Monday, August 31, 2009

Harry Potter: A retospective

When the Harry Potter craze started over a decade ago (yeah...a decade) I didn't completely buy into it the world J.K. Rowling had created. I read the first two books and my thoughts on the books could be compressed down to simply "meh..." I gave up reading the books for a few years and it was only after considerable harassment by my peers that I started reading them again. "Goblet of Fire," was the one that got me hooked and sped through the books like I might find answer to universe on the next page. I had completely bought the world that J.K. Rowling had created hook, line and sinker. She could have made Harry into a Cyborg from the future and I wouldn't have batted an eye. Finishing the series to me was as rough as a junkie running out of heroine. I totally went through withdrawal and even found myself rereading certain books trying to recreate the excitement I felt the first time. Going cold turkey with Harry Potter isn't easy. There were times when I'd stay up late and hope that I'd still get my letter for Hogwarts. I'll admit it, I took the facebook quizzes, "Which Hogwarts house would you be in?" and "Which Harry Potter Character are you?" Late at night I'd wish I had my own wand or pretend to make up plays for my all-star Quiditch team. Harry as the Seeks, Wood as Keeper, Ginny as a Chaser. We were sure to beat Slytherin with a team like that!

Night sweats and dry heaving followed for months, but I eventually broke free. Now that I've freed my soul from the clutches of Potter, I've been able to look back on the Harry Potter universe and make some observation. I think the first one that struck me is the completely ignored fact that everyone is doing it at Hogwarts. Harry did Ginny, Ron did Lavender Brown and probably Hermione (that dog). Until I heard that Dumbledore was gay I was convinced he was boning Mcgonagall on the side. Imagine the debauchery that flowed through Hogwarts halls at night. All those spells and potions and shit. I bet you could have heard the "Enlargo" spell being muttered hundreds of times every night with a simple flick and swish. The room of requirements was most definitely a hot bed of illicit activities. Need a room that will provide hours of privacy? Done. Need a room that will have every ungodly device someone could desire? Done. All those portraits would undoubtedly know and probably see what was going on. I would not want that fat lady asking me for the password when it was clear that the girl next to me smashed on butter beer was not coming over to study. The mornings after must have been a sight too, waking up next to some chick or dude who had slipped you a love potion (Isn't a love potion the same thing as a roofie?). You can also bet a fist full of galleons that there was a Plan-B spell that was always floating around Hogwarts?

Second, can you imagine how hard is would be to heat and cool a place like Hogwarts? An old drafty castle like that? Jesus Christ, the amount of coal and wood they go through. I bet there isn't a single bit of insulation and not one double paned window in that whole place. The carbon footprint of Hogwarts must be astronomical. Hell, its not us muggles causing global warming its those less than eco-conscious wizards messing everything up. I'm driving around in a fucking hybrid and using those shitty ass compact florescent bulbs because some idiot wizard is burning coal like there is no tomorrow. Hey Hogwarts, thanks for melting the ice caps and killing polar bears.

Why did Voldemort always decide to start shit around finals? Am I to believe that he sat around all year and then absent-mindedly glanced at the calendar to realize it was May and say aloud, "Oh crap. Finals are starting, better start fucking with Harry and the gang." Come on Voldemort, hatching evil plans to rule the world is not a seasonal activity, you need your game face on all the time. Plus did Harry ever actually take any finals? I think every single time finals rolled around he was out solving some mystery or nearly getting killed. I should have done that in college, get into a near death situation that results with me in the hospital conveniently during finals. I would just cook up some crazy story about what happened and make myself sound heroic.

Harry Potter was way emo. "My parents were forehead hurts." Shut the hell up Harry, no one likes a whinny bitch.

Where wizards living in America ever mentioned? Is it because Mrs. Rowling has some pro-Anglo agenda she is pushing? Probably not. It's more likely that wizards in America are way cooler. They're too busy riding around on flying jet skis and manipulating the stock market to deal with the trivial concerns of lame wizards in England.

Yeah, Harry Potter might just be a book, but I like to critically analyze things that are made up. Why? I dunno...I just feel like it. I've written J.K. about my concerns regarding the Harry Potter universe, but she has yet to get back to me. She is probably shitting her pants because I saw all the gaping holes and now she doesn't know how to feel. Personally I think her sending me a millions dollars would make her feel better.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Food Monster

A few days ago I spent the afternoon in the company of an old friend, Mr. Matthew "Midnight" Serverster. He has recently moved back to Scranton after a stint of substitute teaching in Delaware. He's a good man and will make some lucky fella an excellent wife some day if he manages to get his rampant body hair problem under control. (You see, the joke is that I implied that Mr. Midnight is a homosexual--and it's funny because homosexuality is morally wrong and socially unacceptable).

