The Phone Book

They say that Jackson Bart’s voice is so smooth and deep, people would pay to hear him read the phone book.
So, he did. He toured the country, reading the phone book.
He filled coffeehouses, bookstores, and Hard Rock Cafes. Pretty soon, he booked arenas and stadiums, and he sold those out, too.
That’s when the phone company stopped printing the book. Instead of recycling unused books, they didn’t print at all.
Jackson tried to read online listings and his iPhone contacts list, but it never was the same.
Now, he reads numbers in bathroom stalls as he cleans toilets.

Ex Machina

Greek Theater introduced the concept of Deus ex Machina to the world, where a seemingly impossible task would be resolved by the contrived intervention of something newly-introduced to the plot.
On the other hand, Diabolus ex Machina is when something that is absolutely certain is thwarted by the contrived intervention of something newly-introduced.
Theater-goers hate both of these concepts because they demonstrate sloppy writing and planning by the playwright.
But the Japanese love to put both of these machines in an arena full of flamethrowers and buzzsaws and make them fight.
They also like tentacle porn, those weird Japanese freaks.


Tracey was the best tattoo artist in the world. Nobody ever came close to her skill, and she invented all of the greatest innovations of skin art and body modification during her day.
You couldn’t tell from looking at her, though. She didn’t have anything on her skin… not a dot anywhere on her body.
She didn’t trust anyone else with her skin, and she just couldn’t turn her own needle on herself.
Piercings, though… if you could hang a stud or ring through it, she had it done.
Flying can be a problem. Trains, buses… she’s in no rush.

History Of Art

The East end of Main Street starts with a few yellow hand prints in the middle of the road.
The hand prints give way to hunting scenes, and then simple geometric designs.
As you travel West, the lines in the road progress through the history of painting… Babylonian… Persian… Greek… Roman… at Fulton Street, you get some Byzantine frescoes and mosaics.
A bit of the Dutch Masters and French Impressionists as you pass the Library, then Dadaist and Surrealist before the splattered mess reminiscent of Jackson Pollock.
(That’s not intentional. That’s where the road painter got hit by a bus.)


The National Endowment For The Arts was founded to foster artists of all kinds.
Except one: con artists.
So, The National Endowment For Con Artists was started to foster them.
From all across the country they came to apply for grants: con artists, frauds, bamboozlers, and hucksters.
Some flew in from other countries with false documentation and credentials. When you think about it, faking up citizenship papers is a good test for your con artist skills.
In the end, the Endowment failed, because nobody on the board could agree on a definition of “legitimate” con artist with a straight face.


I listened to the ghost of David Rakoff read his latest, final book.
David Rakoff is a brilliant writer, but he’s also a brilliant performer, so his audiobooks are what I get.
I remembered that his book was available as I left the office, but iTunes wouldn’t load it because I wasn’t on WiFi, and it was a large file.
So, I walked to the bus stop, waited for the bus, got on, and squeezed my way to the back door where I stood in the stink and jabber…
And then, home. Wifi.
Loading… loading… loading…
Speak, ghost. Speak.

The Angels

Michelangelo said that he saw the angel in the marble, and carved until he was set free.
As for the basement of hookers that he’d brutally stabbed and eviscerated, well, Michelangelo claimed that he’d seen angels in them, but when he carved each of them up, he’d realized his mistake.
At first, the Pope wanted to have Michelangelo arrested and tried for murder, but instead, he asked Michelangelo if he heard any angels coming from his political rivals.
Sure enough, he did.
So, the Pope had the bodies quietly removed, and let the homicidal artist continue on with Papal patronage.


I met this girl at a bar. She said she was an artist.
“What kind of art do you make?” I asked.
She invited me back to her studio and she showed me.
“It’s called splatter art,” she said, picking up a brush and carelessly slopping it on a canvas.
I hadn’t gotten laid in weeks, so I said I liked it.
The next morning, I offered to cook breakfast.
“I’m a chef,” I said.
Then I proceeded to randomly grab stuff out of her fridge and toss it on the stove.
“I call it splatter cuisine,” I said, laughing.

Barber Artist

Trevor doesn’t call himself a barber.
Instead, he calls himself a hair artist.
“If a chef can call himself a culinary artist, then I can call myself a hair artist.”
I tried to argue, but Trevor held up a razor.
“This is my chisel. You’re my medium.”
I didn’t argue. I just listened.
“My work lasts longer than a chef’s art. And it travels better. Unless it’s raining and you don’t have an umbrella. Or there’s high winds.”
When he was done, he took a picture.
In case someone bids and buys his art.
I hope I get a cut.

Gastronomical Orchestra

Laying back after an exceptional meal, I listened to the squelches and squishes inside my belly.
The more unusual the meal, the more unusual the sounds.
So, I went on an epicurean adventure, seeking out incredible unusual foods to construct melodies, harmonies, choruses… I recorded them all and mixed them together into the most amazing gastronomic symphonies.
For live performances, I’d throw a banquet, and offer up dishes that would turn the audience into my orchestra.
As long as I received more curtain calls than citations from the health department for food poisoning or cases of gastritis, I was happy.