Category Archives: Uncategorized

Hello Again

After a nasty case bout with the flu, I am on the mend and back on the active-duty roster. The only lingering sympton is a nasty case of laryngitis. That too seems to be abating. My vocal quality has been upgraded from a dying Colonel Kurtz (“The horror, the horror”) to a spry Karl from Sling Blade (“I like them French-fried potaters, mm-hmm”).

Poison Spur is back from the dead as well after a major sever meltdown. My friend Alex, who is kind enough to host this site, explained the situation to me at our local watering hole this past Sunday. I would have listened too if there weren’t a drink in front of me demanding my undivided attention. I’m sure whatever he had to say was riveting.

I suppose I should be ashamed of such selfish behavior toward a friend who is providing such a valuable service for free. My only defense is that Alex has known me too long to get genuinely upset. After two decades, he has learned that I’m capable of far worse.

I’ve been told that there may be a little flakiness in the site between now and Sunday as Alex resolves a few remaining bugs. That is to be expected. With the number of drinks I plan on buying him as a gesture of gratitude, I just hope he doesn’t short out the servers with a geyser of vomit.

So thank you, Alex, for bringing Poison Spur back to me. It is my raison d’etre, which is French for “raisin detour”.

Pox Populi…the Sequel!

I’m finished feeling sorry for myself, at least for the next day or so. What better way to celebrate the event than to than to address one of the topics suggested last week. This one comes from an honest-to-goodness family member, my brother Gordon down in San Luis Obispo.

How’s about a riff or two on the appearance of zombies world-wide today with strange plus-signs on their foreheads. — Bruddah

This comment was posted last Wednesday, on February 21. I have to admit that I had no idea what my brother was referring to. Zombies? Plus signs? Was he talking about an SF street fair for perverts that I somehow had missed?

After work, I called him to find out. His answer was “Pedophile priests marking their prey for easy retrieval. You know, Ash Wednesday.”

Of course, I thought. The smudge on the forehead serves as a gentle reminder as to where to rest the belt buckle. Ah, a little Catholic bashing courtesy of my own flesh and blood. Why not? After all, my brother and I are both lapsed Catholics after a fashion. However, the lapse occurred a couple of generations back. My knowledge of how all this went down is hazy, gleaned from snide comments our father made while we were growing up.

“The Irish traded snakes for Catholicism and they still think they got the better end of the deal,” Dad would say, showing equal love for the Vatican and his own ancestors. This does not mean by any stretch that he was a big fan of the Protestant faith, or any other for that matter. He regretted not urinating in the baptismal pool and would often opine “religion rots the brain,” pausing a moment for the subtle nuance of those words to sink in.

As best I can make out, my paternal grandmother Cornelia Jennings (née Conley) ditched the mother church for one of those low-rent denominations that sprang up in rural America as fast as one could pitch a tent. I don’t know if this particular congregation was of the fun-hating fundamentalist variety or if they partied down in full charismatic splendor, complete with the minister speaking in tongues while faithful young lovelies danced with serpents, ankles up for the glory of God. Dad would have taken a dim view of either type of service but if I were in his shoes, I would have surely preferred the latter.

None of this matters for either my brother or me. We were raised with a cynical variation on secular humanism: no higher power will save you from your own stupidity. The only comfort is that there are bigger idiots than yourself who, if you’re lucky, will foul the sword of fate so you can survive another day.

While this take on life has held up under the scrutiny of my own experiences, it is nonetheless pretty bleak There are times I wish I had a spiritual base where my intrinsic worth would be unmarred by my ne’er-do-well nature. I love music so if I only has the proper hymn, I could break free from this atheistic funk. The problem is that the church songs I know of pitch an impossibly virtuous savior to the most tepid of sinners. If you need some Pollyanna to keep you from sleeping past sunrise or saying “Dang!” around the womenfolk, I suppose that works. As for me, I need a God I can relate to and who is willing not only own up to but embrace the imperfections of His own creations.

I have therefore decided to come up with my own hymn. I have borrowed the melody from a traditional song in the hope that the recognizable tune will help others who have lost their way.

Christ had a huge erection
While hanging on the cross
From Mary Magdalene’s G-string
That fit like dental floss

Oh, Susanna, don’t you cry for me
I’m coming down my pant leg
With your daughter on my knee

Amen. I feel saved already. See y’all in the Kingdom of the Lord.

The ABC’s of “Woe Is Me”

Those of you who have read my stuff in the past who that I am no stranger to feeling sorry for myself. That goes double for people who know me in person. I am often found slouched on a barstool with my hair hanging in my face and death in my eyes, swilling Jameson’s. Often, such as now, I’m scribbling something in my notebook that may or may not get transcribed into a blog entry.

