Friday, March 03, 2006


Every morning I wake up and start all over again. The first things that pop into my head are: Who am I? Where am I? What day is it? What time is it? It’s like I’m a computer booting up, and my system diagnostics take an inventory of my surroundings.

Loading OS ANYtK…

System belongs to: Terry Mertens

System ports: OK

Chicago, Illinois

Today is Friday
***Launching Friday Feel Good Hormone…

It is 7:35 in the morning and sunny

Checking log:

“Good morning, Terry. You have work today. It is the last work day of the week. You need to pay your mortgage today. You have a meeting this morning at 10:00 a.m. - be sure to shave. Your car is parked in the garage. Your girlfriend is generally pleased with you - buy flowers to improve relationship performance. You do not have cash. It is going to be a cold day. Call the following people...”

And then my computer proceeds to fill up my system tray with all of the programs that will be running in the background all day long.

* Appetite Manager…loading
* Waketime temperature Monitor…loading
* Libido Doctor…loaded in sleep state at 5:23 a.m
* Social Awareness 2.0…loading

And then my body gets out of bed and start doing things without my even thinking about it. I make a cup of instant coffee. I turn the shower and television on. I start fishing through the pile of clothes on my bed for something relatively clean.

45 minutes later, the person I recognize as “me” stumbles out into the hallway, locks the door, and trudges with eyes half shut toward the elevator.

Do I really have free will? Or do I just think I do? Am I really behaving consciously, or am I noticing what I’m doing as I’m doing it and interpreting it as choice? I do not feel free. I do not feel like I am making choices. I feel like some invisible hand is typing in commands all day long, commands I execute without much thought. And when my battery life finally starts to fail and my central processing unit chokes and sputters, I am powered down for the night.

Every morning I am booted back up again and set to perform a multitude of functions that surely must serve a purpose higher than my own self-interest. I don’t and can’t know what it is – only that my participation is essential, and trying to figure it out is futile.

System OK.

I have created the following diagnostic report for my user. I think it's time I get some fucking upgrades.


Please enter password: __

Thursday, March 02, 2006


Bush announced yesterday that he was “confident” Prince of Terror Osama Bin Laden would be captured.

In separate news, a videotape, also released yesterday, shows Bush saying how confident he was that all necessary emergency resources were in place prior to Hurricane Katrina's devastating landfall.

And then there was Bush's speech prior to the invasion of Iraq during which he expressed confidence that Saddam Hussein was harboring a deadly cache of WMD.

Is anyone else unmoved by Bush's patented stamp of confidence? He seems a little OVER confident if you ask me. Consider his Administration - the team of people hand-picked to assist him in leading the country. Bush has always introduced his qualified appointees with a great deal of confidence, certain they were the best people for the job. And yet consider all of the presumably smart people who've either resigned or been replaced since joining Team Bush. Secretary of State Colin Powell. Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill. Agriculture Secretary Ann Venneman. Education Secretary Rod Paige. Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham. Commerce Secretary Donald L. Evans. Chief Economic Adviser Stephen Friedman. Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge. Attorney General John Ashcroft. Press Secretary Ari Fleischer. The list is long and storied.

I do not think it would not be a stretch to say that a lot of these people were probably more qualified to do their jobs than Bush is to do his - and, for one reason or another, they all either resigned or were replaced! As Randy Jackson would say, "I'm just not feeling the confidence, dog."

So when Bush says he's "confident" we're going to get Osama, I have to wonder if that's code for: "We're sending Vice President Cheney on a quail hunting trip to Pakistan."

Because, in a manner of speaking, that's probably our best shot.


I’m telling you people, this whole Brokeback thing is on fire right now. It’s cool to be gay! Check out the trailer for an upcoming film about forbidden love in deep space called the romance of the Jedi.

The Cher song kills me every time…

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


There’s been a lot of pre-Oscar buzz surrounding the smash hit “Brokeback Mountain,” a film about two cowboys, home-o-sexual on the range. Have you seen it? Does your wife know? Did you have a row all to yourself? Just curious. No – not curious like THAT. Let’s move on, okay?

