Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year!

Originally, I had planned on posting right on the stroke of midnight, but since I’ve been up with my youngest son since four this morning, I will likely be passed out by nine if I can get away with it. Anyway, I want to wish each and everyone of you that reads this a Happy New Year and hope that your 2006 brings you everything you wish for and more. I also thought I would share with you my new year’s resolutions for 2006:

1. Quit Smoking.
I quit smoking four times in 2005. I’m hoping with a little more effort and stamina that I can quit 6 or 7 times in 2006.

2. More Sex.
You would think this wouldn’t be so hard since I am married, but small children can be more effective in preventing procreation practice than menstruation.

3. More Drinking.
This is the one vice that I have severely neglected in 2005. I’ll try to better my ways in 2006 (which will likely make Resolution #1 damn near impossible).

4. Get Published.
Somewhere. Anywhere. I don’t care if something I wrote turns up in The New Yorker or on the bathroom wall of a dive bar in a Brooklyn house of ill repute, as long as I can claim the bragging rights of having been paid for my work.

5. Post More / Develop More Traffic to The JEP Report.
Last December, The JEP Report had just over 300 visits, 296 of them consisting of myself checking to see if anyone had read it. This December, The JEP Report has logged just under 1,300 visits (most of them looking for a picture of Tubgirl). That’s an increase of 400%. My goal by next December is to log in 5200 visits a month. I have a plan on how to do this but it involves nude pictures of Hillary Clinton. Anyone know how I can get my hands on some?

Once again, I would like to wish all of you a Happy New Year and thank you for your support, encouragement and your incredibly bad taste in internet literature. I hope you all keep coming back in 2006.


Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Celebrity Wedding of the Year

Sometimes I have no idea what I'm going to write as I sit down in front of the computer. Today was one of those days and this piece was inspired by something I read about the legalization of same-sex marriages in the UK. Please forgive me.

Celebrity Wedding Spearheads Acceptance of Alternative Lifestyles

London – When the Children’s Television Workshop launched Sesame Street nearly four decades ago, they could never have imagined that the wedding of two of their most recognizable stars would cause just as much worldwide protest as it would acclaim.

“Why frankly, neither did we,” said Bert, 57, who only goes by one name as is the custom of the tribal area of Pakistan where he was born in 1948. “Then again social mores of the late 1960’s, as well as sodomy statutes that were still actively enforced in many parts of the United States at the time, not only made us being lawfully wed unacceptable, it made it downright dangerous.”

“Kheeeekheeeekheeeekheeeekheeeekheeeekheeee!” Giggled Bert’s partner Ernie, 51, with the laugh that has long been a Sesame Street trademark. Ernie also only goes by one name, having legally dropped “Tannenbaum” from his moniker in the early 1980s on the advice of his close friend, pop superstar Prince. “You couldn’t even joke about being gay during the early ‘70s in New York without being bludgeoned half to death by a vacationing pack of intoxicated rednecks. Staying in the closet was a matter of survival.”

“But times have changed, haven’t they Sweetie Pie?” Bert sighed while looking lovingly into Ernie’s eyes.

“They sure have.” Replied Ernie, returning a look of eternal adoration.

Burt and Ernie were joining hundreds of other same sex couples across the United Kingdom who were taking advantage of recent changes in British law granting legal recognition to homosexual unions. With both being citizens of the United States however, their nuptials were largely symbolic and they would enjoy none of the benefits of a traditional marriage once they returned home as there is still staunch opposition to such arrangements back in America. Still, this did little to stop any of the pomp and circumstance usually afforded to celebrity weddings and the guest list to this event was virtually indistinguishable from any other marriage ceremony conducted to celebrate the union of two very famous people.

Unlike most celebrity weddings though, Bert and Ernie’s nuptials were as much about furthering a cause as it was about generating publicity. Therefore, instead of being shrouded in secrecy and going through great lengths to keep reporters away from the ceremony, Bert and Ernie invited the media in full force and even held a press conference on the steps of the city hall where they were to be wed. Bert, clad in a purple double breasted tuxedo by Armani and Ernie, dressed in an extravagant bejeweled gown by Versace, fielded questions from reporters for nearly an hour before disappearing inside to exchange their vows.

The tone of the press conference was largely jovial but turned rather serious when a reporter asked Bert if it was tough growing up as a homosexual Muppet in 1960s America. “Yes, yes. It most certainly was. I was a very confused young man prone to getting into a lot of trouble. I guess that was a means of distracting myself from my sexual identity.” Bert went on to recount how his troubled youth resulted in a three-year prison sentence in San Quentin Prison in California for dealing cocaine and how he had earned himself a “white-boy bitch” by shiving a snitch at the behest of the Black Panthers a year before his release. “That was when I finally realized who I was, sexually speaking. It was a revelation that eventually allowed me to turn my life around and put me on the path that eventually led to my role on Sesame Street.”

When asked about whether or not there was a negative stigma attached to gay children’s television characters, Ernie replied, “Of course there is! Look at what happened to Tinkie-Winkie,” referring to the flamboyant Telletubbie whose penchant for handbags led to his outing by televangelist Jerry Falwell a few years back. “People turned their backs on him, his career was ruined and he was subjected to constant ridicule and obscene propositions from Merv Albert. He finally ended up turning to heroin to dull the pain and has since dropped off the face of the earth.” Ernie was unaware that Tinkie-Winkie had been arrested by the Los Angeles Police Department Vice Squad the day before working as a male prostitute in an operation run by Heidi Fleiss. The press conference came to an abrupt end when the openly distraught couple was informed of this development by a reporter from People.

The wedding ceremony itself was a private affair but the red carpet leading to the reception offered plenty of opportunities for the press to chat up the guests about they thought about Bert and Ernie’s wedding. “It’s absolutely wonderful!” cheered Big Bird as he exited a white Rolls Royce limousine with Nicole Kidman on one arm and Renee Zellweiger on the other. Though Big Bird had been romantically linked with both starlets, Bert and Ernie’s wedding was the first hard evidence that confirmed the rumors that he was dating both of them at the same time.

Muppet power couple Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy arrived in a black Maybach. As Kermit exited the vehicle, Miss Piggy wrapped her arms around him in a passionate embrace and, oblivious to the paparazzi cameras going off all around them, began sucking on her lover’s neck. When asked what he thought about his colleagues’ nuptials, the frog who has had his fair share of controversy over his relationships said, “It’s awesome and I wish them the best of luck! What they’re doing is noble and will open the door to many other adverse unions. Take me and Miss Piggy. When we first started courting, the public was similarly outraged. ‘How could a pig and a frog possibly be in love?’ they asked. They said it was unnatural and couldn’t last. Here we are, twenty years later, still together and still hotter than ever. People stared at us in disgust and bewilderment everywhere we went. Now, no one even gives us a second glance and most states have stopped enforcing their antiquated laws against cohabitating with swine.”

A reporter from Georgia, a state that was still actively enforcing its laws prohibiting porcine intercourse, then fielded a question that Kermit refused to answer. In protest, he just stared at the reporter and pulled Miss Piggy closer to him, if that was even possible. As she stuck her tongue in his ear Kermit said, “You know, we f----- in the limo all the way here. Like beasts, we did.”

