21 Lists

(These lists appeared on either McSweeney's or in Mountain Man Dance Moves: The McSweeney's Book of Lists, Vintage)

Sex is Like Pizza Because . . .

. . . it’s always brought to my house by a teenager or a foreigner in 30 minutes or less.

. . . my penis looks like a pepperoni stick.

. . . napkins are needed.

. . . it always goes a little better with coke.

(with Ted Travelstead)

Love Isn’t . . .

. . . the smell of your hair after fourteen hours in my homemade “sweat lodge.”

. . . what you did to my sandwich.

. . . a horseradish facial mask.

. . . playing “Seven Minutes in Heaven” with your cat.

. . . your Star Trek-themed bedroom aids.

. . . surprising me with what you just found in your sleeping Uncle’s “folds.”

. . . using “Velveeta” as your S&M safe word.

. . . a man in a trench coat nicknamed “Mister Sads.”

. . . that tattoo of a shamrock on your prosthetic leg.

. . . a coral snake up the ol’ wazoo.

. . . an all-expense-paid vacation to the “dream cabin” in your attic.

. . . being forced to take part in your boss’s daughter’s “deflowering ceremony.”

. . . a moldy peach stuffed in a tube sock and left on my windowsill as a token of friendship.

. . . that all-day lovemaking session in the back booth of a Beefsteak Charlie’s.

. . . the influx of randy e-mails from Barbara Bush.

. . . toothpaste art.”

. . . a three-way with you, me, and that dimwitted bagger from Piggly Wiggly.

. . . Grandpa’s famous shin massage.

. . . what I left in your garden.

(with Ted Travelstead)

You Know You’re a New Yorker When . . .

. . . you’re serenaded by two middle-aged women playing the classical violin at an entrance to Central Park. One of the women wears a T-shirt that reads: “Berklee College of Music.” The other wears a conservative summer dress with stars on it. You can’t help but think: “I’d very much like to take them both back to my one-bedroom apartment in Queens and show off my pornographic hummel collection.”

. . . . seeing celebrities on a regular basis doesn’t faze you. Except when they refuse to mouth “let’s fall in love” back.

. . . you pass the Empire State building and you don’t even bother to glance up, not because you’re a local, but because your neck is still a tad ginger from that terrible fall the previous month off your three-speed leather sex-swing/reading chair.

. . . it’s fashion week, and a New York city policeman has just kindly pointed out that the urine stain on the crotch of your khakis seems to be unfashionably spreading.

. . . on your way into work each morning, you shyly request that your favorite non-sanctioned hot-dog vendor use not a fork, but rather his inch-long toenails to gently place your piping hot pup into its bun.

. . . you’re all-too-familiar with the very best spot in the Sheep’s Meadow to “air out your pink.”

. . . you descend into a subway station and it’s very late and you just missed a train, the last one for possibly an hour or more. And, as you sit on the ground and watch a parade of homeless men pass by, it occurs to you that very few of them look all that similar to any of your frat bros.

. . . you cruise the West Village and you know exactly what color kerchief to hang from your back pocket to signify: “I am craving a delicious Brunswick stew from the Union Street Café.”

. . . eventually stepping off the Brooklyn ferry and onto the dock in Manhattan, you come across a local character who goes by the name of “Guppy.” He is wearing a Brunnhilde costume, complete with two-horned helmet and blonde-ponytailed wig. His face is covered entirely with blue woad. He is holding an Irish boggle stick in one hand, and in the other, a tomato sandwich. His eyes have taken on a thousand-yard-stare, seeing nothing, and yet seeing through everything. Tattooed on his forehead is a third eye, half-winking. On his feet are not shoes, but rather, discarded Kleenex tissue boxes. He is wearing green corduroy breeches that have been ripped at both knees. Hanging from each of his earlobes are thin and moist strips of deer-thong. An angry red welt can be seen on his left cheek. He hands you a plastic bag filled with what looks to be some sort of homemade mustard. You express your gratitude by taking the bag and stuffing it into your breast pocket. It fits perfectly! And then, to no one in particular, or perhaps merely to impress that gentleman standing behind that tree rubbing his groin against the bark, you proudly declare: “Only in New York, friends! Only in New York!”

(with Ted Travelstead)

Reactions I Overheard Upon Riding A Unicorn Into My 10-Year High School Reunion

“Guy hasn’t changed a bit.”

“Mark, right? Wait a second . . . Mitch?”

“Does he really believe that this is going to take away from the fact that he’s going bald?”

“Ha! He’s riding the same type of unicorn as Ben Devine’s! Except Ben’s is bigger and prettier!”

“Who gives a shit? Let’s head back to the buffet table before the Jalapeno Poppers are completely gone.”

Tasks I’m Not Too Embarrassed to Have My Helper Monkey Perform

My taxes.

Telling my wife that I don’t love her anymore, or at least not as much as I used to.

