Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2015 In Review

This year that thing happened and we were all like, NO WAY! And some people were naked too much, and others were wearing suits and they spoke into microphones. Then some political stuff happened, and we were like, NO WAY! ARGUE ARGUE ARGUE! But then something new happened, probably on television or in the news.

Some good TV series ended or began, and some people were like, THIS IS SO AWESOME, and others were like, "Meh."

There were some award shows, where men wore tuxedos and women showed off their boobies, and everyone was like, "She looked this way or that!"

Then some science stuff happened, and robots. Just last year, we were all thinking, I can't believe 2014 is already over with, there was so much bullshit. What bullshit is going to happen next? And bullshit DID happen. This year we are all thinking, I can't believe 2015 is over with, there was so much bullshit, What bullshit is going to happen next?

Sports and award shows, and weather happened. There were some emergencies. Some people got all shot up and we were all sad for a few days, but then sports happened.

And economy. Gas prices were one price, and then another. There were jobs and stuff, or no jobs, and men in ties stood at microphones and said some stuff.

So anyway. Freedom 2016.

Monday, December 21, 2015

#67 HALF ASLEEP NONSENSE JOTTED DOWN

If I can find
Five things
That have never been—
I'll see them, then I'll know.

The customary
Things
That never were.

Down to the left
And down two rows
Is the place where the thing
With two noses goes.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

FOUR CONTEXT- FREE POSSIBILITIES:

This clever-adjacent list has no meaning without context, but it occurred to me, so I'm provisionally adding it to the Internets. Perhaps you can provide some context for yourself:

1. You hate it and know you hate it.
2. You hate it but think you enjoy it.
3. You enjoy it but think you hate it.
4. You enjoy it and know you enjoy it.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

DAN'S CONSPIRACY THEORY 151112

Summary: Drug companies create dummy drugs with horrifying side effects in order to drive customers to another product that is less scary.

Exposition:

BIG DRUG COMPANY owns DRUG A, which treats CONDITION X, with a few side effects, some of which are alarming.

In order to make the side effects of DRUG A more palatable, they create another drug, DRUG B, which also treats CONDITION X, but with a long list of horrifying side effects.  They run ludicrous commercials for DRUG B, listing the horrifying side effects, urging people with the condition to "talk to your doctor."

A consumer with CONDITION X calls his or her doctor about the condition, but voices concerns about the side effects of DRUG B, the dummy drug.

The doctor notes that there is a safer alternative; DRUG A. DRUG A's side effects seem much safer when compared to the horrifying side effects of DRUG B.

DRUG A is then sold, because pushing drugs on television is legal, for some reason.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

#66 SUGAR HIGH ON HALLOWEEN CANDY!!!

SUGAR HIGH ON HALLOWEEN CANDY!!! SUGAR HIGH ON HALLOWEEN CANDY!!! SUGAR HIGH ON HALLOWEEN CANDY!!! SUGAR HIGH ON HALLOWEEN CANDY!!! SUGAR HIGH ON HALLOWEEN CANDY!!! SUGAR HIGH ON HALLOWEEN CANDY!!! SUGAR HIGH ON HALLOWEEN CANDY!!! SUGAR HIGH ON HALLOWEEN CANDY!!! SUGAR HIGH ON HALLOWEEN CANDY!!! SUGAR HIGH ON HALLOWEEN CANDY!!! SUGAR HIGH ON HALLOWEEN CANDY!!! SUGAR HIGH ON HALLOWEEN CANDY!!! SUGAR HIGH ON HALLOWEEN CANDY!!! SUGAR HIGH ON HALLOWEEN CANDY!!! SUGAR HIGH ON HALLOWEEN CANDY!!! SUGAR HIGH ON HALLOWEEN CANDY!!! SUGAR HIGH ON HALLOWEEN CANDY!!! SUGAR HIGH ON HALLOWEEN CANDY!!!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Limits of Science

Science has taught us many things: There's water on mars, the human genome is really big, time and space are all bendy, and a golf ball hit on the surface of the moon will go really far.

But what has science told us about the sandwich? I have two specific questions:

1. Why does a sandwich taste better when someone else makes it?
2. Why does a sandwich taste better when cut in half diagonally?

Get on it, science!



Saturday, September 26, 2015

Tonight, on DUMBSHOW . . .

"Tonight on a very special episode of DUMBSHOW, we explore the hidden relationship between cable repair trucks and orange cones. What is the hidden meaning of their symbiotic existence?"

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

OPINION TIME


What is your opinion about OPINION TIME?

Here is where we will have a frank and open discussion about our opinions about OPINION TIME.

If someone disagrees with you about OPINION TIME, make sure to let them know; tell them your opinion about them disagreeing with your opinion about OPINION TIME. This is constructive.

Do not change your opinion about OPINION TIME under any circumstances, but be certain that with a reasonable argument, you can change another person's opinion about OPINION TIME.

Remember, if someone disagrees with your opinion about OPINION TIME, they are wrong, and their disagreement with your opinion about OPINION TIME is a personal attack. It is best to respond in kind with a personal attack. Insult their character, heredity, or intelligence. This is a sound persuasive tactic that always works, and brings those of differing opinions around to your way of thinking.

OPINION TIME. What is your opinion?

Thursday, September 10, 2015

RECEIPT DESIRED?

Today I stopped at a gas station I don't normally frequent because road construction. I filled the tank, replaced the nozzle, replaced the gas cap, and the fuel pump screen said:

RECEIPT DESIRED?

