I must let you go, Sebastian. This is why I must set you free.

Oh love, she is a jealous mistress, Sebastian. She pulls at the heart strings, she is loud, she screams and she wails with envy. This is why you cannot fuck these other bugs Sebastian, because I will be watching you, and, oh, how it will hurt. You cannot fuck these critters because I cannot bear to see you lie with another bug. It would pierce my heart with an icy stinger to have to watch you cavort with another, to lie under the wisps of a willow tree and watch as you plow them right to kingdom come.

The pain would surely bring me to the grave.

Forgive me, Sebastian. Forgive me for everything.

Now go, the door is open. Just go and leave me here to nurse my broken heart. I’ll be along shortly to stalk you from the mandated distance.

Oh my Sebastian, he leaves me and he is weeping. He is broken, he is shattered. I watch him go, and as he walks up the stairs I see the shape of his round, plump, thirty-year-old buttocks receding into the distance. They are the buttocks that I will never know, they are the love that I will never have. Oh my Sebastian, my sweet sweet Sebastian. Why must God be so cruel to us. smalllogo

Do Not Tell Me The Sky Is The Limit Because I Am An Astronaut

By An Astronaut

You will stop right there when you are addressing me. I have come out into this vile café for peace. Perhaps I expected a request for an autograph, perhaps I expected adoration, perhaps I even expected some respect, but I have received neither, and especially not from you. “The Sky Is The Limit”? Is this paltry expression your attempt at positive reassurance? Do you even know who I am?

Let me explain something to you, fool.

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Yes, you. I am talking to you, do not deny this any longer.

I am the one who goes into space. It is me. It is likely that you are not familiar with the demands of my profession, so I will construct for you a quick lesson.

We live on the earth. It is round and stinky and full of bugs.

Above the earth is the sky, where great winged beasts build houses out of small dogs they stole from suburban back yards, and where God’s little feet rest when they are being tired.

Are you following me so far?

Above this sky, is a place where titans play games. A place where big honchos like me go to score some space meat, where throbbing rockets dance across the primordial plane and fondle the genitalia of constellations that small, small children like you have stared at your whole lives. A place where fleshbags like me become gods.

Constellations
This is the place where I do my bidding. The stars are my home, my lovers, my friends. And you? You stay stuck to a wall, slurping little bugs, little rodents, as they pass across your vile paper visage.

This locale is known as “Space”, you ignorant dog, and it is well above the confines of the meager sky. I go here while you sit sucking on your little thumb. I go here while Elon Musk strokes his rigid dome into a stock photo of the Martian moons. I go here while all the world lays sleeping, dreaming of being as radiant as me.

I am The One Who Dares Explore The Unknown. I am bound by no limits of the sky and its beasts, its doghouses, its godly feet. I am an Astronaut, you fell swine, and I demand respect. I am the mother of science, the very teat upon which the rest of the human race suckles. I am the hope for the future, the divine, the inimitable ‘Naut (this is what my friends call me) who holds, in his hands, the ability to shape the fate of all time and space. I am a god among men, and you, you are just a stupid poster.

So the next time you dare tell me the sky is the limit, just remember that when you look up at the stars I will be staring down at you. I will collect all the spit into a ball between my teeth and drench you with my mouth juice from so very far away. It will take a long time to get there. It may not all be intact. It may be frozen from the vacuum of space. But I will drench you, and upon this wettening, you will know that you have caused me extreme offense.

6 Spots In My House Where My Daughter’s Ghost Can’t Find Me

By James Sweeney

An excerpt from our hottest text strudel, “Nonsense’s Guide to the Supernatural

There are certain aspects of life you never really engage with until you have to…until you’re forced to. I know that now. A lot of people say they want to understand death. They say they want to learn to embrace it, and explore the beauty in it. They’re full of shit. You don’t want to understand. You don’t want to understand what it’s like to live every day under a black cloud of memories that hurt too much to remember, and yet far more to bury deep inside yourself, the shame of trying to forget how happy you used to be. You don’t want to watch your little girl wither away for two goddamn years, to watch her shrink into nothing right before your eyes. Try moving on from that. Try picking up the pieces after that. It’s the hardest thing you’ll ever have to do; and it doesn’t get any easier when your baby girl’s spirit chooses to root itself in your home rather than crossover to an eternal afterlife. At this point, I’m just thankful I have a few spots I can escape to when the ghost of my beautiful dead daughter becomes too much to deal with.

