My newest at McSweeney's. Recall the Yahoo you-can't-work-from-home news from earlier this year. At this fictional company, you're not only permitted to work from home, but you MUST work from home. Well, H.O.M.E., their new Headquarters Of Mass Enslavement. Free wifi. Enjoy.
There was a recent New York Times piece about realtors desperate to find vacant New York City apartments to sell. My latest piece imagines one of those realtors.
How are you enjoying your high-speed Internet? Hope you’ve downloaded everything you're ever planning to, because I have it on good authority that your building’s connection cables are about to be yanked out of the ground by some enterprising young realtor. (And we both know he can — and will! — keep doing that each and every time they’re fixed.)
So before the water starts tasting funny — and, trust me, it’s about to — and your power starts to mysteriously go out every time you’re trying to use your microwave, you might want to give me a call. It’s going to be much harder to sell once someone dies in your apartment.
The New York Times ran a story a few weeks ago about the difficulty of finding pet-friendly apartments in NYC. My newest humor piece, at Barnes & Noble, looks at the issue from a dog's perspective.
SPOT JONES is a 6-year-old Dalmatian with a solid job at the local fire station, good credit history, and no criminal record. He seeks to rent a one-bedroom for himself and his pet human, Arnold, age 28, no history of biting. The question up for discussion is whether we want to allow humans in the building.
Please also consider the environment before you print it, throw it away, print it again, realize you already read it, throw it away, print it again, realize you've now read it three times, light it on fire, and throw it out the window of your SUV into a nature preserve, and into the mouth of a baby panda.
A new piece on The Millions, about extra-long acknowledgments at the back of books...
A book may have only one name on the cover, but in reality it is written by millions of people — or at least this book was, particularly the sections I borrowed from volumes throughout the Rock Creek Public Library system.
My latest piece is on Medium, and it's about the future of journalism.
In our very first issue, back in 1704, we pledged to engage our readers in spirited debate about the most critical issues of our time, no matter how hard we would have to fight to ensure our voice would be heard. As part of our redesign, in this issue we introduce a recurring feature called "Mug'z," where we use photo editing software to dress celebrity babies in prison outfits.
A new piece of mine on Splitsider... Pardon the Construction: Our Plastic Surgery Clinic is Undergoing a Face Lift:
We'll be pulling the rug as tight as we can, and turning the walls a completely different color than they currently are. We'll also be injecting some material from the couch cushions into the ceiling, although we're not entirely sure why. Be warned that this material may drip as it settles. We've removed 80% of the papers from our file cabinets and replaced them with expandable silicone inserts. If your medical file has been replaced by a balloon filled with gel, we apologize for the inconvenience.
My favorite thing I've written so far in 2013 is about hipsters moving to the suburbs, for the Barnes & Noble Review:
"Every train is now a hybrid, and made mostly from corn. You just hop on board, start pedaling, and you're back in Brooklyn in no time. Kettle-cooked taro chips and natural licorice soda are available in the dining car, and there's even a yoga class that takes up the last four rows of seats, every morning on the 8:07."
I know I shouldn't have favorites, but I'm really proud of this piece.
My newest piece, over at theNewerYork's Electric Encyclopedia of Experimental Literature.
The Round Blue One: “This one is very good. I think it may be for my memory, but I’m not sure. It might be for my heart. Either way, it’s very easy to swallow and I like how bright the color is, because I can always see it, even when it falls into the sink. It doesn’t go with the yellow pill. The doctor said not to take them at the same time, or something bad will happen. So, to be extra safe, I never take the yellow pill at all.”
I really like my latest piece on The Bygone Bureau, "How To Internet For Writers."
"Welcome to How To Internet for Writers, our workshop on how you can most effectively use social media to promote yourselves and your books. I apologize that we have not been able to figure out how to get the computer to project our slides. Computers! They’re so complicated!"
I promise it's funny.
“How many followers does it cost to get a book deal?”
“I’m writing a young adult novel and need to market it. Where do girls ages 14 to 17 hang out on the internet?”
“I was wondering where I can buy a Facebook. Do they sell it in Costco?”
“I do multiple kinds of writing. Should I have a different computer for each one?”
“I am interested in broadening my audience. Do you know if there’s a place where I can find girls ages 14 to 17?”
“My website doesn’t have an address. Is that okay?”
“Can I get a refund for this event? I paid three angry birds.”