Desired? That's a strong word. It's creepy. It is amazing they were able to cram bad, passive writing into that tiny space. Just give me the receipt. It isn't like:

"Oh Gas Receipt, ever since I first saw you, I had to have you. You are so beautiful Gas Receipt. Run away with me, I must make love to you."

No. It isn't like that at all.

"Da-yum Gas Receipt, you're tight. I would very much like to hit that."

No. I think PRINT RECEIPT? would be the appropriate message.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

SMART ANSWERS TO DUMB QUESTIONS


Q: "What's your favorite color?"
A: "Depends on the object."

Friday, August 21, 2015

I FORGOT MY SUNGLASSES

Man it's bright. Jesus, this sun is killing me. Oh man, I forgot my sunglasses. Why? I surf like, every day, and here I am without my friggin' sunglasses. Oh well, can't go back now. Ashley's in there doing that thing in the bathroom. I gotta tell her it's over. How am I gonna do that? Jesus, this sun is like, melting the side of that building. What the hell is going on up there? A crap, a text. Already with the texts. I left the apartment five minutes ago. She can't even spell it out? Three exclamation marks? I'm suffocated. Suffocated. I better text back. If I don't text back, she's gonna send another one. Christ. Terran was right. She's bad news. God, the way she screamed at Luke last night. One drink makes her insane. And that thing in the bathroom. That noise. Crap, another text. What does that even mean? Is she just putting random emojis in texts now? The sun is so friggin' bright. I got to stop drinking. I have to stop drinking, and I have to break up with Ashley right now. I'll text her. God, need some shade, can't see this friggin' phone. Okay, lemme see. crap, caps lock. Lemme try again. God, no. I can't break up with her by text. What's that lady looking at? "I'm just sending a text." Suspicious old woman. Look at that dog. I bet she doesn't pick up the poop when it goes. Probably just buries it in the sand. Jesus, this friggin sun. I wish I had my sunglasses. 

# DOG SKELETONS

And then people started seeing dog skeletons walking around at night. First there were reports of single skeletons, and then packs of ghastly animated skeletal dogs. No one believed the reports at first, but then the sightings were reported nationwide. Each skeleton walking in its own unique way, a permanent toothy snarl on each skull, heads down, as if the habit of sniffing persisted in ghoulish phantasms with no possible olfactory sense. The empty eye sockets were wide and expressionless.

Occasionally a dog collar was spotted, dangling off a short span of spinal chord between the skull and shoulders.

At first people were alarmed, claiming it was a portent of the "end times," but biblical scholars had to admit that packs of dog skeletons fit into no known prophetic writings, old testament or new.  Others conjectured that it was pollution, or radiation, but scientists had to admit they to could find no explanation.

As they passed through the streets at night, the dry, fleshless paws sounded like dry leaves skittering across the pavement, wind or no wind.


Motorists would see them crossing the street. Some would stop and watch the horrifying parade of dog skeletons cross the headlight beams, while others would hit the gas, scattering the bones everywhere, the satisfying crunch of bones sometimes costing them a chipped windshield if a particularly large skull impacted the glass. Later no bones would be found, as the skeletons, animated by some unknown supernatural force, would recombine and continue on toward whatever mysterious destination draws packs of dog skeletons.

Saturday, August 08, 2015

CELESTIAL EMPORIUM OF BENEVOLENT KNOWLEDGE

Supposedly taken from an ancient Chinese encyclopædia entitled Celestial Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge.

The list divides all animals into one of 14 categories:

1. Those that belong to the emperor
2. Embalmed ones
3. Those that are trained
4. Suckling pigs
5. Mermaids (or Sirens)
6. Fabulous ones
7. Stray dogs
8. Those that are included in this classification
9. Those that tremble as if they were mad
10. Innumerable ones
11. Those drawn with a very fine camel hair brush
12. Et cetera
13. Those that have just broken the flower vase
14. Those that, at a distance, resemble flies

source: wikipedia

Saturday, July 25, 2015

#61 THE TWISTED TREE

If there's no "us and them"
Then all that's left is one big "we."
And this of course means that
We're "we" in everyone we see.

We're black and white and thin and fat
And freaked-out xenophobes.
We're grandmas with arthritis
We have hoops in our earlobes.

We're crotchety vets from foreign wars
We're kids of meager means.
We're jerks with lanyard keycards,
We're flamboyant painted queens.

We go to church and carry guns
And pray to God above.
We get tattoos and drink
And want equality in love.

We worship Allah, God, or trees
Or aliens in volcanoes.
We worship nothing, drive big cars,
And pick the avocados.

If there's no "us and them"
Then all that's left is one big "we."
And we are all the leaves on
On an enormous family tree.

If you believe in "us and them,"
And need to make a fuss,
Then we'll all be here waiting
Till you realize it's just us.

We're shrill acerbic soccer moms
In tragic yoga pants.
We're homeless bearded mystics
On the sidewalk mumbling rants.

We're all the people in the cars
That ruin your commute.
We're crazy people on the news
That cause you to press "mute."

We're gay and straight and in between
We're from another state.
We're from another country,
And we think our country's great.

We're seven billion people
We're all scrambling for food,
We're all a little frazzled and
And we're often very rude.

We're all in this together,
And we'll sometimes disagree,
But we are one big family
On one twisted family tree.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

the annoying

That person at work, or on the news, or on the street, or at the party, or wherever, who is so annoying is not annoying by virtue of their age, or their race, or their gender, or their nationality, or their class, or their politics or their whatever. They are annoying by virtue of being human.  Some people are simply annoying. They are not annoying because of some artificial classification. It is their character, or their circumstance, which is unique to them.