I have NOT seen the movie yet, but I do plan to challenge myself to sit through the DVD when it is released – just to know what all of the fuss is about. (I’m secretly hoping there will be a setting on the DVD that will let me watch the film without having to watch two dudes flame broil each other’s Whopper.)

Homophobic? Me? Please. I just have a homopreference not to watch men kiss. I think gay marriage is a great idea. I think gay parents can raise a child just fine. I even checked out Chicago's Gay Pride Parade last spring. Gay is okay by me. As a male, however, I personally don't care for the sight of males getting it on. It's the same queasiness I get when I watch two ugly people pawing at each other in public. Yeah - you know what I'm talking about.

Anyhow, I can’t help but notice a lot of folks jumping on the whole “Brokeback” bandwagon to capitalize upon the phenomenaughtiness of it all. Here are just a few examples of what I’m talking about…

I read in Rolling Stone that in the works is a remake of an AC/DC classic, a true tribute to the band’s name, called “Brokeback in Black.” The tight-fitting tribute is set to be recorded by the recently renamed alternative rock band Nickelbrokeback.

At Target the other day I saw they were selling a board game called Brokebackgammon – the rules are apparently the same, only the board is painted in festive pastels and rolling the dice is called "hopping on the asswagon.”

I read in the Wall Street Journal that unemployed homosexuals are asking to be called Flat Brokeback.

According to the Sporting News, placing large bets on the San Francisco Giants or San Francisco 49ers is considered “Going for Brokeback.”

In Variety, Arnold Schwarzenegger announced he is making another Terminator film once the Cauliflowernians vote him out of office. His catch phrase in the sequel “Fudgement Day” is reportedly, “I’ll be brokeback.”

On the IRS website there’s a new section for gay marriage filers called “brokeback taxes.”

George Lucas has started filming his Pre-se-pre-pre-se-quel to Star Wars, the hidden story about Luke Skywalker’s infatuation with Han Solo called “The Empire Strikes Brokeback.”

I’m not sure what to think of this trend, but it sure does seem to indicate to me that Brokeback Mountain stands a fairly decent chance to take halter-top honors at Sunday’s Oscar Wilde extravaganza.


When it comes to crimes of passion, you can't touch this.

Last month, two Florida men got into a rather heated discussion about toilet paper...and it didn’t end well for either one of them.

According to the police report, 56-year-old Franklin Paul Crow of Moss Bluff, Florida was sick and tired of his roommate Kenneth Matthews, 58, of always using up the last of the toilet paper without replacing it. Enough was enough! Or, I suppose it would be more correct in this case to say NOT enough was enough!

An argument over the availability of clean asswipes ensued, during which Kenny decided to up the ante by pulling out a rifle and pointing it at his beloved Bunkie – a move that, in hindsight, might be considered his “last mistake.”

Whether Kenny intended to shoot Franklin over toilet tissue will forever remain unknown, as Franklin did not wait for Kenny to pull the trigger. Finding himself in the crosshairs, Franklin grabbed a pair of hammers (a sledgehammer and a claw hammer) and began beating Kenny with them. In the face. As you might imagine, Kenny's ass was wiped out. Police on the scene had to use fingerprints to identify him afterward.

As for Franklin’s ass, it will likely play host to a parade of unwelcome guests in the months and years ahead as Franklin has been charged with, and confessed to, homicide. A new bunkie eagerly awaits at the state pen.

If you're looking for a moral in this story, there are many:

Don't keep shit all bottled up until you explode - things could get messy.

This is what happens when there's an ass in charge.

Don't leave hammers in the living room.

Don't threaten to shoot someone unless you have the balls to actually do it.

There's a good reason grown men in their 50's don't live together.

Something that starts out a little pain in the ass can wind up killing you.

It's important to work out your little issues before they become big ones.

People will go to great lengths to protect their ass.

Guns kill people, but hammers kill people with guns.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006


Iraq is on the verge of all out civil war following last week's bombings of scores of Sunni mosques. Counter bombings are underway as we speak. These acts are being carried out by extremists who, instead of celebrating freedom from a ruthless dictator, seek to gain control through the elimination of their rivals. It's a deadly turf war that's made keeping the peace painstakingly more difficult for U.S. forces. So what's all this fighting about? Why can't they all hold hands and sing songs in the street together?