My latest at Barnes & Noble is an e-mail exchange between the head of fundraising for the 10th anniversary college reunion class and a guy who doesn't want to give a donation.
If you've ever been shaken down for money by an acquaintance pretending to be a friend, you may enjoy this one.
Oh, what memories! That really brings me back, hombre. I was telling my wife all about you the other day. (You know I got married, right? Small wedding, otherwise we would have loved to have you there!) She couldn't believe all my stories about us -- that time we both did the reading for our Economics class, that time we both took that Economics exam, that time we got our transcripts and both had grades in Economics. Oh, man, it cracks me up. She imagined you'd be exactly the kind of friend who would be amazingly generous to the alumni giving campaign.
My latest adventure babysitting my 20-month-old niece, over at Kveller:
I carefully coaxed her favorite stuffed animal of the moment, Mo the Cow (short for Mooey!), out of her hands and onto the table (facing Lila, to watch her eat her lunch) and tried to explain that yogurt actually comes from animals like Mo. Not sure she followed.
I met my girlfriend on Twitter. Our first date we stayed up half the night retweeting tweets and creating new hashtags.... We once stayed up all night on Facebook, naked, liking each other from head to toe.
My latest, over at The Big Jewel, about The Weather Channel's purchase of Weather Underground and the nonsensification of weather reporting.
“You know there are people out there just waiting for clouds like these. People waiting to tell you that clouds mean rain — and lots of it. But we are not going to be sucked into the vortex of wind and precipitation that some quote-unquote meteorologist is warning us about. Clouds don’t mean anything — not on this show! In America, we don’t let a few clouds cause rain.”
"January 22 -- "Inside The Inauguration," an exhaustive, insider's look at Barack Obama's second Presidential inauguration, set to be published just twenty-four hours after the President takes the oath of office... the most complete account of the inauguration published that Tuesday... rare perspective from historians who were alive at the time of the event..."
My latest at Barnes & Noble, just in time for the holidays:
Please enjoy this delicious spread of food paid for with the money that used to fund our health insurance plan. It might make you sick, but that's entirely your responsibility since July 1st of this past year. How's that working out for you? Time to gossip about people who aren't here. Now aren't you glad you showed up? That makes one of us.
Our Academy Award-winning crew, trained to act as if this flight meets all FAA safety regulations, is currently coming through the aisle, looking to ensure that your seat backs are in an upright position, your window panes are mostly intact, and your tray tables are covered with a minimum viral load from the sneezes of previous passengers, as is required by law.
I've got a new piece on The Bygone Bureau satirizing the health care proxy. If no one else has satirized health care proxies... perhaps there's a good reason. Quick teaser:
1. If I am conscious, but have lost the ability to make appropriate decisions, I do not want cardiac resuscitation, mechanical respiration, or access to my Facebook and Twitter accounts. I do not want tube feeding, except for ice cream, preferably Mint Chocolate Chip. Cookie Dough is an acceptable substitution, but please be sure that the chunks of cookie dough do not get caught in the tube.
I'm particularly proud of my newest humor piece, over at Feathertale, which posits a new solution to the problem of free riders on the Internet: a technology code-named FRANK, and actually named FRANK, who monitors website traffic with his eyes, and, in some cases, his snout.
Despite appearances, FRANK is mostly harmless, assuming you do not exceed your allowed page visits. FRANK requires just three meals a day, and a bathroom break every four hours. He will, of course, take your computer, smartphone, tablet, and up to eight of your fingers into the bathroom with him, so as to prevent you from impermissibly accessing our site.
I've got a new piece on The Huffington Post about the third presidential debate:
NARRATOR: Fewer ships. Fewer horses. And more games downloaded from the iTunes app store by our military personnel than under any previous president. Do you want a military that plays Words With Friends instead of attacking our enemies? Do we even know who these "Friends" are? Are U.S. troops playing word games with Iranian terrorists? Can we really be sure they're not? Fewer bows. And nearly 80 percent fewer arrows. But more Angry Birds than ever before. That's the Obama military. And it's dangerous.
Matthew David Brozik and I put together a fictional synagogue bulletin that we're very proud of. If you've ever read a synagogue bulletin, and want to read one that is poking gentle, satirical fun at the form, check it out! One friend has already said, "I am going to forward this to my rabbi." Which is quite possibly a terrible idea.