Grouping large numbers of individuals by superficial similarities is a mistake of logic. It is lazy thinking to paint millions of people a certain way in the mind simply by virtue of a few annoying people with whom they share a superficial characteristic.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

RIPOST: FOR USE IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN:

"I was only trying to be friendly."

"Perhaps you should reexamine your methodology."


Monday, June 22, 2015

WALKING IN A LAKE

The first time I heard the song "Walking in L.A." (1984, Missing Persons) I thought they were saying,

"Walking in a lake / Nobody walks in a lake"

And I found that puzzling. No one walks in the bottom of a lake, but if you go to the beach, you have to walk out to where it is deep enough to swim, usually, if it is a public access beach.

So it seemed inaccurate.

Also, did you know that the lead singer from Missing Persons also played the "Mary" character in Frank Zappa's album, "Joe's Garage?"

Sunday, June 21, 2015

# THERE'S A PROBLEM WITH THAT THING

"There's a problem with that thing."

"No there isn't."

"Yes there is. That thing is happening all the time. We could fix the problem. It would take a lot of work, but..."

"No. There isn't a problem. I do not see a problem."

"But what about X, Y, and Z? We need to fix this stuff. Something needs to change."

"Those are isolated incidents. They are not connected in any way. All circumstances and events exist in a vacuum."

"They are a trend. They are a symptom of a bigger issue."

"No they aren't. Can you give me a specific example?"

"A couple, but there are so many..."

"If you can't give me twenty specific examples, right now, off the top of your head, there isn't a problem. If you give me twenty examples, I'll ask for twenty-one examples."

"This Thing is a problem. It's complicated and involves..."

"I don't see it. It isn't affecting me, so it isn't a problem..."

"It's a problem."

"Do you have a specific solution, that you can describe completely, right now? Is it foolproof and perfect, as all plans are foolproof and perfect?"

"Well no..."

"See? Then there is no problem, and even if there was a problem, which there isn't, it can't be fixed because there is no perfect solution that is easy, and involves no sacrifice. No problem."

"But..."

"Nope. End of discussion. I have to go do things now. Also, booze now. I do not have time for this. Things are going well for me, so there is no problem. Booze now, and sports. Booze now?"