Miss Piggy paused from mauling her beau just long enough to confirm her lover’s statement. “We sure did. I think I sprained my uterus.”

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Who's Out There?

Periodically, mainly when I can't think of anything to write or I notice a new influx of new visitors, I conduct a quick poll to see who is actually reading this. This is one of those posts.

If you would be so kind, could you let me know:

1. Who you are (aliases are acceptable, since I've been known to use them on occaision to keep my record clean).

2. Where you are from.

3. What Brought you to The JEP Report.

4. What subjects or formats you would like to see more often here (politics, poetry, sports, cartoons, current events, incohorent ramblings resulting from intentional overdoses of cough syrup, etc.)

If you've never commented before, please feel free to do so now. I'll take accolades, criticisms, insults, suggestions and anything else you care to throw at me (even vegetables and panties).

And of course, I'd like to thank each and every one of you for taking the time to read The JEP Report.

Monday, December 19, 2005

No Riots?!?!?!

Well, there were no riots in Detroit last night following yet another devastating loss by the Lions and numerous protests. That's great for the city of Detroit, but kind of tough on those of us trying to build a career out of making fun of it. Anyway, since I have no tales of chaos and destruction, here's a little ditty about the "Merry Christmas" vs. "Happy Holidays" debate (Just couldn't come up with another verse of fecal themed prose) :
War was waged on Christmas by blasphemous pagan ways,
That sacked the malls with savage calls of "HAPPY HOLIDAYS!"
Some Christians stared in horror at first silent from their fear,
Dumbfounded that they'd been attacked by tidings of good cheer.
They then rushed to all the churches, hit the fields and the farms,
Summoned all the frenzied faithful with a Christian call to arms.
They then marched across the country, to both oceans, north and back,
Sworn to smite all unbelievers with their furious attack.
They then marched to southern Florida to slay the mean Hebrew,
Killing in the name of Jesus, their beloved revered Jew.
Then they turned their ire on Dearborn to enslave the Muslim hordes,
And defeated holy warriors armed with green exploding Fords.
When their battle finally ended, when their quest was finally through,
When they'd killed the unbelievers (plus a Catholic or two),
They kneeled and blessed their fiery mess and then they cracked a smile,
Wished good will towards men and peace on earth....Southern Baptist style.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

D-Day in Detroit

Well, today is the day. The Lions take the field against the Cincinnati Bengals, a home game in which the seats promise to be filled with the colors of the opposition and with demonstrations planned outside of the stadium calling for the firing of Lions general manager Matt Millen in a display of fan hostility unprecedented in NFL sports. It promises to be an interesting day in Detroit football.

The game itself is barely a blip on the radar screen. The Bengals are going to win. They have a winning 10-3 record, the adulation of their fans and, though playing 250 miles away from Cincinnati, enjoy home field advantage. The show is not going to be on the field, it is going to be in the stands.

Though the local media in the Motor City is appealing for peaceful demonstrations, my gut tells me that something is going to happen. We are Detroit. We’re big, we’re bad, we have elevated the art of civil strife to an art form and we really don’t have a whole lot to lose. We say “Good Morning!” with a rape and a drive-by shooting. Our economy’s in the garbage, the city is in ruins, with the re-election of Kwame Kilpatrick there is no hope among the suburbanites attending the game that anything will get better and on top of that, our football team sucks. Not to mention, southeastern Michigan is just not known for its abundant supply of docile drunks. We have a tendency of drinking too much and doing things that just aren’t discussed in polite society. Hell, I’ve written an entire blog here based almost singularly on that one dominant trait.

Yes, I have this feeling that something is going to happen in Detroit today. What it is I don’t know but rest assured that I will be glued to my television watching for it and will report it to you as soon as it happens.

If I’m wrong and the protests end in peace and harmony, well I guess that I will just write you guys another epic poem about clogging up the toilet or something.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Change of Tactic

To prove to publishers that I do have moments of lucidity that allow me to act like a rational human being when in a business scenario, I craft a nice, industry standard biography that I submit with my 1200 word essays in exchange for rejection slips. Since at this point I do not have a lot to lose, I decided to have a little fun with my cover sheets. Enclosed is the new Author Biography that I will henceforth be enclosing with articles I submit to the print medai for publication:
I was born in 1970 and raised in suburban Detroit, descended from Polish immigrants and a long distinguished line of unrepentant redneck inebriates. I barely graduated from Southgate Anderson School in 1988, forgoing the classic scholastic agenda and focusing instead upon a liberal academic regimen of amateur gynecology and street pharmaceuticals. In 1987, I enlisted in the US Army Reserve and spent the summer between my junior and senior year in the woods of Fort Benning, GA playing with a myriad of various explosive devices and high powered weaponry. If they had only supplied us with copious amounts of alcohol and members of the opposite sex, it could very well have been the best summer camp experience I had ever had.

Faced with the prospect of being forced to jump out of an airplane in mid-flight, before the complimentary beverages were served when such an idea sounds especially ludicrous, I left the Army and enlisted in the US Navy, going through boot camp for the second time in just less than a year. After twenty months of training in electronics repair, I spent four years traveling around the Pacific, drinking my way through Japan, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia, Korea and a steady succession of little Southern Pacific islands that no one has ever heard of and, due to my prodigious predisposition towards intoxicating drink, I have a hard time remembering.

I left the military in 1994 and went to work for an automotive supplier back in southeastern Michigan, eventually working my way from a parts sorter to an engineer and then to a competitive intelligence analyst. My civilian career has taken me to Mexico, Western Europe and back to Asia. Such extensive travel has endowed me with an uncommon insight into cultures outside of the United States, an almost inhuman tolerance towards strong drink, the ability to get my face slapped in seven different languages and a lengthy repertoire of travel anecdotes that I have recently documented on my blog, The JEP Report ( ). My writing, which combines the exotic locales of P.J. O’Rourke, the exquisite eloquence of Frazier Crane, the psychotic rapid-fire timing of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson and the subject matter of one of the baser episodes of South Park, has developed a steady following and has encouraged me to try and submit my work for publication in traditional print media, where I have since acquired an impressive array of rejection slips from some of the most prestigious publishing houses in the industry. My works are primarily based (rather loosely at times) upon my own personal experiences but in the case of a severe bout of writer’s block, I have been known to manufacture my own literary situations by ingesting a fifth of tequila and a handful of Ex-Lax, then documenting what occurs next.

I currently reside in Grand Blanc, Michigan with my wife and three small children where I am examining the compatibility, benefits and legalities of the utilization of cattle prods and tranquilizer guns in modern parenting techniques. I have a profound love of fishing, football, family and travel. I have a profound hatred of my liver and abuse it regularly and religiously every chance that I get. My primary aspiration is to find a career that will allow me to make a comfortable living traveling to exotic locales, getting my BAC raised up past my IQ and then writing about my experiences much to the disgust of the general public.

Best Regards,

J.E. P.
If nothing else, it should get someone's attention.

Friday, December 16, 2005

An Ode to the Commode

I would generally like to think that I have more class than this, but obviously I don't.
At two one Friday morning I was rousted from my slumber,
By the sound of gas launched out my ass that sounded like sawn lumber,
My eyes flung open terrified and my fear was fierce and great,
I sprung out of bed, ran for the head and prayed it not too late.