When a team of blind British invalids drew up maps of the region following World War I, they paid little attention to the cultural differences of the people who called the land home. It’s the same story in Africa, and Israel, and pretty much anywhere else in the world the British had a mandate to play bordermaker. To be fair, they had plenty of help destroying the region, primarily from the French. The two allies agreed to a double super ultra mega mega secret understanding in 1916 regarding their respective spheres of post-war influence. This understanding, called the Sykes-Picot Agreement, laid the foundation for the creation of the modern State of Iraq, which was later drawn up with, understandably, the political interests of the European powers in mind – and, unfortunately, virtually zero consideration for the PEOPLE living in the region they were roping off.

The consequences of these myopic modifcations to the world map weren't as significant back then for a lot of reasons. Nations of the West hadn't yet begun their deadly affair with oil-bearing Sheiks. Weapons weren't nearly as prolific. Communication and transportation weren't at all what they are today. The world was a completely different place. So the folks deciding how to carve the pie couldn't have imagined it would end up like this. They just wanted to get it done in time for tea.

Fastforward about 90 years. (Can you believe it's almost been a century since WWI?)

In the Iraq we have come to know and love (and pay for) so well, a variety of warring cultures had been kept peaceful by a menacing dictator by the name of Saddam Hussein. He was what you might call the common enemy who kept the citizens united. They hated him because he was a no-nonsense murderer who didn’t find discriminating a particularly effective use of time. People he didn't care for were tortured and killed. Sure, like most people, he disliked some people more than others – but at the end of the day he was an equal opportunity tyrant.

Say what you want about Saddam’s lack of humanitarian zeal, civil war wasn’t an issue when he was in charge. Homicide in the 1990’s, a period more and more Iraqi citizens are referring to as “the good old days,” was state-sponsored. The oppression was awful, but well defined and predictable.

Today, the Iraqi people still have a common enemy in, tragically, their great “liberator,” the United States military. In the power vacuum created by the deposing of Saddam Hussein, countless interests have stepped forward to influence the country’s future. Few (if any) of these interests share the Bush Administration’s vision of what Iraq should look like. They are deeply religious, passionately partisan groups and they fear the new U.S.-endorsed government isn’t going to give them a fair shake. So they march and protest, bomb, kidnap and assassinate.

If we offer Saddam a raise, do you think he’ll take his old job back? He may have been a bad man, but he was a good sheriff in a town that desperately needed order.

While I’m making ludicrous suggestions, here’s another one: Why not, finally, redraw the map of Iraq to account for the people living there. Give the Sunni folk a place to chill, the Shiites a hood of their own, and designate a central area around Baghdad the county seat where CNN reporters can go when they want to give their career a boost by taking a dangerous assignment.

I’ve got plenty more mind-blowingly cool ideas where these came from. Why don’t we let Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling run Iraq. They did such a great job making that money-pit Enron look profitable, let’s hand over the reins to Iraq and see what they can do. They owe a lot of Americans a lot of years of community service – sentencing them to prison would be such a waste of their god-given talent for bullshit. Shouldn't their punishment fit the crime? They made a fortune in the energy business – let’s give those geniuses control over some of the world’s largest oil reserves so they can start paying America back. Or at least make them drive important people around.

Wouldn’t that be ironiq?


Being well-adjusted means you’re never more than a crap away from true happiness.

I love taking craps. I’m sure Freud would have something to say about that – but who the hell was he anyway? Why are his opinions on shit like that any more important than mine? You’re right – they’re not. Sometimes when I’m in a foul mood, all it takes is one long, satisfying bowel movement and I’m back on top of the world. Dumping is happiness. The irrefutable proof for me is in the ass pudding.

Craps are delicate moments meant to be enjoyed. That's why we call their arenas "restrooms." Rest. Take it easy. Relax. Enjoy.

And not all restrooms are created equally. Some are better equipped to handle your shit than others. Take this link, for example, sent to me by Dr. Gluteus Faber. Have a gander to discover the best crapper in America .