"Yes, booze I suppose."

~~~  LATER ~~~

"Can you believe that thing that happened on the news!? It is awful and terrible! This will briefly make me somewhat sad, for a few days, or hours!!"

"Yes. I can believe it. I don't see why you are surprised. It is part of the thing we were talking about the other day, these things are connected."

"No. There is no problem. That is not a real problem. We don't need to fix it, it isn't a problem."

"You don't see how that led to this?"

"No. It is another isolated incident. I have to go do things now that are important to me. Work stuff now. Booze later, and also, sports."

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

HEAD DOWN (look at the phone)

MUSICIANS! I have just composed this masterpiece, which I give to the public domain, for use in performances etc, etc. YOU ARE WELCOME!

downloadable .pdf of this masterpiece found here: http://www.danmanning.com/music/phonehead.pdf

Saturday, June 06, 2015

AN AMAZING DISCOVERY!

OH MY GOD YOU GUYS!

I was just listening to the 1973 Steve Miller Band song, "The Joker," and I think I've stumbled across something in the lyrics.

I suspect that the line, "really love your peaches / wanna shake your tree" may have NOTHING to do with the peach tree (prunus persica), or the harvesting of the fruit from that tree, but something altogether different.  (I think it is a reference to sex stuff.)

I'm going to investigate this further, and keep you posted.


Just thought you'd want to know. 

Friday, June 05, 2015

# LET'S FOCUS ON DUMB, SUPERFICIAL THINGS, FOR FREEDOM

An old guy who won a track-and-field event 39 years ago got a sex-change operation.

Unless there's some potential for romantic involvement, for a mature, thinking person, another person's gender should be one of the least interesting and least important attributes about that person.

If the winner of the men's decathlon event at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal wants to change genders, then good for him, that's his business.

If an annoying professional "exister" on an annoying reality show wants to change genders, then good for him. That's his business.

That annoying person on that annoying reality show will probably still be annoying, because, for most situations, gender does not matter.

Unless there's some potential for romantic involvement, for a mature, thinking person, another person's gender should be one of the least interesting and least important attributes about that person.

It might be important to that other person, and that’s fine. Respect that.

But really, for most situations, when interacting with other humans in non-romantic things, gender is unimportant.
People who make a big deal about superficial things are like large, dumb children.

The only person who should be concerned about the gender of the winner of the men's decathlon event at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal is the winner of the men's decathlon event at the 1976 Summer Olympics, or somebody who is trying to fuck the winner of the men's decathlon event at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal.

Are you hoping to be romantically involved with the winner of the men's decathlon event at the 1976 Summer Olympics? Are you currently romantically involved with the winner of the men's decathlon event at the 1976 Summer Olympics?

No? Then the gender of the winner of the men's decathlon event at the 1976 Summer Olympics doesn't matter.

An old guy who won a track-and-field event 39 years ago got a sex-change operation.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

#58 ODE TO NYQUIL

Sweet nectar of the Lotus Flower
Purveyor of uneven dreams
Ferryman to Lovecraftian ScreamScapes
Sweet vapory drops of Mind-Twisting visions

Dropper of Heavy-Lidded slumbers

So careful do I approach
The doors of your subterranean grumbles
The mangled half-understood phrases
Overheard in uneasy dreams.

Oh Bringer of Deathlike Lethe—
The blue-tinged landscapes of
Unspeakable Horror and Impossible Dares
Beyond Euclidian Space and Linear Time

Strike down these cloggy bellows—
Sick with the weakness
Of traitorous health

Lower me slowly
To your undersea realm—
Where illogical thoughts skip
Wildly through unfamiliar
Copper-Sunlit towns

{Groggy jaunts to the
Midnight toilet
Bleary-eyed and eager to return
To Blissful Vapor-Sleep}

Oh NyQuil!
Key to the
Forbidden Unholy Bacchanal!
Of haunted Seventies Discos
And Parallel movie sets!
Conversations with the Dead
Skydiving with Manatees and
Oscar Wilde

Having a sandwich
With Sally Struthers
In World War One trenches
Half-caught visions in
Unnamed haunted regions.

Soothed,
Murmur-rocked smoothed
In a cool roof—lumbering
Feather-drift easy—like decent
Into dewy fluid sway,
Wavy vapor shady
With a gradual casual stir
To the demur.
Apostle castle
Namaste taste vanilla flavor
Navel gaze raze to the vapor haze.
Groovy chode toad
In a mellow abode.

Oh Nyquil! Thou has shown me
The Face of God

My balloon-like limbs
Sway in your reedy-whispered
Willow Gardens—

To traverse desert landscapes
Under star-strewn nights
Warm vaporous sleep to ancient cities
To find the texts
Of dark philosophies

Oh NyQuil! This mild sickness
Is my excuse—to travel with you
To alternate realities—
You are the doorway—the key.

Odd voices give ill advice
And shadowy figures move
At impossible angles.
Judgmental angels give sidelong glances
As they drink coffee.

I would awake from this,
But I have yet to fall asleep—
And then it will begin.
And in that dream, I'll dream.

In that dream, I'll find pen and paper
And write again this very page
And drop the notebook there
And fall asleep again, within a dream.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

# AN INSIDIOUS TYPE OF BLOG POST

I want to warn you all about an insidious type of blog post. These posts are ironically self-referential, disguised as warnings about ironically self-referential blog posts. They are pointless and lead nowhere, but the goal of these posts is to entice the reader (you) into reading further, although the sentences, using apparently interesting multisyllabic, technical sounding words, lead nowhere. These posts often repeat themselves. They frequently say the same thing over and over again, but using different phrasing. Posts of this kind often describe themselves using the very characteristics of the blog posts they claim to be warning others to avoid. In fact, the posts are those very posts to be avoided, but by the time this is revealed, the reader has invested enough time on the blog post to continue reading, hoping for some payoff. Perhaps there is some insight hidden within the somewhat scientific-sounding jargon. It seems quite possible, that later in the blog post, the reader will find some comment on social-awareness, or some information regarding the psychology of ironically self-referencing posts. This is an illusion; the reader will gain no benefit from continuing to read this type of post, but even after several warnings, they continue to read. It is as if the blog post is physically pulling the eye across the meaningless symbols, forcing the mind to strive to combine the words into some coherent message, where none exists. It is a type of symbiotic madness, shared between the writer of the blog post, and the reader. For as the post is both written and read, the reader and writer are locked, however briefly in the same blog post. It is a type of suspended animation, because really, neither of us are doing anything useful, are we? The blog post will sometimes try to insinuate some connection between the reader and the post itself. They have been together a long time. It would be heartbreaking if there were no payoff, no point to any of this. Why did we read this?