I rushed into the bathroom which still smelled of fragrant lime,
Tore my skivvies off and hit the throne just in the nick of time.
I broke out in sweat, burst vessels and screamed loud demented howls,
As this fecal anaconda wreaked hard havoc on my bowels.

Finally this bawdy beast passed through my anal ring,
You would not believe how far it stretched that poor elastic thing.
It hit the water with a splash that nearly drowned my balls,
Sent blue fluid up my rectum and left drip marks on the walls.

My sigh of satisfied relief echoed throughout the room,
And the scent of fragrant lime became the smell of rotting doom.
I lunged to flush the loo now that I was fifteen pounds thinner,
Had to flush before I also tossed the fish I had for dinner.

I stood up, looked down and watched as my near future turned quite grim.
The water in the toilet was fast rising to the brim.
I let out a little whimper, mumbled curses and some gripes,
And chastised my posterior for clogging up the pipes.

My misfortune had grown drastically and was ever to grow more,
As the snake I’d flushed escaped the bowl to crawl across the floor.
It was menacing to face this thing without a gun to shoot,
So I turned and fled out of the head, my turd in hot pursuit.

On a wave of putrid water it just chased me where I went,
I ran till my breath was labored and my energy was spent.
One might think a legless creature could so easily be beat,
But it is not so fun to try and run with skivvies round your feet.

It chased me out the bathroom, through the bedroom and my lairs,
It chased me up and down the furniture and halfway down the stairs,
It was there I fell headfirst through hell, and while lying broke and lame,
Was quite disturbed to feel the turd go back from whence it came.
My apologies to those of you that read that.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Close Brush With Activism

Like most other people I am sure, I am moved by the disasters and injustices that occur around the globe and also like most other people, I am pretty complacent about doing anything about them. My viewpoint is that I spent six years of my life volunteering to help better the lives of others, yet no one ever took me up on my offers. In 1989, while in the military, I volunteered to participate in the invasion of Panama to rid Central America of one of the most deviant drug dealing dictators the region had ever seen. Of course I also planned to do some surfing, some serious drinking and get my advances rejected by the senoritas while I was there, but I was willing to dodge a few bullets before hitting the beach. Regardless, the Navy wouldn’t let me go. In 1991, I volunteered to participate in the first Gulf War to rid Kuwait of Saddam Hussein’s occupying army despite the fact that there was not a drop of Jim Beam to be found anywhere within a thousand miles of the Persian Gulf. I hoped that the lusty, lascivious liberation lovin’ I’d be able to get in on after we sent the Babylonian brigands back to Baghdad would make up for that. I never found out though because despite my multiple requests for transfer, I sat out the war in southern California and the only desert action I saw was with one of the waitresses of the enlisted man’s club on the back 40 of the Miramar Air Station.
In 1992, Hurricane Iniki slammed Hawaii while I was there and once again, I volunteered to help with the relief effort for the island of Kauai. To be fair, I was secretly praying that they would not take me up on it since I was far too hung over from the hurricane party I participated in on the island of Oahu during the actual storm to have really been of much use to anyone. I would have volunteered for our efforts in Somalia as well if I had watched the news a little more. I was partying A LOT at that time and didn’t even know there was a war going on over there let alone that the US was fighting in it.

I was discharged in 1994. There was a war raging in the Balkans and I had every intention of going over there to either be a Red Cross volunteer or enlist in one of Croatian militias to do my part to stop the Serbs from committing the atrocities they were becoming famous for (Though the Bosnians seemed to be bearing the brunt of the abuse, I knew that they were Muslims and that they probably would not have the amount of slivovitz that I would require to reach the level of intoxication needed to work up the courage to step into combat). I even enlisted Sacto Ritch in this effort though he thought we were just going for a motorcycle ride across Europe. I’m sure he had no idea we would have ended up as mercenaries in a genocidal Balkan conflict had we not drank away our airfare. By 1995, I was done with trying to ease the suffering on the planet. In hindsight, I also found that I was too busy adding to it.

Until now. I had an epiphany, a divine vision in which the Great Buddha (who bears an uncanny resemblance to John Madden by the way – they must at least share nutritionists if not DNA) himself swooped down into my dreams and charged me with an immortal mission, a crusade if you will. It was a call to activism, a call to take to the streets, a call to throw off the shackles of complacency and demand action. I was given a cause. I was told to do my part to overthrow the tyranny of ineptitude, personified by Matt Millen, that has reduced the Detroit Lions to the travesty that they are today. I was going to join the Angry Fan March that was being organized by WDFN sports radio.

It is a worthy cause and, unlike such weighty issues as crime, homelessness and poverty, actually had a chance at succeeding. The march was planned for this Sunday, December 18th, the last Lions home game for the season. It was to begin at the unveiling of an anti-Millen billboard and conclude once the Lions’ general manager was offered to the crowd, naked and trembling, as a blood sacrifice to the Gods of victory. As with any endeavor worth undertaking, I decided to research it first before I launched myself face-first into the fray. During the course of my research, I found the following guidelines for the demonstration:

WDFN wants to remind our listeners that the Angry Fan March is a peaceful demonstration. If you're wondering what to put on a sign, what to wear, or how to behave, follow these guidelines:

OK, certain shortcomings in the wiring of my psyche would normally prevent me from the ability to do anything peaceful within a large crowd of people, but I guess I am mature enough now to broaden my horizons and give this a chance. After all, I was on a mission from God.

Remember that Detroit will be the focus of the national media. Don't do anything to make the city or Lions fans look bad. Make Lions fans proud! Show your frustration but keep it respectful.

Normally the words, “focus of the national media” would register in my mind as “opportunity to induce a major wardrobe malfunction and get caught on camera in the midst of a spontaneous act of random nudity – and possibly expand dating opportunities or scare children”, but this is winter time and a severe case of cold-induced penile retraction could prove fairly embarrassing. I guess I could go along with this one.

Walk on the sidewalks, not in the street, and follow the group.

At this point, I was beginning to wonder if this thing had been organized by frustrated elementary school crossing guard or some maniac meter maid who left the police force because they wouldn’t let her onto the Vice Squad.

Do not block business entrances or block traffic.

Keep the March moving as much as possible but obey traffic signals and police direction.

These seemed to lend credence to my meter maid theory.

Be courteous to those around you.

Apparently, the organizers of this event did not consider the possibility that, at some point in the march, we could find ourselves surrounded by total assholes.

NO OBSCENTIES PLEASE!!! Be creative with your chants and have fun. KEEP IT CLEAN!

Fuck that.

No alcohol is permitted during the March.

At this point I was hit with the realization that this event reeked of Anti-Americanism, Communism, subversion and possibly organized by the same group of malicious malcontents that brought us Prohibition and the Taliban. I decided right then and there that I would take on this task my OWN way, namely by voluminous swearing in the privacy of my home while killing a case Labatt’s and mooning the television at regular intervals.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Random Notes......Again

Tonight my five-year-old daughter has another dance recital. This means that this evening I will be investing a few hours watching little children tripping over themselves in tights to the beat of some catchy tune that will imbed itself into my head for the next few days. I went to the practice Monday night and have caught myself singing “I’m a pineapple princess” several times since. I will also have a hard time restraining myself from joining in on the Bavarian number, since the last time I heard it I was in a beer tent in Stuttgart Germany and I was forced to sing along with lyrics that I’m sure would surpass the vulgarity threshold of a children’s show though they would be sung in a language that no one there, including myself, actually speaks. (Actually, if there were any real Germans in attendance, I doubt they would be able to figure out what I was saying since I mumble the lyrics like I do with our national anthem or any other tune that I don’t really know all of the words to).

