Monthly Archives: July 2008

July 31, 2008

I can’t remember whose blog got me here but this experiment using non-Newtonian fluid might freak me out a little bit less if I understood what it meant for fluid to be non-Newtonian.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 8 Comments

July 30, 2008

From my new favorite book:

Dear Dr. Tatiana,

My name’s Twiggy, and I’m a stick insect. It’s with great embarrassment that I write to you while copulating, but my mate and I have been copulating for ten weeks already. I’m bored out of my skull, yet he shows no signs of flagging. He says it’s because he’s madly in love with me, but I think he’s just plain mad. How can I get him to quit?

Sick of Sex in India

Dear Dr. Tatiana,

I’m a European praying mantis, and I’ve noticed I enjoy sex more if I bit my lovers’ heads off first. It’s because when I decapitate them they go into the most thrilling spasms. Somehow they seem less inhibited, more urgent—it’s fabulous. Do you find this too?

I Like ‘Em Headless in Lisbon

Dear Dr. Tatiana,

My boyfriend is the handsomest golden potto I ever saw. He’s got beautiful golden fur on his back, creamy white fur on his belly, he smells delicious, and he has ever such dainty hands and feet. There’s just one thing. Please, Dr. Tatiana, why is his penis covered with enormous spines?

Spooked in Gabon

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 7 Comments

July 29, 2008

Cons of taking a very short trip to Israel for your cousin’s bar mitzvah:

1. You will learn that the story you have been told about your grandfather and how during his time in prison he carved the image below in sandstone with his fingernails is a total lie

—because in fact he used a pin.

2. When, two hours after the bar mitzvah and the light lunch following it, you start feeling hunger pangs that escalate before long into agonizing cramps, and eventually your aunt insists that they take you to an emergency room because you might have appendicitis, and your Israeli uncle calls the Israeli version of 911, and the ambulance shows up and all the way to the hospital attractive Israelis keep telling you in English to breathe more slowly and calmly, and you try but that just makes it hurt worse, and you get to the emergency room and they spend twelve hours injecting fluids and taking X-rays and CT scans and putting a nasogastric tube into your stomach through your nose, which makes it very difficult for you not to vomit, and your father maintains a very funny and informative running monologue on the history of the United States presidency so that you don’t have to speak, and finally at two in the morning your stomach isn’t hurting anymore but they say they want to keep you in the hospital for a day or two just to be safe, but you’re not allowed to take the nasogastric tube out in case they need to do more things with it in the morning, and as soon as you’re alone you rip it out anyway because you would rather go through the unpleasantness of having another nasogastric-tube insertion the next day than sleep with the nasogastric tube in, because in fact you would rather peel your skin off to the accompaniment of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing a cover of “It’s Raining Men” than sleep with the nasogastric tube in, and when the nurse sees that you’ve removed the nasogastric tube she looks darkly at you and mutters scary-sounding things in Hebrew—well, when these things happen, the absolutely gorgeous intern who shows up to tell you you have a bowel intussusception and you’ll be absolutely fine will say, “If anybody asks you whether you’ve had a rectal exam, just tell them you have, because it’s two-thirty in the morning and I’m just not up for that right now.”

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 14 Comments

July 28, 2008

Pros of taking a very short trip to Israel for your cousin’s bar mitzvah:

1. You will be very proud of your cousin.

2. You will be able to make up with a branch of your family that you recently offended.

3. You will learn that the prison in Akko where your grandfather was imprisoned for plotting to overthrow the British Mandate in Palestine has, in the 22 years since you last saw it, been much further excavated and that what you remember as kind of a boring building is now part of an astonishing archaeological record of a city from the middle of the 12th century, when the Crusaders took it from the Muslims as second prize when they realized they weren’t man enough to take Jerusalem, through the late 13th century, when the Mameluks took it from the Crusaders, filled it with rubble, and built another city on top of it that lasted until it was destroyed by the Ottomans in the early 16th century, through the 1950s, at which point people started to realized what they were living on top of, and seeing your family in the context of a millennium of oppression and empire will blow your fucking mind.


Actually, I think I’ll leave the cons for tomorrow.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 5 Comments

July 21, 2008

Here is the kitchen knife stand I received two years ago as a housewarming gift from him and him.

The Ex.jpg

It’s called The Ex.