So anyway, I just wanted to let you guys know that these types of posts are out there, and to be aware of them. If you run across one, don't read it! But perhaps it is too late.

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Saturday, March 21, 2015

"that cat's gonna get in it."

"You put that box on the floor, that cat's gonna get in it."
"No it won't."
"Yes it will."
"There's no way for you to know that for certain."
"Yes there is. That cat's gonna get in that box. Look at him lookin' at it."
"It's a 'her.'"
"She's gonna get in that box."
"No she isn't."
"Yes she is."
. . .
"See?"
"Shut up."
"I told you. Look at her. Aw, she's so cute. Good kitty. You in the box?"
"Shut up."

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

#56 WEIGH THE TOWN IN COFFEE GROUNDS

Weigh the amount
Of the town in
Terms of the sound
Of thousands of pounds
Of coffee grounds.

In the soul of souls
In the mind there rolls
The thoughts beyond us,
Pound for pound.

A heavyweight thought
Un-thought by the minds
Of the blind, un-sublime
Ordinary kind.

You know, the folks
With the loose-cut thoughts
Like stupid jokes
With half-baked plots.

With reason seasoned
With unsound found
Around some sound of
Things dug from underground.

The un-weighed town
Full of drunken clowns
Who bring us down
With their braying sound.

Of half-assed, jackass
Tactless, thoughtless
Un-thought thoughts
Spoken always everywhere.

Gossip, rude conjectured
Generalizing, hell-bound
Heartless sermonizing
Needlessly demonizing.

Smaller now: the One-Time
Once Before—thought
Dreamy sequenced
Sleep-noised evening peace-ness.

The last great thinker
Thought this out
Without a doubt but
Didn't bother to write it down.

And now our methods
Are unsound and no one
Is around to point
The wayless way to
Lead us to another day.

Around the Doorway Door
We go but never through
Until we do
We wander babbling jingles
Between our sips of booze.

A dollar caught
With a spiteful thought
We ought not to be taught
By Sir Speaksalot.

Peal! Peal towering clock
To rock our aging thoughts
With things better left alone
And soon forgot!

Weigh the amount
Of the town in
Terms of the sound
Of thousands of pounds
Of coffee grounds.

for "shame!"

Sometimes, on the Internet, I see things about people "shaming" other people about you know, whatever. I've even seen these people referred to as "shamers." This is an unnecessary, watered-down word. There is already a tried and true word for people who harp on others in this way: those people are "assholes."

Sunday, March 15, 2015

#55 THE ARMADA OF DEADLY DELIGHTS

The Armada of Deadly Delights
Plows through a brackish sea.
On the lead ship stands a figure,
Alone on deck in the breeze.

Below there's a dusky bordello,
With delights for both ladies and gents.
There's booze and dancing and food galore
From the seven continents.

One hundred luxury barges,
All follow a course for the edge.
But the music's all right and everyone's tight
The champagne is chilled in the fridge.

The Armada is hell bent for leather,
The engines are full speed ahead.
They're sailing off to the edge of the world
All the captains are already dead.

The revelers can't stop the party,
Though they think something might be wrong.
But they drink some more and try to ignore
While they dance to a popular song.

And the men below keep on shoveling coal,
And the engineers bite their nails.
The ships plow on; there will be no dawn
For the ships without any sails.

The edge of the world's getting closer.
The waterfall to the abyss:
And the passengers drink, so they won't stop to think
That maybe something's amiss.

Alone on the deck in the moonlight,
The Grim Reaper is nursing a beer.
If he looks to the West where the angle is best,
He can tell that the end is near.

My site: danmanning.com

Sunday, March 08, 2015

#54 HAIR KINDA LIKE FARRAH FAWCETT

There's a sound beyond
The Doorway Door.
Let's open it
A little more.

What do you think
We'll find out there?
A monster combing
Its auburn hair?

Admiring its snout
And adorable pout
In a mirror, while drinking
A pint of stout?

Or a garden
Blooming under the sun,
With Sprites and Goblins
Having fun?

Or the infinite
Void of outer space?
With moons and stars
All over the place?

We cannot guess.
We'll have to go
Through the Doorway Door
And then we'll know.

The monster admires
Its eyes and roars
At the mirror it bought
At the Dollar Store.

The Goblins are drinking
And arguing sports,
Solo cups, barbecue,
Bermuda shorts.

A spaceship is docking
With Space-Station Nine
Delivering grain
And a shipment of wine.

The space-station caption
Is thinking of home—
Doesn't trust his wife.
She's back there alone.

The Sprites left the party
And went to a bar
(The Goblins were boring)
They went in the car

Belonging to Carol
(She works in HR)
Carol's been sober
For over a year.

Carol the Sprite:
Her husband's away
At the Space Port
She's lonely and tempted to stray

But enough about Carol!
I'm sure she'll be fine
If she sleeps with Diane,
She'll have a good time.

Anyway, none of that
Stuff's going on
The Doorway Door's
An enigma Beyond—

The Space Port Captain
Is under great stress
He's taking it out on his staff
It's a mess!

But this is mundane!
This is a bore!
You'd think we'd do better
In the Doorway Door!

The Sprites get a table
And order their drinks.
Diane looks at Carol,
And what do you think?

This poem isn't going
To be about that!
It should be profound,
More thoughtful and apt!

"I've prescribed you these pills,"
Said the Doc to the Captian
"For mild depression,
Don't worry—"

No poem! No!
This has gone all wrong!
And now you've managed
To go too long.

"Hey what about me?"
Monster wants to know.
"You forgot about me
Twelve stanzas ago."

"You look very nice,"
The poem responds.
"You're hair looks kinda like
Farrah Fawcett."

The monster grins,