Another highlight of this event is having my mother-in-law driving up to stay with us for a couple of days. Don’t get me wrong, my mother-in-law rocks but she brings her dog, a miniature schnauzer with an incessant bark and a prolific inability to control his bladder. As God is my witness, I swear that if that little rat pisses on my new carpet, he’s going for a ride on the rinse cycle in my washing machine with a plugged in toaster as a traveling companion. As the forecasters are calling for yet another major snowstorm to hit the area this afternoon, I have a feeling this little cretin is going to be there longer than I can handle.

Tomorrow however, should be the bomb. I have my second holiday office party which promises to be unbridled hedonism at its best. Then, on Friday morning, I have my annual performance appraisal. Luckily, this one will be conducted by phone so my boss will have no idea that I will probably still be quite drunk.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

WDFN 1130AM Angry Fan March

A local sports radio station, 1130 AM WDFN, is soliciting chants for their Angry Fan March on Sunday's game against Cincinatti. I've decided to submit:
Hey, Hey! Ho, Ho! Matt Millen’s gotta go!
Hey, Hey! Ho, Ho! Matt Millen’s gotta go!

He’s still working much to our dismay,
We wouldn’t wish him on Green Bay!

Hey, Hey! Ho, Ho! Matt Millen’s gotta go!
Hey, Hey! Ho, Ho! Matt Millen’s gotta go!

We hope this chant will strike a chord,
If not we’ll shout to fire Ford!

Hey, Hey! Ho, Ho! Matt Millen’s gotta go!
Hey, Hey! Ho, Ho! Matt Millen’s gotta go!

Our chant should sure provoke a scare,
Like Matt in ladies’ underwear!

Hey, Hey! Ho, Ho! Matt Millen’s gotta go!
Hey, Hey! Ho, Ho! Matt Millen’s gotta go!

His team’s done bad, has won the least,
Runs plays like drunken wildebeests!

Hey, Hey! Ho, Ho! Matt Millen’s gotta go!
Hey, Hey! Ho, Ho! Matt Millen’s gotta go!

The Lions’ skills look less than honed,
Like Chuck, they look serenely stoned!

Hey, Hey! Ho, Ho! Matt Millen’s gotta go!
Hey, Hey! Ho, Ho! Matt Millen’s gotta go!

What more could we do to them?
Burn tickets? Boycott? Buy GM?

Hey, Hey! Ho, Ho! Matt Millen’s gotta go!
Hey, Hey! Ho, Ho! Matt Millen’s gotta go!

The Monkey On My Back

If I did not reside in Southeastern Michigan and I did not have the benefit of knowing so many people who faithfully follow Ford’s football fiasco, I would probably have a very different perception of what a fan of the Detroit Lions actually is. I would probably picture a morbidly obese man in his mid-forties with an overabundance of body hair and an under-abundance of teeth that can still manage to protrude out of his diseased gums. He would possess the IQ of the road kill he routinely supplements his vitamin-free diet with and would avoid sobriety with the same resourcefulness and tenacity with which he avoids debtors and personal hygiene products. Judging by his incredible tolerance for pain and misery, he must thrive on agony and I would suspect that he built his fetish for excruciation through years of participation in sado-masochism and other deviant sexual practices. He would be a brute, not far removed from the race of Neanderthals, and lacking all of the evolutionary refinements that would make him a contributing member of a civilized society. Now, however true this description may be in my case, it would be patently false in regards to the thousands of people in the Motor City who unfailingly fill the seats at Ford Field and tune into 16 televised football games a year to cheer on a team that has emerged victorious in only one post-season game in almost fifty years.

The Lions fans I know are for the most part fairly rational and intelligent people. With the exception of the spectacularly inept football team they choose to root for, as a rule they appear to live normal, productive lives. Yet every August without fail, they start watching the birth of the new season with anticipation and hope. They shrug off pre-season disappointments as the natural aberrations of team selection and not as the foreshadowing omens of impending disaster that they invariably are. They get caught up in the euphoria of the early season victories and loudly proclaim them as the dawning of the Detroit football dynasty, a proclamation made with the fanatical fervor of an ardent ecclesiastic convinced that the visions in his eyes are nothing less than the incontrovertible evidence of the second coming of Christ. Then everything just goes to hell.

It starts off with a few key injuries and then is exacerbated by play calling that defies logic. By mid-season, the fans have had their faith shaken to its foundation and the realization that they are about to be subjected to very same humiliation that they have been privy to for over half a century. Feeling disillusioned and betrayed, they revolt, chanting for the head of the quarterback and making sure that the coaches feel the heat of their ire. By Thanksgiving, by which time the Lions’ hopes of a playoff birth have almost completely dissipated, the fans are in open revolt. If this critical holiday game is lost, the Lions will not again enjoy a home field advantage for the rest of the season as Ford Field will prove more hostile than any stadium they could possibly encounter on the road. Once the holiday shopping season is in full swing, resignation has set in and the fans have set their hopes on the next year, realizing that the last few games are little more than an audition to see which of the guys on the second string have what it takes to start the following September. It’s a vicious circle and one that has played itself out for almost half a century. By the looks of things today, it could very well continue on for another fifty years.

So why do they do it? Why do they shell out good money and invest so much emotional capital into a team that almost never produces even a hint of the prowess required to emerge from sixteen games as an organization to be reckoned with in the post season? As a Lions fan myself, I can’t even begin to answer that question. I can’t even explain why I watch them at all considering I only became a fan in 2001, when the Lions only won 2 games the entire year. I got sucked into it after they opened the season with 9 straight losses and looked poised to finished the year completely winless. I started watching them because if they were going to make history, I wanted to see it. They disappointed me then too, winning the first game I had watched all the way through since 1987. Since 2001, I have watched pretty much every game they have played. I’m even playing with the idea of buying season tickets next year instead of finding an alternative, far less painful means of wiling away my Sundays, such as regularly attending church or signing up for a series of sixteen straight barbed wire enemas.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Probing Santa's Psyche

Yesterday, as I will several times between now and December 24th, I was walking through a shopping mall and spotted the traditional department store Santa Clause. On his lap was a girl who looked to me to be about 13 years old sporting a physique desirable in few places outside of the world of Sumo wrestling. I found it amusing that she was also wearing a t-shirt that suggested she was a member of a local middle school’s track and field team. Exactly what activity she participated in was not identified but if I had to guess I would say that she was either the team’s champion shot put thrower or the matt the pole vaultors landed on after clearing the high bar. I can’t imagine her running very fast unless it was in pursuit of a jelly donut that a strong wind was blowing across the parking lot. As I took in this spectacle though, I could not help but wonder what in the name of God would drive a man to subject his lap to that kind of punishment.