Here I am in my element. Much of my humor comes from self pity, if not self hatred. This is especially true for the more offensive jokes that have have been part of my repertoire among friends for years and have recently begun to surface in Poison Spur. Child rape, for example, is no laughing matter but if you’re the biggest loser swine on the planet, you’re the prime candidate to try to make it so. Well, that’s what I tell myself anyway.

So for a change of pace, I decided to post something that lets my neuroses run wild but without any humor to dilute the message. Lucky you.

Yep, Dave has a case of the blues and doesn’t care who knows it. It’s not like this admission is going to cause anyone undue worry. Those close to me have seen enough of my mood swings to treat them with the sigh of resignation they deserve. As for the rest, I sincerely doubt any of them give a shit. However, if there is anyone out there who thinks you’ll be doing a good deed by having me legally committed for my own protection, please don’t. While it’s true I don’t feel like there’s much worth living for, there’s nothing worth dying for either so you’ll look pretty silly trying to 5150 my ass for simply being a party pooper.

OK, I’ve said my piece. Thank you for your patience. My next post will be chock full of dysfunctional jest, scout’s honor. Feel free to write this one off as a tiresome exercise in a jokester’s need to be taken seriously, just like Woody Allen’s Interiors but without the critical accolades.

Pox Populi

Yesterday, I spent my lunch hour trying to post an entry to my blog. It was important to me. My life is a shambles and my boss thinks I’m a mental defective but if I could just come up with something clever to write, I’d feel good about myself for a while.

No such luck. I couldn’t even find a topic to write about, let alone be witty. I did end up posting something but it turned out to be a simple cry for help.

What I did was to promise to write about any subject posted as a comment to that entry. To prime the pump, I also forwarded my plea to a mailing list made up of my alcoholic friends.

Well, the comments weren’t exactly what I had hoped for but at least a few of my drunk buddies bothered to respond. So here I am, morally obligated to write a few words about each of the suggested topics, no matter how asinine. These are my friends, after all. A man without friends is a man who has to buy all his own drinks. Read on:

1. I want a post about my DICK — Silly Goose

I’d like to help you out here, really I would. The fact of the matter is that I know nothing about your schvantz and I think we’d both feel more comfortable if things stayed that way. Besides, there is already a film that addresses the topic with more authority than I ever could: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0248845/

2. Dude, could you write a blog about posting comments to other people’s blogs? — Parties Hardly

As far as I can tell, the sole reason to comment on someone else’s blog is to drive traffic back to your own. Of course, you have to feign interest in what they write so you don’t come off as a self-centered attention whore. A suitable comment might be: “So you’re battling cancer? That’s harsh. You should check out http://www.poisonspur.com. It’s somewhat less harsh.”

3. Did your father ever tell you what he was like as an editor? Or can you conjecture about what his managerial and editing style was like? — Betty

I can’t speak to how my father was as an editor. Having known him just as a parent, I can only guess that whatever his writers submitted was never good enough.

4. Post about fucking. For bonus points, make her older than twelve. — Anonymous

Bonus points are good. I shall therefore write a steamy sexual fantasy involving a woman who has reached her 18th birthday:

After clearing customs, I took a taxi from the airport to the Slippet Inn, a renowned hotel in Bangkok’s slut quarter.

I booked my room and started thumbing through the hotel’s whore catalog for a sweet filly into whom I could romantically drain my nuts. One looked especially attractive and even looked like she had most of her teeth.

“Are you sure she’s eighteen?” I asked, massaging the cleavage on her photo with my finger.

“Hai, Boner-San.”

Satisfied with the desk clerk’s answer, I billed the girl to the room, went upstairs, and waited.

Twenty minutes later, there was a knock at the door. When I went to answer it, I saw not a full-grown woman but a prepubescent girl.

“Holy Lolita!” I said. “How old are you anyway?”

“This many,” she said, holding up some of her fingers. I wasn’t sure if she meant to say she was six or five and a half. One of the digits was gone from the second knuckle from what looked like either a dog bite or a sweatshop accident.

“My sister have the yeast so they send me instead. Me love you long time.”

“No, me go to prison long time. I’ve read about entrapment scams like this in Maxim. There is no way I’ll so much as lay a hand on you. You better run along.”

She just stared at me, pretending not to understand, so sterner measures were in order. I blocked one nostril and pelted her face with a load of snot that had built up during my twelve-hour plane flight.

“I said ‘Git!'” and slammed the door.

After an experience like that, the only thing to do is to put it out of one’s mind. I raided the minibar for a bottle of poo-poop, a potent local liqueur distilled from fermented dung beetles. I took a good, long swig of the brown liquid in the hopes it would calm my nerves. Alas, the thin walls of the hotel were about to make a relaxing evening an impossibility.

The sobbing girl trudged down the hallway but only made it as far as the room adjacent to mine. The guest stying there, another American, opened the door and stopped her. Introducing himself as “Uncle Craig,” he asked her what was wrong and when she explained, he got quite angry about how someone could do such a thing to a mere child. For a moment, I thought he was going to kick down my door and do violence upon my person, but he had other plans.