Oh what a fright! And it asks:
"Did those two women
Hook up that night?"

"I really don't know!"
Exclaims the poem.
It's time to depart
The Doorway Door.

Oh now I get it!
We got the wrong door.
We were in the
Bore-way Door.

Friday, March 06, 2015

#41 WHILE THAT BRAIN

While that brain
Is reading these words,
Everything else will
Begin to blur

The time of day,
Wrong or okay,
Whether to go
Or sit and stay.

Problems with work,
Or dealing with jerks,
From that it's distracted
While this poem's enacted.

The words are winding
Through that brain
In the wrinkled parts
They will remain

This poem is there now,
It won't go.
There's more there now
Than a second ago

Couldn't that brain
Be doing more
Than reading words
From the Doorway Door?

No, it couldn't.
This is what
The brain decided
To scan and store.

The world beneath
That brain still spins,
And maybe that brain
Will read this again.

Or maybe not!
This poem forgot,
That brain will
Think about cats a lot

Or chicken-fried-steak,
Or the planet Mars,
Or the private lives
Of movie stars

Right and wrong,
Or a catchy song,
Hello brain!
Keep reading along.

Or stop! It turned
Or clicked away,
How will it read
What I have to say?

Now I'm alone.
An unread poem
My reader is gone.
This has gone all wrong.

But wait a second,
It must be there.
What else could read these words?
Thin air?

Oh there you are!
The brain has returned.
I'm glad you're still reading.
So what have we learned?

One brain exists.
This much we know.
And a pair of eyes—
Can you read this slow?

And now. I've slowed.
The reader. Down.
This punctuation.
Starts, to; clown,

Around with the speed
In which you read.
They dictate the speed
With which you proceed.

Thank you for stopping
By today.
I hope that brain
Will come again.

I hope these words
Meet or exceed
Your expectations
Satisfactorily.

The Doorway Door
Is beginning to close
Come back again.
(I'll write you some more.)

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

#42 DYSTOPIAN VALENTINE

When the banks
Have us all
In
Obedience collars

And a loaf
Of Faux-Bread™
Will cost
One million dollars

When everyone's broke
Or falling behind,
When everyone's drugged,
Or losing their mind,

When robots with
Badges
Are kicking down doors,

Never forget that
I'll always be yours.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

#42A But We Forget In the Course of a Day

I am a skull beneath the earth,
My lipless grin, my only mirth.

My eyeless eyes, they skyward stare,
Up at the coffin lid, right there.
Just a few inches from my face
As dark and cold as outer space.

But haven't I already
Been like this?
A collection of atoms
Drawn from the abyss?

And won't I be
This way again?
To live and die
In the world of men?

Probably not.
So here I am,
Never to walk
The earth again.

A moldering corpse
With a miniscule grave
That can finally sit still
And has learned to behave.

I'll never go to work again.
I'll never commit a venial sin.
I'll rest and feel the galaxy spin.
I'll lie here grinning my endless grin.

We know we'll all end up this way,
But we forget
In the course of a day.

Our time is brief,
The time is nigh,
In just a few weeks,
In the ground we'll lie.

Graves lined up
In a tidy row,
In the grassy place
Groundskeepers mow

Or kept inside a special urn
But no matter what, we take our turn.

So live today,
And do that thing,
And hope to see
Another Spring.

Billions have gone,
And billions will go.
The passage of Time
Is fast, not slow.

The passage of Time
The decline of mind,
What was ahead
Is now behind.

The collapse of the spine,
Both yours and mine,
The ache of the joints
From the daily grind.

From the passage of Time
No one is saved.
It begins when we're born,
From cradle to grave.

So never give up,
And never say die.
Cause very soon,
In the ground, you'll lie.

So do it today,
(That plan in your head)
Cause you'll wish you had,
The moment you're ____.

I am a skull beneath the earth,
My lipless grin my only mirth.

Monday, March 02, 2015

No. I don't want to opt in.

How to eradicate the ominous "please opt in to the verizon in-store experience" notification:
settings / apps / My Verizon Mobile (app)
uncheck "show notifications"

Sunday, March 01, 2015

#43 THE PREVIOUS SALTINES

The Previous Saltines
The gifts from God
Were found beyond
The Doorway Door

The Previous Saltines
Are dumb as stones
They never speak
Near microphones

The Previous Saltines
From outer space
Exist to save
The human race

The Previous Saltines
The salt of tears
Were shed for us
Ten thousand years

The Previous Saltines
In airtight sleeve
Are here for those
Who so believe

Saturday, February 28, 2015

IT'S THE LAST DAY OF F.G.D.F.!

It's the last day of F#cking G_d D@#m  February. This motherf*cking G_d d#$m fncking month is over. Finally. This is the month that the illogic of an argument over a motherf*cking dress killed motherf*cking Mr. Spock. Actually killed him. Here's how his last few moments probably went:

"The vast technological communications network, that could be used to solve all the world's social ills, bring understanding to humanity, is being used to argue over the color of a motherf*cking dress? Humanity is moronic. This is so motherf*cking illogical, I no longer have the will to live."

And that motherf*cking killed him.

And the motherf*cking cold. How can it be so motherf*cking cold for som motherf*cking long? I ask you? How can anyone claim that we haven't broke the G_d d#$m motherf*cking atmosphere with this motherf*cking "polar vortex" bullshit lasting this long.

Motherf*cker. F#ck you February.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

THE GRASS IS NOT ALWAYS GREENER (OR REDDER)

There's a mission, called Mars One, by a private company, to send volunteers on a one-way mission to mars. Now I want space programs to continue, I'm a big fan of science and space exploration.

But they are talking about a one-way mission to mars. And they're finding people to do this. Hundreds of thousands of people have volunteered.

I'm a fan of science fiction (good science fiction anyway) and the idea of space travel is fascinating.

But if these people are launched into space, there is going to be a point when some of them realize:  "Oh fuck, I shouldn't have done this."

There will be panic attacks and freak-outs, and when they run out of sedatives, they're in for some seriously messed up terror.

And the first time they have to jettison an dead body into space, the rest of them are going to think, "Holy fuck, I shouldn't have done this. This was a terrible idea."

And the ones to reach Mars are going to be some fucked up individual who all wish they had stayed home.

I'm all for space travel.  This plan might work, but those poor people.

You have to have a return plan. I mean Jesus Christ. Think about it.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