Calling my doctor to make an appointment for the itching and the rash that can’t quite be diagnosed from a quick search during lunch hour on the public library’s computer.

Attending the funeral of my ex-best friend from college, the one who didn’t talk to me for years because I never sent him a card when he was sick with cancer for the first time.

Clipping my grandmother’s toe nails while listening to her make racist small talk about various minorities, including Haitian-Americans, as her Haitian-American caregiver sits behind us reading an older issue of “Smithsonian.”

Cooking up a tiny cheese soufflé just “for grins.”

Buying the marked-down condoms at the dollar store, the ones that are perfectly safe, just a little generic looking. Then having intercourse with the woman I recently met on the internet.

Making the monkey bastard drive himself back to the pet story to get a refund. About two hours later I’ll stop by the store, say my goodbyes as he sits in his cage, accept the cash from him, and then hit the road. No more helper monkeys! Maybe a cat this time?

Punch-Lines That Would Only Seem Funny to You and the Guy You Just Spent the Last Ten Years With in a Pit

“When the buzzard came down and ate that dead rat’s eye.”

“The month we couldn’t move because we were so weak with hunger.”

“The insects.”

“The sun that time.”

“When the kid peaked over the lip of the hole and then ran off and never came back, he almost slipped and fell in also. The look in his eyes, oh man!”

“Hallucinating for the entirety of 1999 that we were characters in a classic Beach Boys song.”

“Let’s get serious now. The past ten years have been a hell of a ride, bro. Good times.”

Celebrity Sandwiches That Aren’t Quite Catching On

“The Paul Reiser” — Our famous “bacon bread” stuffed with uncooked shrimp.

“The Paris Hilton” — Day-old brisket on a mushroom found on a highway median-strip, covered with melted fudge.

“The Ted Danson” — A fistful of chickpeas, wrapped in a hanky and served by our midget waiter “Fred.”

“The Drew Barrymore” — A scoop of horseradish, a splash of hot sauce, a sprinkle of ketchup and a dash of failed hopes and dreams, served with just the thinnest shmear of mustard.

“The Tara Reid” — One gherkin, piled high between two slices of pamphlets taken from a tourism board.

“The Tobey McGuire” — A penny dropped into a bottle of Grape Nehi that’s been baked to perfection inside our world-famous “Bread Bowl.”

“The Scott Baio” — A Big Mac, served pre-chewed & pipin’ hot.

“The Aspiring Actor (Your Name Here)” — A “Cup O’Noodles” inscribed with your name and delivered to your table amidst a round of applause.

–with Ted Travelstead

Former Jobs Held By The Guy You Once Saw Wearing That “Pussy Patrol” T-Shirt

Vagina Cop

Undercover Titty Detective

Part-Time Perineum Security Guard

Anus Temp

Nipple Bureaucrat

Executive Vice-President of Technology and Worldwide Operations for Merrill Lynch

Some Fabrications to Insert Into a Personal Diary (Cut Out of Book and Paste!)

Went to the moon today but came back in time for the PBS special on the origin of flight.

Invented a new use for the raisin that might just solve the world hunger issue. Fingers crossed.

Ran into George Clinton, the funk and soul singer, at the Quick-E-Mart again. He was buying peppermint-flavored toothpaste, a pack of gum and a NASCAR-themed scratch-off ticket. Nice guy.

Practiced the sitar for six hours on the roof. Mrs. Culyer next door complained, but I refused to stop. A hummingbird landed on my shoulder.

Met a giant named Tim.

This morning, I joined a group of elderly women who were walking in the indoor mall. Chatted in a casual manner about the price of gas and then, at around ten, when the mall was just opening for customers, I took me a little snooze in front of The Gap.

Swam the length of the Mississippi with a little help from a dolphin and got some interesting looks from the “authorities.”

“Out of Office E-Mails” That Might Not Fly with Those in Charge

I will be out of the office until May 23rd because I’m taking a “voyage quest” into the woods behind my condominium. I will be bringing with me only a can of beans and an issue of Swank. So, obviously, “not reachable” . . .

I will be out of the office until Nov. 17th. Nothing serious, just a “crimes against humanity charge” that desperately needs to be addressed before I leave for the Super Bowl in Tampa next week . . .

I will be out of the office until June 1st, because two days should be plenty of time to conceive a friggin’ child . . .

Home sick again. Tequilas + dock whores + cops + a lawyer fresh out of correspondence school does not exactly equal “a work mood that’s conducive to getting things done.” See all you work horses on Monday . . .

Least-Loved Wedding Traditions

Obtaining a divorce.

“Doin’ it” with the rabbi.

Saying “I understand what it means to know unhappiness” instead of “I do.”

Taking a quick dip in the hummus bowl.

Making a citizen’s arrest on yourself for no apparent reason. A trip down to the jail is the only recourse. It’s time you learned yourself a little lesson, like immediately.

Licking your arms and legs like a big ol’ cat while the rest of the guests “dance.”