I took a break from searching for a jeweler who looked like they knew what my wife wanted for Christmas and took a post within eyeshot of St. Nick. I wanted to see if I could figure out what his motivation was for working this particular racket. I doubted it was the $8.00 an hour they were paying him. Did he do it because he loved children? I would say no. I love children myself but that doesn’t mean that I would want to deal with them while they’re amped up on candy canes and shaking from the adrenaline rush they get in anticipation of the loot they think they’re going to receive on December 25th. Hell, with Christmas less than two weeks away, I’m hesitant to face my own kids unless I’m equipped with a tranquilizer gun and a cattle prod.

Has he finally figured out a way to get paid to indulge his golden shower fetish instead of dishing out a couple hundred bucks a week to a crack addict to satisfy his urges? That’s a strong possibility. Getting soaked by incontinent toddlers has got to be one of the most common occupational hazards of a department store Santa and I can’t think that someone would put themselves into that kind of danger unless they got some sort of charge out of it. If that’s the case, I also have to wonder if they get the same fulfillment picking chunks of partially digested McDonald’s Happy Meals out of their beards as well.

Is he on the prowl for hot single mothers? Possibly, but I can’t imagine he’d be experiencing much pick-up success dressed in a red felt suit and reeking of toddler urine, diaper rash ointment and the stale malt liquor he’s been sweating out of his pores for the past four hours. He’d have better luck trying to feel up the teenaged “helpers” the mall hired to keep the lines flowing or putting the moves on one of the electric reindeer when no one’s looking.

Does his soul just need the type of soothing peace that could only be provided by the screams of a two-year-old who just discovered that he has a glorified-carnival-worker-with-bratwurst-breath-in-a-red-suit phobia? That’s about the only perk I can think of with that job that could possibly bring me any satisfaction: scaring a timid toddler half to death with the full expressed permission of the little people larvae’s sadistic parents. Without that, I’d have to resort to passing out packs of matches to the little tykes along with their candy canes just to keep myself amused.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Random Notes From The Weekend

Santa Squatting

This weekend we took the kids to my Elks Lodge’s annual children’s Christmas party to meet Santa Clause. My mother-in-law got there way before us and scored us great seats, front row and barely five feet from where that over-eating elf’s chair was located. Thanks to traffic, a baby with a penchant for projectile vomiting not seen since The Exorcist and a three year old boy whose poor urinary marksmanship almost guarantees a mandatory wardrobe change when you’re in a hurry, we arrived quite late. No sooner had we got the kids seated and served with their hot dogs when jolly St. Nick entered the banquet hall and occupied his red velvet throne directly across from my son (the one with poor aim). One of his helpers then handed him a present, from which Santa read the name tag attached to it and asked, “Is Joshua here?”

A little boy, who was probably two, let out a squeal of delight after hearing Santa call his name and ran down the aisle into his lap like he had just been picked to be a game show contestant. An entourage of parent-paparazzi was hot on his heels. As Joshua took his place on Santa’s lap, he was bombarded by camera flash bulbs while he tried to tell the old man what he wanted to find under his tree Christmas morning. As this was going on, I took a quick look at my older son, who was trembling with excitement while he chewed a mouthful of hot dog. I then turned away and looked to my daughter, who seemed to be sizing him up, wondering why he looked so different from the guy she had seen at the shopping mall a few days earlier. Then I glanced over at my baby boy, who was mostly oblivious to the whole scene. While I was looking at him, my mother-in-law caught my attention and told me I had better go get my three year old. I swung my head back around towards the seat next to me, where my three-year-old had been sitting, only to find it empty. I then looked back up towards Santa’s throne and found my boy sitting on Santa’s lap opposite little Joshua one arm wrapped around Santa’s neck and his free hand still clutching the hot dog, which was dripping ketchup, mustard and relish onto Mr. Kringle’s pants. Santa looked rather surprised and unsure of what to do next. The parents of the little boy who should rightfully have been there looked befuddled. Joshua looked pissed. My son looked like he was having a ball.

As I leapt from my seat to bring him back, my son was jabbering away at lightening speed. He saw me coming and probably figured that he had a limited amount of time to press his point before I usurped him from his seat on Santa’s lap. I can’t tell exactly what he was saying, but I’m sure it was something along the lines of “…and I want a Rescue Heroes Roger Houston helicopter and a rocket ship and a Buzz Lightyear laser glove, the real one, not one of those pansy-ass little light bulb jobs (I figure I give Dad a swift shot to the ‘nads with one of those babies, he’ll think twice about laying that monkey-butt on me when I pull my sister’s hair) and race car and a GI Joe and an alien doll and…you know, if you’d consider gastro-intestinal bypass surgery, you’d have a lot more lap to sit on…a Thomas Train set and a Star Wars video and a…uh-oh! Here comes Baldy now. Gotta go. Peace out, Santa!.....AAAAAHHHHH! REMEMBER THAT’S 3487 MILLER DRIVE! BURTON, MICHIGAN! 48657! AAAAAAHHHHH!!!! I’LL LEAVE THE LIGHTS ON FOR YA!”

The most humiliating part of that was going back for my son’s hot dog, which he dropped right between Santa’s legs when I pulled him off of the old elf’s lap. There’s just no cool way to reach for something dropped down there.

Kung Pao Poultry

After the party, I did some Christmas shopping and later that evening took the family out to favorite local Chinese buffet for dinner. As I was cutting up my son’s food, he erupted into hysterical laughter at something I did not see. After I asked him what it was he said, “I saw a funny chicken Daddy!” I looked around but didn’t see anything so I shrugged it off as a figment of his imagination.

A little while later, my son burst into laughter again. I asked him what was so funny and he pointed to a guy a few tables over who was sporting pierced eyebrows, numerous obnoxious tattoos, a ripped up t-shirt and a very large bright red Mohawk haircut. Laughing so hard he almost couldn’t breathe he said, “He looks like a big rooster Daddy!” Then, at a near scream, he roared, “COCK-A-DOODLE-DOOOOOOOO!”

I couldn’t help but laugh with him even though it was a thinly veiled attempt to get his father’s ass kicked at his favorite Chinese restaurant.

Red Neck Love

While Christmas shopping, I found myself at a sporting goods shop and thought that I’d browse by the firearms department to see what kind of holiday specials they were running in high-powered weaponry for the “Fuck Peace on Earth” demographic, of which I definitely belonged in after spending fifteen minutes in the outside lot looking for a parking spot. Near the end of counter, in front of the display of Ruger revolvers, was a couple in their mid-50s, decked out in impressive mullets and matching Harley-Davison t-shirts, making out with the intensity of teenagers at their first un-chaperoned excursion to a drive-in movie. She had her tongue shoved so far into her lover’s mouth that I began to think he may have had bisexual tendencies based upon his impressive ability to suppress his gag reflex. Out of morbid curiosity, I found myself unable to resist walking to within earshot of the couple to eavesdrop upon what it was that they were telling each other in between spit-swapping sessions. Sure enough, the guy was heaping all kinds of affection upon his wife in appreciation of the .357 magnum revolver she was getting him for Christmas, the very weapon that, I would put a $50 bet on, she would die at the hands of while her husband was in the throes of a homicidal rage fueled by an overindulgence of home-cooked methamphetamine and warm Schlitz. Soon after I ascertained this, he looked at the ticket in his hand and at the counter above the clerk’s head. Seeing that they had a considerable amount of time before their turn to served, he placed his hand on his wife’s ample bottom and lead her away towards the center of the store, presumably for a session of heavy petting in one of the displayed ice fishing shanties. I have never questioned the US’s lax gun control laws until that very moment. I’m sure guns are used in a lot of ways the manufacturers never intended them to be but not even I, with my overactive imagination, would ever have dreamed that among certain segments of the American population, a handgun could be used in lieu of Viagra.