There are many interesting things about Mr. Midnight besides his uncontrollable man-loving and his thick matte of ape-like, full-body bristle. For instance, he is well known amongst our group of friends for being an impressive eater of foodstuffs. "An 'impressive eater?'" you may ask, "What does that mean and why might that be even remotely interesting?"

Well, first off, fuck you says I. Mr. Midnight's eating ability is truly incredible--incredible in the proper sense of unbeleivable, in that you can witness him eat something and literally be unable to process what you have witnessed. Mr. Midnight's eating ability is not just limited to quantity of food ingested, but also the food itself. He can, and does, eat things that would cause decent, church-going cardiologists to rip off their doctoring hats and stomp on them in impotent rage.

It should not be inferred that Mr. Midnight is unhealthy or morbidly obese or any such thing. It is simply that, on occasion, he seems to get considerable amusement from eating the most disgusting things possible in front of horrified villagers and making them lose their faith in God, reason, and basic laws of physics. It is because of these unholy proclivities that he has earned the title of "Food Monster."

One of the tales surrounding Mr. Midnight's obscene abilities is that he has--on more than one occasion--consumed something called a quad stacker from Burger King. A quad stacker is a hamburger that has four beef patties, four slices of something similar to cheese, topped off with bacon and what might be thousand island dressing. I ate three quarters of a double stacker once and for the rest of the night my stomach felt like it was trying to forcibly secede from my body. But, as if to prove something I never asked him to prove and never would, Mr. Midnight decided to show me that these legends of him eating a quad stacker were true.

The quad stacker is not even on the god damn menu anymore. That's how terrible this thing is. He had to order off-menu to get it. It felt like we were not only doing something biologically wrong but also morally and legally wrong.

Watching Mr. Midnight eat at least for years of his life away without struggle or difficulty is something that will stay with me for some time. By the time he effortlessly popped the last bit of burger into his mouth I realized that I had only eaten half of my pitiful chicken sandwich and no longer desired to finish it or any other kind of food for some time. But Mr. Midnight simply smiled and asked if he could finish my fries. I stared at him in astonishment. He just kept smiling at me like a retard who has just killed a small animal and doesn't understand the horror of the situation.

"I'm going to shit my pants," he said, finally--still beaming with delight.
"There's a bathroom ten feet from us," I replied.
"It's not close enough. I'm going to shit my pants. We need to leave."
"I don't want you in my car if you're going to shit your pants."
"Then I'll just have to walk home."

In the end he didn't have to walk home, nor did he shit his pants. After leaving burger king we went to Target. We were standing in the electronics section talking about Bioshock or something when he cut himself off mid-sentence to declare, "Oh God. I have to go." He then walked very quickly to the unisex bathroom.

An uncomfortably long time after this he returned, smiling again, only to declare, "That was actually pretty painful. A woman walked in after me and I actually heard her say 'Good Lord!.'"

This was my day, ladies and gentleman. This is a day in Scranton. Long live the Food Monster.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Burned. No pun intended.

The after school program I worked for this past year was one where I found myself dealing with children peeing in bottles and fighting over rocks. Still I had a good time and got to spend time with children who possessed excellent senses of humor. Z, was one of those children.

My usual afternoon routine at Kids Club was one of settling arguments in two square, finding someone's lost gold bouncy ball and distributing snack to a pack of ravenous children with poor table manners. As the day drew to an end I generally found myself playing some relaxing game with the few remaining kids, on this day I was playing Uno with Z when the topic of "boyfriends" and "girlfriends" came up. Feeling the need to probe and "josh" with Z I asked her about having a "boyfriend."

Me: "So...Z, do you have a boyfriend?"

Z: (smirking and fiddling with her cards) "Yes."

Me: "Really? Does he go to this school? What is his name?"

Z: "His name is D, and he's in fourth grade."

Me: "Well...does he go to this school? Do I know him?"

Z: "No, he's from a few towns over. We went to kindergarten together."

Me: "Wow. A long distance relationship. Must be tough, do you hang out a lot?"

Z: "I haven't seen him in three years."

Me: "What! Z! How can you date someone you haven't seen in three years! For all you know he is hideously burned!"

Z: "So he looks like you?"

Zing! I had nothing to respond to Z with, so I did the only thing I could. I gave her a high five.