I feel that no further comment is necessary.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 14 Comments

July 18, 2008

This is a page from a comic book Oklahoma County Commissioner Brent Rinehart has drawn and distributed as part of his reelection campaign.


There are fifteen more pages just like it. I’m kind of in awe a little bit.

You can read all about it here and, far more importantly, you can download the whole thing here.

Thanks to these guys for the link.

Update: Download link is fixed now.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 12 Comments

July 16, 2008

A few weeks ago I got the following e-mail.

Dear Faustus,

I have been asked to contact you by [Very, Very Famous Person]. He has just read your new book “Swish” and loved it. [Very, Very Famous Person] would very much like to chat with you, would it be possible to forward me a telephone number on which he can contact you?

Many thanks.



Personal Hairdresser to [Very, Very Famous Person]

Personal Hairdresser? I thought. If [Very, Very Famous Person] wanted to get in touch with me, why on earth would he do it through his Personal Hairdresser? Obviously this is from either a practical joker or lunatic who wants my phone number the better to stalk me with. No way am I sending my phone number.

Then I thought about it some more, and I realized that because of my narcissism and need for attention I have already made myself pretty stalkable, so I figured, what the hell, and e-mailed [Very, Very Famous Person]’s Personal Hairdresser my cell phone number. Late that night, when unable to sleep, I checked my e-mail to find another message from [Very, Very Famous Person]’s Personal Hairdresser saying that [Very, Very Famous Person] would be calling me the next day. I didn’t know quite how to feel about this.

The next morning it turned out that I had to spend some time doing some unspeakable things in my basement, where I don’t get cell reception. When I came back upstairs my phone beeped and I saw that I had received a voice-mail. Oh, GREAT, I thought, casting about for something sharp with which to disembowel myself. [Very, Very Famous Person] called and I missed my chance to talk to him because I was doing unspeakable things in my basement and now I have ruined my life. I checked my voice mail and heard the following message.

“Hi, Faustus, it’s [Very, Very Famous Person] calling. I’m back in [Very, Very Famous Person’s Country of Residence] now and . . . I hope you’re not back at cheerleading practice, my darling. But if you are, I hope you’re being flung in the air as I speak. Listen, I’ll keep trying you. I’m on the move and I’ll keep trying you all day. All right? Lots of love.”

Oh, thank God, I thought, letting the bread knife fall to the floor. There’s a chance I haven’t ruined my life. I just won’t leave the part of the house where I get good cell reception until he calls again, if in fact he does call again.

And sure enough, an hour or two later he called again.

While I was on the land line doing a live radio interview.

I was in the middle of answering a question about knitting or sex or something like that when my cell phone rang; I knew immediately that it was [Very, Very Famous Person] because the number that showed up in caller ID had too many digits to be in the United States phone system. I went instantly dumb—I think I the last word I’d said was “syphilis” (which makes me think I must been answering a question about knitting)—and then started making choking noises. I had absolutely no fucking idea what to do. I couldn’t very well ask the radio interviewer to hang on for a few minutes while I talked to [Very, Very Famous Person]. But if I didn’t pick up the phone the second time he called then obvious [Very, Very Famous Person] wasn’t going to call back. After several moments during which every part of my body was paralyzed (except for the vocal apparatus, which was still making choking noises), I jabbed my thumb wildly at the “OK” key. I had absolutely no idea what I was going to do; perhaps I could make the radio interview a three-way.

But I’d jabbed my thumb too late. [Very, Very Famous Person] had already been sent to voice mail. This time he didn’t leave a message. I couldn’t kill myself because then I wouldn’t have been able to finish the interview, which would have been rude; luckily, the misadventure provided me enough fodder to give a very entertaining radio interview during which I made lots of funny jokes about why [Very, Very Famous Person] might be calling me and successfully concealed my desire to be eaten immediately by a South American giant anaconda.

But when the interview was over there were no anacondas around so I went, despairing, to the grocery store, bought an Entenmann’s chocolate fudge cake, came back home, started eating, and didn’t stop till I had finished the whole thing. Then the phone rang again.

Clearly, I thought, in a former life I saved the lives of several babies.

I still haven’t quite gotten over picking up my phone, saying hello, and hearing, “Hi, it’s [First Name of Very, Very Famous Person].”

“You’re a difficult man to get ahold of,” [Very, Very Famous Person] said. “What have you been doing?”