I've got a new piece on Barnes & Noble inspired by a conversation with a friend about the nursery school application process, which sounds TERRIBLE, but at least they don't make the two-year-olds write an essay. But if they did...
I don't mean to brag, but there is over an 80% chance that if I swallow something, it is food.
My latest on The Huffington Post. Presenting the iMop 5. First leaked on Washable.com. Perfect for social wetworking. And can clean up even the largest spills from the iMop FrappStore. Store all of your dirt in a cloud, with the iMop 5.
I've got a new humor piece at Barnes & Noble imagining the world's most interfaith wedding ceremony.
This excerpt makes more sense in context, but it's my favorite paragraph in the piece, so here it is:
...But first I would like to ask you all to join me in this opening incantation, from the Book of Phones, page 332, line 7. Repeat after me: (814) 377-5023. That, my friends, is the phone number of the antelope rental company, just in case you need an antelope for your next spiritual ceremony. This section of this afternoon's ceremony is in fact sponsored by Quad Cities Antelope Rental, the first and only name in antelope rental, perfect for weddings, bar mitzvahs, copyediting and web design, and, for an additional fee, antelope meat.
I've got a silly piece on The Huffington Post pondering Todd Akin as a police chief:
"OK, everyone, no need to worry. I'm sure the missing child will turn up. We all know that in a legitimate kidnapping, a child's feet secrete a powerful adhesive that should enable him to stick to virtually any surface, making it impossible to be dragged anywhere."
A few months ago, I wrote a piece about babysitting my niece, Lila, for an hour and a half. This time, the stakes were much higher-- eight hours, alone, with a now-15-month-old toddler! Find out whether she survived by clicking the link!
My latest piece at the Barnes & Noble Review, timed for Restaurant Week, and building off a recent New York Times article about the restaurant Eleven Madison Park rejiggering its menu to celebrate the "romance and history of New York."
The George Washington Bridge serves as the inspiration for your next course. Tiny fingerling potatoes from a farm just outside Syracuse have been carefully carved into miniature automobiles, and are presented on your plate suspended between two corn-cob towers along a grape-seed roadway. The potato-cars should be dipped into the river of sauce that runs along the west side of the dining room.
I've got a new piece at Defenestration Magazine today, called "Subscription Optional." It starts off as actual English and ends up as a collection of binary code and crossword clues. To discover how it gets there, you'll have to check out the piece.
For years, we have offered you the option of becoming a paid subscriber to our website, but have always assured you that even if you did not subscribe, we would never erect a paywall to prevent you from enjoying the articles we are so proud to publish. That promise remains as true as ever. In that spirit, we are excited to announce a series of changes that will be rolled out to non-subscribers in the weeks to come...
My latest McSweeney's piece... inspired by an apartment rental experience... which did not result in my wife getting kidnapped by bandits, fortunately.
You can walk to a train station in 15 minutes, unless you prefer to walk along paved roads, in which case it will take slightly more than a day. You can also walk to a bus station, but the buses stopped running in 1974. I have extra transit tickets in my desk drawer, next to the loaded handgun, inside the DVD case labeled SECRET RECORDINGS OF PREVIOUS GUESTS. You are welcome to them.
Last week, The New Yorker ran corrections on some of science writer Jonah Lehrer's blog posts when it was discovered that he repurposed material from his previous writing. I'm a fan of Lehrer's work-- I've read and enjoyed all three of his books. Wrote a very silly piece building off of The New Yorker's disclaimer, which is up at The Barnes & Noble Review today. Here's an excerpt:
Editors' Note: Portions of this post appeared in similar form in an April, 2011, post.... We regret the duplication of material. -- The New Yorker
Editors' Note: Portions of our intern will no longer be appearing in our office. We regret that you will now have to duplicate your own material.
There's a bunch of stuff in between that makes that excerpt make sense. I'm finding that this is a hard piece to excerpt.
Over at FanGraphs, I've got a silly piece building off an Ozzie Guillen quote over the weekend that players don't need psychiatrists:
"You know who else doesn’t need a doctor? Pitchers with torn ligaments.... I was from an era in baseball when tobacco juice and peanut shells took care of the anatomical things. You break your arm, you stick some gum in there, wrap it with newspaper, and go out and pitch the next day.... My wife, when she had a baby, she went into the kitchen, cut the umbilical cord with our cake knife, and then went back to cleaning my cleats like I told her to."