Detroit Lions vs Green Bay Packers

Should be interesting. Kick off is in two hours. I’m expecting to be lulled to sleep in two hours and fifteen minutes. At least the commercials are fairly entertaining.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Acid Pulaski Soundtrack #1

As part of the novel I am working on, I needed to come up with a reportoire of songs for a punk rock polka band. What follows is the first, titled "Midget Mona Lisa". Feedback helps. Its sung to the tune of some polka number I heard in Northern Michigan over the Thanksgiving holiday (like that helps you any):
I woke up one Sunday morning,
Must be fifteen years ago,
A vixen lay beside me,
In the moonlight’s basking glow.
Manic thoughts ran through my head,
As were questions I should ask,
Like why she wore a leather negligee,
And a Richard Nixon mask.

She’s a pygmy punk pornographer,
A nympho short in height!
She makes love with two photographers,
Most every single night!
She does things with total strangers that,
Most folks would think quite queer,
She gets kicks by snorting Rophynol
And Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer!

Now my midget Mata Hari.
Don’t stand more than three feet tall,
She sports a purple Mohawk,
And is really quite the ball,
Sometimes it doesn’t feel right,
Being with this pudgy elf,
But it sure as hell beats staying home,
And playing with myself.

She’s a pygmy punk pornographer,
A nympho short in height!
She makes love with two photographers,
Most every single night!
She does things with total strangers that,
Most folks would think quite queer,
She gets kicks by snorting Rophynol
And Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer!

Now my family has disowned me,
And my church has barred its doors.
For frolicking in public,
With my pug-faced pint-sized whore.
They shower me with ridicule,
And insults without ends,
But I’ll never give up screwing her,
Or all her dwarven friends.

She’s a pygmy punk pornographer,
A nympho short in height!
She makes love with two photographers,
Most every single night!
She does things with total strangers that,
Most folks would think quite queer,
She gets kicks by snorting Rophynol
And Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer!
***Break for accordian solo***

Now things were going really good,
She really turned me on,
Till one time at the shopping mall,
When we did it in the john.
I lost my grip and dropped her down,
Into a dirty loo,
Then I sadly hit the handle,
And flushed her halfway to Peru.

She’s a pygmy punk pornographer,
A nympho short in height!
She makes love with two photographers,
Most every single night!
She does things with total strangers that,
Most folks would think quite queer,
She gets kicks by snorting Rophynol
And Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer!
Feedback is always appreciated.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

As The Tempest Un-Brews

In one of the worst developments yet to occur surrounding the Detroit Lions saga, a rumor hit the airwaves yesterday that Ford Field may suspend alcohol sales during the Lions game against the Cincinnati Bengals on December 18th, the team’s last home game of the season. The speculation is that because of the universal anti-Millen actions of the crowd last week and the public reaction encouraging the antics, the organization did not want to mix booze into an already volatile environment and end up facing an incident much like the melee that occurred during the Detroit Pistons basketball game last year. At present there is a circus-like atmosphere surrounding our much maligned team and the entire city is now glued to the game, not so much for the dismal performance of the Lions, but for the activities taking place in the stands which grow more and more outrageous by the game and, with Duncan deBruin’s display last Sunday, more brazen.

At this point, the decision to suspend alcohol sales at the game is still a rumor but if it proves true it will be a mistake of biblical proportions. The only thing worse than 60,000 drunks storming the field in an effort to overthrow Matt Millen by force is 60,000 sober people trying to do the same.

As for next week’s game at Green Bay, the bookmakers in Las Vegas are expecting Green Bay to win with a 5 ½ point spread. This speaks volumes as the Green Bay Packers are at the very bottom of the conference, having only won 2 games this season (the Lions have won twice as many). I’m expecting the fans in Wisconsin to be chanting “Keep Millen!” inside of the first quarter.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

As the Tempest Brews....................

Author’s Note: I apologize for dedicating The JEP Report to the Detroit Lions for the past several posts. I realize that there are very few people outside of southeastern Michigan who have any interest in the Lions whatsoever. In fact, these days one would be hard pressed to find someone interested in the Lions IN southeastern Michigan. Things have been slow here though (at least in the literary sense), and I’ve been really reaching for material lately, so please bear with me. Now, I’d like to point out right now that I am not one of those muck-raking, bottom feeding journalists who makes their living kicking the life out of an organization when they’re already down. As I do this for free, taking delight in and eliciting laughter out of the misfortune of others is more like a hobby.

Never underestimate the power of a grass roots movement. In the 1980’s, loosely organized groups of people effectively ended the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines. In the 1990’s, they shattered the Iron Curtain, opened up Eastern Europe to capitalism and effectively created the largest continuous red light district the world has ever seen. Within the last few years, they have toppled dictatorships in the former Soviet republics and hoisted into power the most entertaining public speaker Venezuela has ever seen. Now, a grass roots movement has started right here in the Motor City and is building momentum as we speak, getting stronger with each passing hour and louder by the day. This movement, holding true to the eccentricities inherent to Detroit, has nothing to do with politics. It has to do with sports. This is the “Fire Millen” movement and its aim is to topple the regime presently holding the reigns of the Detroit Lions and pass them to someone who does not have the worst record in the National Football League.

This movement has all the components crucial for success. It has a popular cause. It has the backing of the media. Thanks to Duncan deBruin, the fan who, in a burst of spontaneity undoubtedly fueled by multiple cups of warm stadium Pabst, held up a cardboard sign reading “Fire Millen” and, with several security guards in pursuit, dashed through ten spectator sections before being brutally tackled on national television, (one of the few solid tackles the Lions’ organization has made during the 2005 football season), it has a martyr. Still Duncan deBruin, while obviously impaired, running through a crowded venue and lacking blockers, managed to make it at least 60 yards on that single play, something no Lions’ rusher has managed to do yet this year. Mr. deBruin has not disclosed whether or not he is going to sue yet but listening to him on the radio, I would bet the whole matter could be settled with five years’ worth of free season tickets and an autographed picture of Matt Millen.

My prediction is that once the Lions sing their swan song on January 1st and close out a season that is sure to be one of most spectacularly dismal sessions in football history, Matt Millen will be offered, naked and quivering, to the angry mob clamoring for his blood. The fans are in open revolt right now, right across the board, and the cries for change are far too loud and passionate for the Ford family to ignore. If they fail to act on it, the fans will see that their banners, antics and they mayhem they are creating is good for nothing and they will be forced to employ a tactic that the Lions organization cannot possibly withstand: indifference.

The fans have been promised a playoff caliber team for my entire lifetime. They’ve gotten it only once, in 1991 I believe and if I remember correctly they were wiped out of the first round (I could look it up but I’m on a roll). The soap opera we got this year was no doubt morbidly entertaining, but not quite the performance that I would shell out $400 for a season ticket on. If the Lions can not take the field in September and at least demonstrate that they have a chance of winning more games than they lose (or at least win more than a quarter of them, which they’ve been hard pressed to do since I’ve been following them), they really do not deserve the sold out stadium they enjoy game after game after game.