“URGH!” I said.

Our conversation lasted for five minutes and eighteen seconds. I am the world’s most moronic moron for not recording it, because he said a number of very nice things about my book. He also said that he wanted to get together next time he was in New York and that I should keep in touch with his personal hairdresser ([Very, Very Famous Person] doesn’t have a computer) and figure something out.

AND the personal hairdresser apparently looks like Daniel Craig.

That must have been a fuckload of babies.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 20 Comments

July 4, 2008

At long last, the (overdue) results of the First Swish: My Quest to Become the Gayest Person Ever Gay-Off.

In first place, with 206 votes (41.6% of the total) is Dan:

Most boys go to 4-H summer camp to learn about farming. I went to become Bette Midler’s spiritual sister. While Bette sang “Matchmaker” on Broadway, I stood in the barn (Judy, anyone?), and at age 7 became one of Tevye’s daughters. In shtetl drag. And what is shtetl drag? Beach towel cum peasant skirt and a schmata for a headscarf. And pinched cheeks. Whores use rouge, Tevye’s daughters pinch their cheeks. And sing “Matchmaker” (like Bette!). And get married to a boy from another cabin. And become the most precious junior Broadway queen. Sui generis, sui FABULOUS.

In second place, with 148 votes (29.9% of the total), is Aidan Gilbert:

In third grade, Sister Rosemary assigned a paper describing who we most admired. I wrote about how I wanted to be just like Helen Lawson when I grew up. I recall expressing my longing for a silver lame pantsuit and a red wig. My mother was called in to meet with the principal, who used my paper as evidence of my unnatural tendencies. My mother read it and said, “He’s got an eye for clothes. Wouldn’t that silver pantsuit look great on me? I wonder if he could learn to sew.” I still want to be Helen Lawson. And I look fabulous in lame.

And in third place, with 87 votes (17.6% of the total), is J.P. Johnson:

When I was a kid, at the beginning of my family’s driveway was a fir tree, in which I spent a lot of time, giving the branches hairstyles and chattering away with my ladies. I’d give each lady her own specific style, personality and name (Miss Bertha was a hawk with a “whirlwind”); all the while, I would talk both sides of the conversation: on politics, fairies, books, boys, the weather. I’d expound on the snatches of my Mother’s gossip, out loud, my feet dangling a good 10 feet off the ground.

In a surprise honorable mention, with 62 votes (what would be 11.2% of the total) despite not being a finalist and therefore not being an option for voters to select, is Kyle Golemba.

The prizes for the contestants are as follows:

Dan has won an inscribed copy of Swish, an inscribed copy of my first book, Gay Haiku, a Swish T-shirt, a gay haiku written especially for him, and, depending on geographic location (which I still don’t actually know), a tin of brownies homemade with loving care by me.

Aidan has won an inscribed copy of Gay Haiku, a Swish T-shirt, a gay haiku written especially for him, and a tin of brownies homemade with loving care by me.

J.P. has won a Swish T-shirt, a gay haiku written especially for him, and a tin of homemade brownies made with loving care by me.

Kyle has won a Swish T-shirt, a gay haiku written especially for him, and a tin of brownies homemade with loving care by me.

And last, Chuck Cleary, as one lucky voter, has won a tin of brownies homemade with loving care by me.

Congratulations to one and all. And if you entered and are irate not to have won a T-shirt and brownies, then if you can contain your fury in such a way as not to stick a voodoo doll of me full of pins until I die or am utterly incapacitated, then I feel certain you’ll have a good chance of winning next year’s Gay-Off.

Chuck, please send me your mailing address; Dan, Aidan, J.P., and Kyle, send me your mailing addresses and shirt sizes. I will undoubtedly take far longer to get you your books, shirts, haiku, and brownies than is seemly, but perhaps you can convince yourself that this is because I will have put even more loving care into them than I’d planned.

Happy Independence Day, everybody.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 3 Comments

July 1, 2008

Oh. My. God.

I was going to post the winners of the gay-off, but I’m too mesmerized by what I’m about to tell you to do so. Tomorrow, I promise.

Because remember Darren “You Ate the Food, You Drank the Wine” Sherman?

He clearly has a brother.


There’s more!

Here and here, but most especially here, here, here, here, and here.

The last five are most certainly not safe for work, and in fact I found them pretty disturbing.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 9 Comments