1. The Basement

We never let Cassie into the basement when she was alive because of the rat infestation, but once the crowdfunding came together for her funeral costs we were finally able to fix up that chintzy paneling and afford a decent exterminator. Now, I’ve got the recliner and my Playstation down there and, while it isn’t much yet, I’m thinking it could become a certified Man Cave in due time. Dr. Towns says that an important part of grieving is giving yourself space to work through things at an appropriate pace. It’s important not to rush the process, he says, which is why I’m holding off on snagging a pool table until I can find a regulation sized one in red felt. Patience is key, he says.

2. The Garage

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Cassie had been scared of the garage ever since that bat got trapped in there a few years back, so I knew I wouldn’t have to worry about her apparition running around in there and reminding me of what my life once was. Dr. Towns mentioned that a lot of men deal with grieving by taking up projects, so I figured now was as good a time as any to work on the old Mustang again. She’s an absolute beauty, a cherry red ’69 with the original drum brakes, a dual exhaust, and a V6 cylinder engine that still purrs like the kitten we promised to get Cassandra for her 9th birthday. I would give anything to have been able to bring that cat home and see the look in Cassie’s eyes, but I guess I’ll just have to settle for being the envy of all my buddies once the Cherry Bomb is back in roadworthy condition.

3. Underneath the Patio

Cassie would never darego under here back when things were good and life mattered. She was pretty sure there were monsters living under the house, and I wasn’t exactly rushing to tell her otherwise. She had such an imagination, my tiny adventurer, and the last thing I wanted was her crawling around down there and getting hurt. Pretty ironic, all things considered. Dr. Towns says it’s important to maintain goals and remember that I still have things in life to work towards. Writing down notes of things I hope to accomplish is a big way to look ahead, he says. I woke up under the patio last week with a sticky note in my shirt pocket that said “Find a cure to cancer. Do whatever it takes.” I have a degree in social work from University of Phoenix Online.

4. The Spare Bedroom

We usually kept this room locked up when Cassie was still with us, and she generally knew better than to come in. Jess keeps all her sewing and knitting stuff in here, and Cassie was just always getting into some kind of trouble whenever she snuck in. Just too many pins and needles for such a mischievous kid, ya know? But there was this one time – God, I wish I’d taken a picture of this – when Cassie snuck in while Jess was taking a shower, and wrapped an entire ball of yarn around herself. An entire ball! She had to be about five, maybe six, and she was so caught up in the yarn that she could barely move! Eventually I find her, and she’s wriggling around on the carpet just covered in yarn, and she looks up me with her little gap tooth smile and goes, “Daddy! Daddy! Look! I’m a Casserpillar!” I mean how clever is that?! She was so smart, my little Casserpillar. I come in here sometimes, and I lay right down on the spot of the floor where I found her wriggling and laughing and smiling. At first, I worried that spending time in here would be intrusive towards Jess’s own grieving, but ironically, it would seem that I spend a lot more time in here than she does now. For the most part Jess just sleeps these days. Dr. Towns says this is a common side-effect of depression, and while I wish I could spend more time with Jess, I also I understand why she would want to spend days at a time in the dark of our bedroom. When you walk into the living room every morning to find the TV turned to Cartoon Network and the ghost of your only daughter practicing ballet, every moment from then on out just kind of feels like a waking nightmare.

5. The Minivan

Since the liminal plane containing my daughter’s soul seems to only really reach the 3900 sq. feet that make up our home, backyard, and driveway, I’ve recently begun parking the minivan in the street. I spent most nights out in the van during that first month without Cassie, though back then I was actually driving around town, sometimes until dawn. At this point, I don’t even bother bringing the keys with me, just a bottle and a book. While it’s true that I’d do just about anything to forget for a minute what has become of my once-charmed existence, there’s a lot of misunderstanding about my time out by the curb. Honestly – and this is something Dr. Towns sort of refuses to acknowledge, which has been a real point of frustration for me – the drinking isn’t meant to numb the pain. There’s no numbing this pain. There’s no muting this roaring deficit in my being. It really just comes down to this: If you’ve ever read Koontz, you know that his masterful storytelling goes hand-in-hand with a little sauce. Them’s just facts. Like I’ve told Dr. Towns over and over, Jack Daniels and Dean Koontz were my go-to duo long before my world came crashing down. I just happen to need them now more than ever.