Suffering an embarrassing stroke that renders you useless for the rest of your life as your best man lifts his champagne flute in your honor.

Nicknames I Would Give My Penis if I Were in the Mob

Little Mike

Mikey Jr.

“The Penis” Sacks

Opening Lines to the Rough Draft of Rudyard Kipling’s “If”

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs
Are losing theirs

If you can keep your head when, when, when,

If you can keep your head when all about you, when all about you, when, if you can, if, all about you, Christ damn, screw it.

A Few Things I’ve Discovered About Teenagers

Rubbing balm on my pre-arthritic knees ain’t exactly “cool.”

In a similar vein, they’re not exactly too “keen” on touching my bald spot with their bare feet.

As far as “hip” quotients go, “tickling sessions” that take place beneath the bridge, down by the river, are right up there with having a fun chat with a thirty-something guy in a food court about clothes, pop music and other teenage concerns, such as nude Twister. In other words, “not very hip.”

Last Lines to a Syndicated Prison Humor Column

“Anyway, I guess that’s why they call it prison.”

“Cell mates? More like a married couple!”

“The last time I saw a shank that big was a few months ago and it wasn’t a shank at all, and it had absolutely nothing to do with cutting my throat out.”

“In conclusion, that’s why it’s so difficult to raise two precocious kids in the suburbs on fourteen cents a month when you’re three states away in the brink. What am I, made of funny money?! Just kidding, kids, I love you. Write back sometimes, thanks.”

Witty Quips to Utter After Relieving Your Bladder on the Subway

“A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on. So said Winston Churchill.”

“I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use. Quipped Galileo.”

“No lower can a man descend than to interpret his dreams into gold and silver. Kahlil Gibran retorted that.”

“Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion. Hegel, my dear friends. And with that, I must now bid you a fond adieu. Courage. So said Dan Rather.”

Jesus’s Bar Mitzvah Speech: Talking Points

Thanks for coming.

Helped some lepers on the way back from school once.

No longer a boy anymore, but now a son of God or something something.

Faced with a choice: could either go straight to heaven or I could stay down here and study for the bar mitzvah. I think I chose wisely.

I’ve performed a lot of miracles in my short life, but I think the most miraculous was that I actually finished writing this personal speech! (Wait for laugh.)

Sure, I enjoy turning water into wine, but guess what? I’m not yet old enough to drink it, so what’s the big whoop? (Wait for laugh.)

I’d like to thank everybody for coming today and I do hope you all enjoy the party. The theme, by the way, is “Dungeons & Dragons.”

Desserts to Avoid at Last Meals

“Death by Chocolate”

“Hanging by a Rainbow Assortment of Sugar-Free Sorbets”

“Shot Through the Heart with a Platter of Honey-Glazed Crullers”

“An Ice Cream Cake from Carvell’s in the Shape of an Electric Chair That Tastes Suspiciously Similar to That Other Ice Cream Cake in the Shape of a Whale”

“Nothing for me today, thanks. I’m stuffed.”

Your Most Intimate Sex Questions Answered

#1. No.

#2. No.

#3. Sure, why not?

#4. A coffee enema and a heaping slice of apple pie, piping hot, just out of the microwave, and then bed.

#5. Yes, it is entirely acceptable to watch television with a lover while both strapped into a leather sex swing. But what should you watch? I can’t really answer that, not being a qualified expert in television and all.

#6. I wouldn’t touch that if I were you.

#7. Wouldn’t touch that either, but that’s just me.

#8. Making love in the back booth of an Arthur Treacher’s is not only recommended, but strongly encouraged. Guaranteed to spice up any love life!

#9. Knees up, chest out, fingers spread, mouth agape, totally nude, riding by yourself in a convertible with the top down, silently mouthing the lyrics to “Maybe I’m Amazed.”

#10. Okay, okay, what do I care?

#11. Wow. I’ve . . . that’s a new one.

#12. I’m gone. Find your own “answer man.”

A Literary Experiment! More Specifically, The Opening Line to a Short Story about an Adorable Yellow Zebra Named Quilty, Written Entirely Without the Letters ‘Z,’ ‘Y’ or ‘Q’

Once there lived an animal that was not one hundred percent white and not one hundred percent green, but was a bit in between. This animal was not a rabbit and not a horse, but it did have stripes. He was somewhat old-fashioned and just a bit strange. He was an adorable ellow ebra with the name of uilt .

Baseball Bloopers: Post Career

Dropping the baby.

Getting drunk and hitting your car with a bat, but missing the side mirror.

Misreading the “you’re fired” sign from your boss as you round the hallway at top speed wearing nothing but a tank top and a straw boater.

Sliding head-first into a pyramid of soup cans in a grocery store and breaking your leg.

Mistakenly spitting tobacco juice onto your own cleats while in a session with the marriage counselor.

Falling asleep on a pitching mound, only to wake up to discover that your son’s Little League game is not today, but tomorrow.