#44 PSA POEM: ANOTHER REASON TO BE NICE.

All the little kids,
Out on the playground
Are learning to play together!

Running and jumping,
Laughing and learning!
They're all getting along!

(Except for Pete K,
From Mrs. R's class,
That kid is an asshole!
He pushes and shoves!)

But everyone else,
Is getting along!
Standing in line
They file into the school!

(Except for Pete K,
He's a little bully.
Whispering horrible things
Into Jacob's L's ear!)

The kids are in class,
Learning their lessons,
Learning to read
And to write and to add!

(Except for Pete K,
This kid is obnoxious,
He's making fart noises
And kicking Anne's chair)

The kids get together,
They're making a plan,
They whisper together
And look at Pete K!

The following morning,
Pete K's not at school,
And everyone's happy
And everything's cool!

All names in this story
Are fictional names,
If they sound like someone
Well that's just a shame.

So don't be the asshole,
At work or at school,
Your colleagues might
Be forced to do things un-cool,

Like poison your coffee,
Or follow you home,
So try to be nice,
And leave each other alone!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

WEATHER CENTER, THIS IS BRAD...

"Weather Center, this is Brad, how may I help you?"

"I think your website is broken."

"I'm sorry for the inconvenience, could you tell me your name?"

"Dan. Look, I've checked the ten-day forecast for the past week, and the numbers aren't changing."

"Let me check the page.... let me see... it seems okay on this end."

"But the numbers, they're all similar, but those can't be real numbers. I cleaned out the cache. Is it pronounced 'catch,' or 'cash-ay?' anyway, I cleared out all my browser temp files, but these numbers are all negative and terrible, and they don't change."

"Sir, these are the real numbers."

"But can't you make them go up?"

"We only report the weather sir, we can't—"

"You can't do anything? For the love of God, you can't even try? You're the fucking Weather Center."

"Sir I assure you—"

"NO! No, you don't assure me. These aren't real numbers. This is insane! How long is this going to go on? What are you people doing? There's nothing you can do? Cloud seeding or whatever the hell the farmers do?"

"Sir, this is an unusually cold winter, but again, I can assure—"

(sobbing, line disconnects)

Monday, February 23, 2015

#45 TO ALTER FOREMOST "YES" ON THINGS GONE BY

To alter foremost "yes"
On things gone by
The buried precepts lost
In wayward thoughts

Of idle hours spent by
Somewhere else
While we our dollars make
By daily toil

Bleak, bleakest winter
Bone-snap cold
(driving indoors all,
the absent sun)

Diverse slanders
Uttered out-of-doors
Let bygone lip-synched prayers
Unanswered, fade

Ignored by yawning
Channel-surfing God
Who flips through decades
Clicking one by one

Sleep the death-like sleep
On crisp white sheets
Nocturnal thoughts of
Lost car-keys and things

The lumbering wonder
Thunders, underwhelmed
Hecate's whispered
Incantations lost

The Viking's funeral pyre will blaze
Up out into the sky
Upon the waves

Three thousand years
And not a minute saved
The sands of time
Will fall for anyone

Young faces wrinkle slowly,
Week by week
And strong backs slowly
Weaken, year by year

The dreams of long-dead men
Traverse the stars
To sadly settle planets yet unmade

The testaments of unnamed
Alien gods
Writ down on stones
Decayed one billion years

And everyone the pulverizing time
It grinds down every upstart
That it finds

To alter foremost "yes"
On things gone by
To move the minute hand
There yet again

The moon will close her eyes
And look away
The sun will smile and sadly
Shake his head

The sky will weep and stretch
From here to there
The earth will spin and say
That all is well

The graves will stand forgotten
Day by day
And everything will be
As it will be

To alter foremost "yes"
On things gone by
The buried precepts
Lost on scattered thoughts

#46 THE GUYS IN TIES


Guys in ties
Are in disguise
Because they know
You will surmise

That they are wise
And civilized
So they can tell
A thousand lies

"Deeply saddened,"
"Mistakes were made,"
"The documents were all mislaid."
"The emails somehow got deleted."
The biggest lies are most repeated.

An army of lawyers
Are all on hand
To lie in a language
We don't understand

And the guys with ties
In suits tailor-fitted
Will always manage to get acquitted
The system will maintain the status-quo
But if you are poor?
Off to jail you go.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

FEET FREEZING TREATMENTS, NOW JUST $50.00 / HOUR

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My home office features all the amenities you need for completely frozen feet in just minutes:

1. 1960 era tile floor directly over concrete slab brings your feet as close to the permafrost as you can get without going outdoors.

2. A window view on a frozen wasteland. Watch wildlife such as birds, squirrels, and other squirrels scamper for enough caloric intakes to survive sub-zero temperatures.

3. Internet access. View Facebook posts from your old classmates living in warmer areas as they brag about how @#$%ing warm they are.

In just minutes, your feet will be completely frozen. A bone-chilling experience. Added bonus for those of you suffering from Raynaud's disease: watch your affected toes turn bluish-white. Spectacular results! Here are just a few actual quotes from completely satisfied customers.

"My feet were freezing almost instantly. I felt like my toes were made of pure ice!"

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"Is the heat off? Why is it so much colder in here?"

"This is like walking into a refrigerator."

Call or click today to learn more. Bring cash.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

I'm too sexy for this post

I'm too sexy for this post, too sexy for this post
This post is the most.

I'm on Blogger, you know what I mean
And I type my little words in the textbox
Yeah in the textbox, in the textbox yeah
I type my tiny thoughts in the textbox

I'm too sexy for this update.

Friday, February 06, 2015

Cola Hubris

Those new Coca~Cola commercials are sad and incredibly stupid:

"Hey consumer! You are surrounded by an Internet filled with relentless, hate-filled trolls who will stop at nothing to make your life a living hell. Your only hope is that some reckless, clumsy network administrator who doesn't follow the rules (NO FOOD OR DRINKS IN THE SERVER ROOM, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD) spills his Coke on a MAGICAL SERVER that will allow the Internet, simply by the virtue of some freakish, impossible anomaly, to artificially cheer you up, by accident, by creating some kind of virtual AI "friend" that will boost your spirits, (which, by the way, you are unable to do yourself, as you are a complete victim of all the idiots on the Internet {stop staring into your phone!})."