6. The Attic

None of us ever really went into the attic much when Cassie was alive, what with all the loose insulation and fiberglass up here. That stuff doesn’t really matter so much now. I go up here sometimes to just think, to process. Lately, I’ve actually started bringing my laptop – just to get a little writing done, keep the ol’ ticker in shape. Dr. Towns says it’s healthy to exercise the parts of the brain that we often come to neglect over time. I was about halfway finished with a screenplay based of off Dean Koontz’s 1983 bestseller Phantoms around the time we found out Jess was pregnant. I had been working for Jess’s dad at the time, helping him sell car parts out of the family shop, but every night after my shift, like clockwork, I would just sit down and immediately get so absorbed in that screenplay. Even during the first couple months of the pregnancy, I’d be writing for hours every night – I had such a strong vision for how everything would turn out, and I even had this idea in my head that Ray Liota could play the enigmatic Sherriff Bryce Hammond. Jess would be right there next to me, knitting little caps and booties. It’s amazing how time flies, isn’t it? Ten years seems like a lifetime ago now. Though, I guess in the case of my only daughter Cassandra, it kind of was.
It’s stuffy up here, and I’ve developed some pretty bad skin irritation, but I’d rather scratch myself bloody than watch the ghost of my daughter retrace the steps of a life that was stolen from her. It’s like…it’s like watching some little girl playing the role of my sweet pea. She looks just like her, and sounds just like her. She calls out to me sometimes, and she’s so happy. She’s not in pain, either; it’s as if the last two-and-a-half years never happened. It’s like an alternate universe. Sometimes, I’ll get up in the middle of the night and in my half-sleep, I’ll find her standing in the hallway. I’ll reach down to touch her head, thinking maybe she had a bad dream. But, my hand passes right through her. It’s like losing her all over again, and every time, just like that, I remember that it’s my bad dream. It’s my never-ending bad dream.

Horoscopes by Anthony Bourdain

By Anthony Bourdain

An excerpt from Nonsense’s Guide to Travel!

Pisces

You’ve been listening to too much of that new-age folk bullshit music, Pisces. Pull yourself together and jam out to some serious rock-and-roll. Guns and Roses. The Ramones. Iggy Pop. Put on your record player and just tune out. Maybe, if you feel so compelled, indulge in a bump of heroin. Then describe it to me. Please. Just this once, kid. For me.

Aries

Aries, you have too much fire in you. Invest in a warm glass of sake. Find yourself in that sushi joint I told you about in Shibuya. Tell the chef that Tony sent you. He, and only he, will know what to do. Don’t cringe when he serves you the sea urchin: that blessed, slithering, raw uni. You’ve had worse in your mouth, I’m sure.

Taurus

Get your dick out of that French duck press, Taurus, because it’s time to stop fooling around. You’re stubborn, but you’re losing your grip. No one wants to hear you bitch about your sexless marriage. Man up. A nice glass of a well-aged scotch and maybe some rare filet will ease your troubles.

Gemini

I once fucked a pair of twins on my first trip to Australia. They were tan, well-oiled, and gorgeous. I still buy them a beer or two whenever I’m in Sydney. It’ll be a good week, Gemini, if you play your cards right. Keep it up, you sexy, multi-faceted devil. You too, deserve a beer.

Cancer

Stop your crying, Cancer, and get yourself a stiff one (heh) at your closest dive bar: the one with the oldest strippers you can find. Your problem is that you’re a vegan. Order a thick cheeseburger and have a good jerk in the bathroom stall. The big one. Don’t flush.

Leo

Leo, you warm-hearted lion, you. You mean well, but honestly, your efforts just aren’t cutting it. Take a nice day all to yourself on the beach and keep a freshly-muddled caipirinha in your hand at all times. No beach? Too bad. Draw a bath. …what? I enjoy the small things in life. What of it, cocksucker?

Virgo

It has been a stressful week, Virgo. Keep your cool. Take a long stroll to the walk-in fridge and have a good primal scream, like the one your father had. In there you will find a nice package of pancetta. You know what to do from here, big boy. Grease up and slither behind the bar to grab a shot of whiskey from that barmaid you’ve been trying friskily to fingerfuck. Maybe snort a line off her ass.