And to the Lions organization, who seems to have taken such great exception to the way the fans have acted in the stands over the past few games, I have one question to ask you. What would you rather have, a stadium filled with 60,000 people cheering wildly when the other team scores, booing your quarterback’s multitude of mistakes and chanting for the firing of your general manager, or a stadium housing 500 people trying to stay awake during yet another uninspired performance by a team that has no problem cashing extravagant paychecks but just is not motivated to show up for work?

Firing Millen is definitely not going to solve the team’s problems over night, but as the Chinese proverb says, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” You guys need to get walking.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Jeff's Chick

On the radio today on my way into work, Detroit Lions Quarterback Jeff Garcia’s girlfriend was on the radio complaining about the treatment the team is getting from the fans. It made me realize just how bad of shape that team must be in. Not only can’t the Lions seem to handle their opponents on the field, but they’ve been reduced to sending out their women to save them from the press. (By the way – Garcia’s girlfriend allegedly posed for Playboy magazine. I kept picturing her naked throughout that entire interview).

Next Sunday is going to be a bloodbath. The Lions are going up against the worst team in the conference in a brutal battle for last place. I’m pretty sure this game is going to make Special Olympics history.

Monday, December 05, 2005

An Ode To The Lions.....

Twas two months 'fore the bowl
And all through Motown,
Lion fans had been drinking,
'Cause their team played like clowns.

Their spirits were broken,
Playoff dreams badly dashed,
And with no chance of winning,
They just felt better smashed.

By the time of Thanksgiving,
The fans were dismayed,
The cats played like kittens,
Medicated and spayed.

They first took the field,
To rounds of good cheers,
But they left it defeated,
To thunderous jeers.

Joey walked off Ford Field,
Then Garcia played bad,
Then the crowd wanted vengeance,
And both Mooch's 'nads.

The following Monday,
To appease the fans' hate,
Millen gave them a conference,
With head of Mooch on a plate.

Millen proved himself desperate,
To break the team's curse,
But the fans knew correctly,
Things could only get worse.

Then the Vikings flew in,
Played their sad conference brothers,
And beat them as if,
They'd insulted their mothers.

The crowd booed Garcia,
His plays made them sore,
And they chanted for Joey,
Though they'd jeered him before.

The receivers dropped passes,
Their skills far less than honed,
Rogers warmed up the bench,
Looking pleasantly stoned.

By halftime they'd been spent,
They looked frazzled and bored,
They'd resorted to cheering,
When the Vikings had scored.

Then the stands had erupted,
To manic applause,
When Duncan deBruin,
Took up a great cause.

He leapt up from his seat,
With a sign lacking crass,
But still begging the Fords,
To can Matt's losing ass.

He pranced through the seats,
Looking graceful and glib,
Then was tackled by goons,
And punched twice in the rib.

Over night he had fame,
Was known clear cross the nation,
And now thanks to those goons,
He's a TV sensation.

Now us fans have new faith,
That Matt's job will be gored,
As he's anally ravaged,
By William Clay Ford.

And now we have hope,
That they'll hear our sad calls,
Cause our team reeks of cheese,
'Neath a wildebeest's balls.

Now our team is convulsing,
Hovering closer to death,
They may improve next year,
But I'll not hold my breath.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

I Just Realized That...

….today is The JEP Report’s first birthday. One year ago today, I sat down in front of my computer and started a website with no idea at all of what it should be about. During that time, I had a new baby, bought a new house and got a new job. Hopefully, this next year will be a little less eventful and I’ll have more time to do the things that inspire more regular posting, such as abusing my liver. So, what have I gained through blogging? Well, I guess I could try to sum it up and see if it’s been worth the effort:

I got a free book. Brian C. Anderson wrote “South Park Conservatives” and sent me a copy to review. He obviously overestimated my importance.

Encouragement. I’ve always wanted to be a professional writer and doing this has given me the confidence to actually pursue it. I’ve been building a pretty decent collection of rejection slips over the past 12 months.

Invitations to drink in different parts of the world. That’s important. I love to travel but hate doing it sober.

So, who’s reading this drivel? Well, you know who you are. Judging from my site meter, there’s far more readers than the few who comment and keep me encouraged to keep writing (LoB, Blah, Grab’em, Jasco, Cindy, GMT and of course, my original fans, Hannah and Sacto Ritch. I thank you very very much for your comments. Without feedback, its impossible to keep writing because you think no one is reading it. Bloggers are like the original attention whores.) For instance, there’s someone who works for Boeing that seems to check in almost every day. Though I’ve never heard from them, its good to see you there. Then there’s the person from Haliburton who does pretty much the same (I like to pretend that one’s Dick Cheney looking for some comic relief in between running the war in Iraq and trying to sneak peeks up Condoleeza Rice’s dress when she’s not looking). I’d like to thank them as well.

My plans for the next year are not quite formed yet. I have a trip to Indiana in a couple weeks that could be good for a story or two, plus I should be going back to Mexico for the first time in six years in a few months. That should be good for something as well.

By the way, I stumbled across another site through Zug of an aspiring stand up who runs a great blog as well. If you like The JEP Report, I’m sure you’ll like Where The Hell Was I also. Tell him JEP sent you.

Anyway, thanks for reading. I hope I can manage to drum up another year’s worth of material for you guys through 2006!


Three Rules For Throwing The Perfect Holiday Office Bash

As the holiday season approaches, so does the office party tradition. Having been tasked with arranging a reunion of former colleagues from a former office for the past seven years, I have found myself in a position to learn a lot not only about surviving the annual holiday office party, but throwing one as well. I would highly recommend to anyone to vigorously pursue this responsibility if possible for not only does it allow for ample networking potential should you find yourself suddenly unemployed, it also does wonders for your personal job security. If you know how to throw a good party, management generally wants to keep you around at least until next year’s fiesta and, if done right, you can usually get enough dirt on them to keep you at work long after that. Never underestimate the power of a dirty little secret.

So, as a gift to the stalwart readers of The JEP Report, what follows is a little guide to throwing, surviving and thriving amidst the annual holiday office party. Call them the three carnal rules of throwing a killer holiday blow-out.

Rule Number 1 – Choose the participants wisely.

Just becomes somebody works with you does not mean they should automatically be entitled to party with you. Still, as it is a corporate event, there are serious consequences to not inviting them as well. You need to find a way to make them feel like they are welcome there, yet make the party sound so base and debauched that they will feel they are much better off spending their Friday night watching The Best of The 700 Club than wallowing in the mire of alcoholic excess and sexual tension that is sure to have infected the company’s annual soiree.

Choosing your fellow revelers is by far the most critical ingredient of a successful holiday bacchanalia. The people you need there are your office lushes, two reliable wingmen, the chick magnet, a gaggle of coed interns from the steno pool, at least three younger attorneys or someone in another profession that regularly deals with law enforcement officials without wearing handcuffs, a nerd that can’t handle his booze and at least one creepy quiet guy that could spectacularly explode at any moment. The kind of people you DON’T want there are anyone that has recently given a sexual harassment lecture, the human resources director (unless she’s hot), anyone who has a director reporting to them, any old men with precarious bladder control and any woman whose husband has connections to the mafia or looks like she gets pregnant easily.

