The Ass Beating List

There’s that old sentiment that the world would be monumentally better off if a list of people received a hefty ass beating. You know what I mean. Everyone has their own list. Your list might bear the name of a former or current president, boyfriend, boss, fellow commuter, or barista.

Don’t be ashamed of your list. Don’t pretend that you don’t have a list. You may not have it written down or memorized by heart, but let a flippant, stringbean skateboarder bail off the sidewalk, cut across three lanes of traffic, and show no signal of interaction with the rest of society save his erect middle finger, and you’ll think to yourself “Coming in this week at number one, with a bullet!”

The thing is, you could be right about your list. I am very sure that the world would shine a little brighter if the exclusive members of my list were handed portions of their own face. Having some formidable being or group push your head in a little imparts a lesson. Perhaps that lesson is only humility, but there it is.

Until a few days ago, I had never entertained the possibility that my name might fall on or even head someone’s list. Although, it makes perfect sense. I’m a rampaging bastard most waking hours and there is that string of ex-girlfriends. You know, 1 + 1, ABC, apples and apples, all that. The concept lays in plain view, but I never bothered to look.

I couldn’t believe that civilization would be better off, especially as seen from my own perspective, if a hot portion of snot, blood, and tears were dexterously forced from my head and scattered about in a vigorous manner, but it’s true; the world and I are a little pinker because of the wailing I received today.

I’ll spare you the details. To ease your mind a little, this wasn’t a chance mishap on the streets of our city. I was in Muay Thai kickboxing class. Professionals watched, alert. Precautions were employed.

In short, I now lie back on a heap of pillows, watching television through the V of my feet. My face flourishes with a purple bruise on the cheek, and a cut bleeds from my left ear. Ice and blankets simultaneously cool and warm different parts of my aching body. I’m smiling, humble now.

Someone’s list is one name shorter, and a bird flutters and flaps on the sunny fence outside my window.


Thursday, February 21
The View
ABC 10:00 a.m.

Welcome to The View: a show by women for women. A show in which women cat-fight off screen, gang up to get one of the cast fired, then pretend nothing happened. We can’t stand to look at each other’s faces, but we hold hands and sip tea and pretend to be sisters. The View, the first real show about women...you just have to pay attention to the subtext and rumor.

KUSI News at 6
KUSI 6:00 p.m.
(Duh, it’s right there in the name.)
Mute your TV when you watch the news. Reading only the anchor people’s body language you’ll believe that the top stories are, “Tonight! There’s a citywide sale on hairspray, orange pancake makeup, and arrogance. Coming up! Rigor mortis attacks the living. But first! How to shake your head slightly when you talk to give emphasis to what you say!”

Friday, February 22
NBA Basketball
ESPN 7:30 p.m.

I can play basketball about as well as a dinosaur can ride a bicycle. I want time to think. I need to stand there for a second to contemplate my next move, and I do not need that guy waving his arms in my face while I do it. I do like the ball, though. Yes, basketball is dumb. I should invent a game in which the people are spread apart, we’re given time to think, and there’s no danger of collision, but the ball is still in play — maybe rolled. Perhaps with sandwiches and naps. Yes, this is much better. I’ve improved basketball immensely.

Saturday, February 23
Barney and Friends
PBS 9:30 a.m.

Remember Snorks? They were like this undersea version of Smurfs, only you’d have to be retarded or foreign to watch the little imposters’ show or buy their tainted products. There was that one kid in class with a Snork sticker on his Trapper Keeper, but he also drank chocolate soda and ate Miracle Whip sandwiches. Gaw, those people piss me off. Later in life they occupy the cubicle next to yours and want to talk to you about cats. Ugh, Snork people.

My Dad is Better Than Your Dad
NBC 8:00 p.m.

Has it come to this? In 1927, John Logie Baird, using existing technology and a little invention, built a box that received and displayed moving images. It was the first modern television. When he lay down at night I’ll bet he wondered if his invention would bring education and information to poor or remote regions. This, Mr. Baird. This is what we’ve done with it.

Sunday, February 24
Ultimate Recipe Showdown
FOOD 5:00 p.m.

If I had a cooking show it’d be the highest rated cooking show ever. My show would be called Buxom Women Cook Bacon! The premise of the show is simple and the title is surprisingly descriptive. It has everything. I mean everything. It’s bacon very near cleavage. What else is there? I’ll tell you what else. The occasional ninja. Bam! Take that, Emeril. With your goofy front teeth.

Monday, February 25
Happy Days
CASD4 4:00 p.m.

I may have devised an end to global warming and our nation’s obese-and-unemployed-children epidemic. You can run an electric heater in your chilly bathroom and an air conditioner over your sweltering bed at the same time. All you have to do is stand at your window, snap a whip every hour or so, and scream, “Get those legs pumping, Ramón! This treadmill generator isn’t going to run itself!”

Tuesday, February 26
The Ellen DeGeneres Show
NBC 3:00 p.m.

America needs a program featuring Ellen DeGeneres talking about her opinions and life about as much as my third-grade class needed my drunk mom to put that bag of paperclips in the birthday cupcake mix. Mmmm...made with prescription medication, homemade gin, and love. I helped!

Wednesday, February 27
Merv Griffin’s Crosswords
ABC 4:00 p.m.

Merv Griffin is one of those ubiquitous names you only partially recognize. He may have been a low-level crooner from Frank Sinatra’s era or he might’ve breached the surface of national popularity as a nightly news anchor between the eras of Cronkite and Brokaw. You don’t know. All you know is one time you heard a rumor about the length of “Merv Junior.”

Thursday, February 28
Judge David Young
Fox 3:00 p.m.

Oh, super. Just the other day I told my neighbor, I said to her, “You know what I’d really love? Another half hour fake-judge show because there aren’t already HUNDREDS broadcast each day on a thousand channels in a dozen different languages. Cram the gavel and robe into my open mouth and stand on my face to force the wad in.” That’s what I said.

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Everyone I see practically says to me, "Please crack my head in for my own sake." They don't say it in those words, no. They say it in other ways, like in the way they dress, but I hear them. And I heed their cries. I'd be a bastard if I didn't!

Story of my life:

Mom: Oh, Johan, you look so cute in your suspenders!

Mom's head: Crack!

Dad: Johan, life isn't always going to be easy.

Dad's head: Crack!

Me: Maybe you shouldn't go around cracking people's heads in all the time.

My head: Crack!

Cracking heads in is the only image I can, or will ever, comprehend. It is the single action which resonates sensibly within the rhythm of this world. Hopes are dashed! Heads are cracked! Of course you don't understand! Which is why your head needs to be cracked in! You do understand? Are you among the kindred? Then your head needs to be cracked in even harder, friend.

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