Libra

A hard worker, you are, Libra. Your business aspirations, however, will fail this week. Consider a side hustle in something less than legal, perhaps. Indulge in those sensory pleasures you have long denied yourself…chase the dragon, kid. Chase it real good.

Scorpio

How many more of them are there? Three? After this? Fine, but the next round is on you guys. Who’s next? Scorpio? You’re known for your devilish charm, Scorpio, but you really gotta start taking it easy. Sometimes, you need a little – how should I say – aromatherapy. A spliff in Amsterdam, perhaps?

Sagittarius

Weary traveler Sagittarius, it’s time for you to leave again. Be spontaneous. I would suggest Malaysia or the Philippines. Last time I was in Malaysia, I got a hand-tapped tattoo of an ouroboros. Follow suit. Ask for extra beef in your bowl of noodles, and when your hosts offer you their locally brewed hooch, don’t be a pussy.

Capricorn

You’re a ruthless bastard, Goat Man. Mmm…goat. Ever tried goat kidney? Delicious with a cold glass of…what was I saying? I’m fucking starving. They haven’t fed me yet today, and I’m getting a little fucking grumpy.

Aquarius

This week, Aquarius, expect to…wait a second, Guy Fieri is an Aquarius? Fuck horoscopes. Fuck you all. Fuck. You. All. Fuck. You. All.

Wait, how’d you get in my house?

Listen, I don’t wanna be weird but I just noticed you were in my house and I find that kind of weird. How did you get here? Was it the window? The door? I live in a small house that is very high. I will assume you came in through the door. The door was locked. I locked the door. Do you have a key? I have not given anyone a key, but here you are. I will not assume you are here to steal my clementines. If you are, you need to leave right now. I love my clementines, and you, I do not love.

If my old roommate gave you a key, you need to head out. Kevin was not a good roommate and he is an even worse Ghost-roommate. Ghost’s cannot give people keys and therefore, you should not be in my house. Buddy, if Kevin gave you these keys, I will not enjoy that. He never pays rent, he stole my shirt, he… oh buddy, not cool. Well, if he didn’t give you the keys, would you like to watch the 1978 Superbowl with me? I have it on DVR. Do not spoil this for me, I do not know the ending. I have been watching all of the Superbowls with my fruit. My Clementines. Mine.

I wish you would just tell me how you got into my house. Did my neighbor Sarah Ann Lyon think you were a delivery man? She once put seven strangers in my house and only one of them was sent from German- owned company, DHL. The strangers and I had a very nice dinner party, but still they were in my house, and when I looked, I no longer had the playbook of the 1993 Superbowl, which you can imagine was very upsetting to me. If she did not let you in, then I have to imagine you are here for nefarious purposes, because as you can tell this is my house and not yours. I am outraged that you won’t just reveal your intentions in my home. Can you not see that I just want to sit with my fruit and unspoiled football games in peace? Can you not clearly tell that you being here is eating into my alone time in which I will watch the 2002 Superbowl? Yet, you continue to be here in my family room where if I had a family we would meet and discuss the political quagmire that is the Middle East.

Wait…. but no it couldn’t be, perhaps we went to high school together. I have blocked out my sophomore year of high school, so if you met me during that year, I will not remember you. If you wish to be my rival, you should just fill out a form and leave a suspicious note on my door like everyone else who wants to fight me. I simply cannot believe this is happening right now. Just steal something from me and leave, please. I just want to be able to return to my normal life.

You stand there, drilling a hole in the center of my floor with your silly feet. I will not stand for it. Do not move. I can tell you are planning to move. You already moved when you came into my house, and I will not have you continue to move. You are putting out your hand and I believe I know what this means. Here are all of my dear, dear clementines. They are the fruit of the gods and I will part with them if it means I can be free from whatever you are doing. You will probably treat them better than I ever did.

Once I tried to juggle and many of my golden-nectared fruits were lost to the cold hard ground that day. If you take these fruits, will you leave? Please take them, they deserve better than me. They do not need to see another halftime show. I will find new friends, new fruits, perhaps. Do not squeeze the small fruit too hard. I know you will take care of them. Just tell me please, before you move from your spot, how did you get in here, I mean in here, in my heart? You showed up to my home, and you’ve torn me down. I cannot go on anymore – actually, please don’t even tell me how you got in, just please take my clementines and go.