Weeding out your pool may sound like a daunting task but can be accomplished by a good invitation.

Rule Number 2 – Set the tone of the party by creating the perfect invitation.

The invitation sets the tone of any good celebration. As the best celebrations are informal events and conducted unofficially, these events require little more than an e-mail. The first step is to immediately absolve revelers of any wrongdoing by reminding them that they were chosen to attend this party for their entertainingly low moral standards so their reputations would not be tarnished by letting loose at the event you are coordinating. I once used the following verse to set this precedent:

“The 2nd Annual Unofficial Holiday Company Bash will commence promptly at 5pm, December 2nd at The Baccian Lair on Main Street in Royal Oak. Now, I realize that many of you may be hesitant to loose yourselves with such wild abandon so close to the Christmas holiday, but I assure you that I have spoken to Jolly Ole St. Nick (we were playing strip Twister at the Tooth Fairy’s house last Wednesday) and after the events that transpired at last year’s party, not a single one of you will be getting anything from him anyway. Except for Ned Beaverton in accounting, who will be getting something “extra special” in his Christmas stocking this year. Note to Ned: You may want to leave a couple of rolls of toilet paper out instead of milk and cookies this year unless you want to fork out a couple of hundred bucks to get your curtains dry-cleaned.”

Next, you must lay down the rules of the excursion. These should be tailored to attract those with tragically few moral inhibitions and repel those who may prove to be moderating influences. They should also be disguised as “tips” or dictates from someone other than yourself (you don’t want to be seen as the party’s quasi-disciplinarian or worse, the person in charge of the event. The person in charge is usually forced to take responsibility for what happens and trust me, you want absolutely no part of that). You may want to try statements such as:

“Due to the incredibly inappropriate, albeit thoroughly entertaining, behavior of Ned Beaverton last year no bar tricks involving small furry animals at the The Baccian Lair at the request of the establishment’s management. Their request however, said nothing about LARGE furry animals and Ned is presently scouring the streets of New York in search of an elusive Snafulophogus for your evening’s enjoyment. I must add though that you should not get your hopes up. Ned’s been there a week and still has not managed to locate exactly where in Brooklyn Sesame Street, the avenue where this creature allegedly lives, can be found. We’re beginning to think it must be over the Hudson somewhere in Jersey City.”

“The Baccian Lair also has informed me that because of a series of unfortunate events last Christmas, they will no longer be supplying us with sharp knives with our dinner. Luckily, there was nothing in the wording of their request that suggested that blunt objects were to be prohibited as well, still leaving us with a means to keep the wait staff from getting lippy.”

Another important part of the invitation is to remind your guests that everyone is expected to adhere to proper drinking etiquette. Drinking etiquette is what separates us from savages (and for that matter, the Russians). It is especially important when dealing with those absolutely critical to the success of your party, like the bartender:

“The bartender is your friend, at least until the pagan scallywag tries to cut you off. The bartender should always be treated like royalty and tipped generously as long as he keeps the tequila flowing, but once he threatens to withhold the happy juice, physical retribution and coercion is not only acceptable, but expected. I can't remember where I heard this (it may have been the subject of a Martha Stewart segment on the Food Channel), but I believe the proper etiquette for dealing with a flippant bartender is to Taser his sorry posterior every fifteen seconds until incontinence has been induced. Once that takes place, you Taser him every five seconds until the gin jockey tosses you another Margarita. If a Taser is unavailable, mace or pepper spray can be used as a respectable substitute.”

Finally, the invitation is a means to instill confidence in your venue. Make your guests familiar with the place they hopefully be spend six or seven of their darkest holiday hours in:

“The Bacchian Lair has is a two storied drinking establishment. The first floor is 65 feet long and fifty feet wide with two exits. On this floor is a kitchen with two utility sinks and a wet bar with three glass washing stations. The men’s room is equipped with four stalls, two urinals and four sinks. The women’s room has six stalls and five sinks. The second floor is 50 feet long and 40 feet wide. It has another bar with two glass washing stations, a men’s room with two urinals, one stall and two sinks, a women’s room with three stalls and three sinks and one exit. Overall, The Bacchian Lair is legally allowed to serve 498 people at once.

“So, with over 5000 feet of floor space, three exits, 39 plumbing fixtures and almost 500 people to get violently sick all over, The Bacchian Lair’s management requests that this year, we leave the fucking aquarium alone.”

Rule Number 3 – Once the party gets going, leave the damn thing alone.

Once things get going, leave it alone. Nothing kills a good celebration like interference, and nothing is more reviled than the person who killed the damn thing. If the new intern wants to de-pants the engineering manager, let him. What do you care? If steno-pool Mildred wants to take on a couple of Jamaican bus boys in full view of her husband and co-workers, let her. Just make sure you have a camera and internet access handy. They may face repercussions for their actions but as the organizer, and hence the conductor, of the mayhem, you will reap the benefits. All you have to do is set the wheels in motion, sit back and enjoy the ride.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Christmas Plans

I was kind of wondering, of the readers out there across the US and the rest of the world, how your holiday season would be spent.

Mine typically starts on Dec 23, when I start my Christmas shopping. I depart my house alone at 7:30 in the morning, take a quick swing through Walmart to get the little “quantity” gifts for my wife from the kids and then have lady working the jewelry store pick out something really nice from me. I then go the bar at about 11:00, pound down a burger and a couple of beers (my pre-holiday training run) and then go fishing hoping to nail a couple of early steelhead in the river. Afterwards, I make my way back to the bar for a few more (the stale smoke and beer smell covers up the reek of fish very well) so that I can return at 7pm and complain about my hectic shopping day and scold her for being so hard to shop for.

Christmas Eve starts with a jaunt to my sister’s house in the morning and a multitude of Jello shots done with my brother-in-law until we break out the holiday tequila at lunch time. We then go to my mother-in-laws to open gifts with the kids before going to my wife’s uncle’s house. There, we feast extravagantly and do our best to consume every bit of liquor we can find to take the edge off going to church at eleven o’clock at night. At church, we slur our way through several traditional Christmas carols and try to keep from snoring as the preacher gives a lengthy sermon about the true meaning of Christmas. At quiet points during the service, we try to find one of the kids in our group that is brave enough to pull Uncle Norman’s finger. After church, I pass out in the van while my wife drives us home.

Christmas Day begins with the kids getting me up before my hangover went away to open their loot. After going after the boxes beneath the tree like a precocious pack of present piranhas, we load them up to my father-in-law’s house for more junk. Thanks to a recovering alcoholic on that side of the family, this trip is dry which fine enough considering it affords me a great opportunity to catch up on some sleep. I generally pass out on the couch before dinner is over. I usually wake up in time to have one quick beer with my father-in-law before going to my brother’s house to continue drinking in earnest.

The rest of my week off is spent putting together toys that will be played with for all of twenty minutes before being completely forsaken and discarded in favor of the boxes they came in.

In addition to seeing how everyone is spending their holidays, I was kind of wondering who is still reading this thing in spite of my tragic lack of posting of late. Sound off if you’re there!
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