Anyway, that's how I feel about Coca~Cola's new ad campaign. For the record, I like Coca~Cola. It is delicious and refreshing.  They should go back to the old, "I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing" hubris, and shitcan this "WE ARE YOUR A.I. FEEL-GOOD OVERLORDS" hubris.

Sunday, February 01, 2015

# Get APP!

With APP, you can be sure you are making the right choices. Our friendly APP will let you know when you are staying focused, and will give you a gentle reminder when you stray off task.

Willpower and concentration are sometimes not enough, but with APP, you'll act with confidence, knowing that APP is there to guide you on your journey.

Click to learn more. Our APP will track your activity. It is your day-to-day activity that counts, and APP is there to guide you on your way.

Your goals are our goals, and our goals can be your goals, with APP.

Simply attach the NR* collar, download APP, and you will be guided and controlled by our machines. You will follow a simple program that will make decision-making a snap.

APP tracks every part of your day, and modifies your behavior to make sure nothing is wasted. Productivity is key, and that's where APP comes in. When you stray, lose focus, or engage in unhealthy or illegal activity (we've all been there, right?) APP is there to set you right again.

And it isn't just activity. Attitude is everything, and that's where APP really shines. Unhealthy thinking, unorthodoxy, and thinking that might conflict with conventional philosophy are all discouraged through a series of increasingly powerful electric reminders.

Get with the Program. Let a Machine take over. Thinking is difficult, let APP do it.

APP: In Control.

*Non-Removable™

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Saltines, Saltines, Saltines, Saltines!

I was having my midnight snack, at eleven, as is my usual habit, of that great Ambrosia, peanut butter and crackers, when this song sprang into my noggin', fully formed, like an epiphany. My apologies to Dolly Parton.

Saltines, Saltines, Saltines, Saltines!
I'm begging of you please don't take my man
Saltines, Saltines, Saltines, Saltines!
Please don't take him just because you can
Your beauty is beyond compare
With flaming locks of auburn hair
With ivory skin and eyes of emerald green

Your smile is like a breath of spring
Your voice is soft like summer rain
And I cannot compete with you, Saltines

He talks about you in his sleep
There's nothing I can do to keep
From crying when he calls your name, Saltines

And I can easily understand
How you could easily take my man
But you don't know what he means to me, Saltines

Saltines, Saltines, Saltines, Saltines!
I'm begging of you please don't take my man
Saltines, Saltines, Saltines, Saltines!
Please don't take him just because you can

You could have your choice of men
But I could never love again
He's the only one for me, Saltines

I had to have this talk with you
My happiness depends on you
And whatever you decide to do, Saltines

Saltines, Saltines, Saltines, Saltines!
I'm begging of you please don't take my man
Saltines, Saltines, Saltines, Saltines!
Please don't take him even though you can
Saltines, Saltines

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

# THIS IS MY PLATE OF LINGUINI

This is my plate of linguini. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

My plate of linguini is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life.

My plate of linguini, without me, is useless. Without my plate of linguini, I am useless. I must fire my plate of linguini true. I must shoot straighter than my enemy who is trying to kill me. I must shoot him before he shoots me. I will...

My plate of linguini and I know that what counts in war is not the rounds we fire, the noise of our burst, nor the smoke we make. We know that it is the hits that count. We will hit...

My plate of linguini is human, even as I, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weaknesses, its strength, its parts, its accessories, its sights and its barrel. I will keep my plate of linguini clean and ready, even as I am clean and ready. We will become part of each other. We will...

Before God, I swear this creed. My plate of linguini and I are the defenders of my country. We are the masters of our enemy. We are the saviors of my life.

So be it, until victory is America's and there is no enemy, but peace!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Wear A Hat

I saw a guy riding a bike out in this weather, on these icy roads, and all I could think was:

"Sir, you need to put on a hat."

Because he wasn't wearing a hat. You need to wear a hat out in this stuff. Its friggin' dangerously cold out there.  Put on a hat, dude.

You know that picture of the guy in Vietnam (or Cambodia, or wherever) getting shot in the head? And the photographer snapped the picture right when the guy pulled the trigger to shoot the guy in the head?

The guy on the bike looked like that dude. He looked that miserable.

Put on a hat. Jeez.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Thought Experiment 15_01



Fifteen people are in a locked, windowless room.

#1 thru #10 are just random people.

#11 thru #15 are siblings.

#11 has a gun. He's waving it around and saying all kinds of crazy things. He has a long criminal record. He beats his wife. He's a major-league sociopath.

His siblings, #12 thru #15 are embarrassed and alarmed by his shenanigans, but #11 won't listen to reason. #11 is sensitive about his mother, and he makes this clear to everybody in the room.

"Anybody jokes about my mother, I kill him."

His siblings, while they might also be offended if someone insulted their mother, are at least reasonable about it. They don't like guns, and they are relatively sane.

So #1 thru #10 keep their mouths shut. Perhaps in the future they can reason with him, or disarm him, but right now, he's bat-shit crazy, and waving a gun.

Everybody keeps quiet except #3. He says:

"Your mama's so fat... "

BLAM BLAM BLAM

The crazy guy shoots #3 dead, as promised.

Now we all agree #11 has to be stopped, somehow. We understand the sibling's embarrassment about their psycho brother.

But what about #3?

About Me

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I am the author of 8 books: Android Down, Firewood for Cannibals, Brain Giblets, The Cubicles of Madness, Booze and News, Get Your Zen On, Zen Happens, and most recently, Robot Stories. I live and write in Michigan. My website is at danmanning.com

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danmanning.com

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