He invited the girl into his room and the noises that followed, though lasting only twelve minutes, were so disturbing I was unable to sleep that night. I don’t know which was harder on the ears, the initial pelvis crack or after he had been at it long enough for the sex to sound like someone chewing a mouthful of Grape Nuts.

The next day, I checked into another hotel and had sex with an eighteen year-old prostitute. It was hot.

Feel free to print out this story and take it into the bathroom with you.

I’m sorry but this is all I have time for today. Stay tuned until I tackle more topics (Excel macros, Betty sex, zombies) that are facing the world we live in.

Now Taking Requests


It’s been about a week since I’ve blogged and thought I’d write something during my lunch hour. Well, the lunch hour passed and my brain came up with a big fat nothin’.

So here’s the deal: I’m going to let one of you come up with a topic. All you have to do is suggest one in a comment to this post and I will write about it. The subject matter can even be disgusting. Given what I know of my readership, I’d be surprised if it weren’t.

Dude the Obscure

* crickets chirp *

Far too often, this is the reaction I get after I tell a joke that I considered to be quite funny. Humor often alludes to some cultural point of reference and if that point isn’t shared by jokester and audience, it flatlines.

What, you don’t remember the episode of “McCloud” where Chief Clifford opined that the titular New Mexico lawman spends his quality time watching “Hee Haw” or that one “Baa Baa Black Sheep” where Peter Frampton co-starred? Well then, I guess you’re just not going to get witticisms that crystallize the essence of 1970s television, and by extension, the human condition.

I’ve seen your blank stare before, Philistine, and it doesn’t bother me much. At least it’s honest, which is more than can be said for those who laugh politely no matter what. I get the feeling these people have no sense of humor but compensate with empty guffaws that originate in the brain stem. Theoretically, they’ll laugh at anything and I take it upon myself to see how far that wisdom will go.

“You’ve seen that ‘McCloud’ episode, right?”

“Yes,” they lie.

“Well, it was pretty idiotic, which makes it perfect to have on in the background while doing the nasty with some Special Olympian I lured into my car with promises of free ice cream.”

“Ha ha.”

“The’re usually much more pliable if I make a game out of it so I tell them ‘Let’s slip in Mr. Queasy and see if he vomits from the stench.'”

“Ha ha.”

“Yeah, and you know what? For a retard, your mom is pretty hot in the sack.”

That usually stops them laughing, especially if the mother in question passed away in the last two weeks.

Shalom for the Holidays

I decided to celebrate Hanukkah this past December. I’m not Jewish but I didn’t consider that a deal breaker. I’ve been through over forty Christmases and haven’t been a Christian for any of them. Besides, conservatives were saying that a war was being waged on Christmas and if it turned out to be anything like the war in Iraq, I wanted no part of it.

The only problem was that I didn’t know anything about Hanukkah other than that it lasted eight days and involved candles. Fortunately, my girlfriend Betty was in the know and willing to help. She tried teaching me a suitable Hebrew prayer:

Betty: Baruch atah adonai, eloheyno melech ha’olam. Asher kidshanu bemitzvotav, vitzeevanu le-hadliknair, shel Hannukah.
Me: Aren’t you worried you’ll conjure up Cthulhu, reciting that shit?

OK, so that part went badly. When she stayed off the subject of prayer, however, I was a regular star pupil. I learned about the Maccabees (who were not Scottish), the writing on and spinning of the dreidel, latkes, and how the gag factor of gefilte fish can be reduced by slathering on the horseradish.

I didn’t know if Hanukkah is supposed to be a big festive holiday (Betty tells me it didn’t used to be a big holiday at all until Jewish kids started bellyaching about how the goyim were raking in the Xmas prezzies and they weren’t getting diddly) but we decided it would be fun to invite a bunch of friends over to my place and party like it was 5760.

Of course, we’d have to have a well-stocked bar. Again, I wasn’t sure if this was in strict compliance with custom but it didn’t seem to be a major violation either. Also, our friends are drunks. Some are Jewish drunks. Some are gentile drunks. None are terribly religious one way or another, which goes a long way to explain why they’re our friends. They would come to the party out of friendship. They would stay till we were out of booze.

All was going swimmingly kosher until I got it into my head that there should be a Hanukkah ham. Nothing says “Happy Hanukkah” like honey-baked ham, I reasoned. I often do my best thinking after my fourth drink. Still, I thought it would be a good idea to mention the ham to Betty before I went out and bought the thing since I have no real culture of my own and am therefore often oblivious to the feelings of those that do. If her reaction were going to be “Dude, you’re wiping your ass with over two thousand years of sacred tradition,” it would be good to hear that sooner rather than later.

She loved the idea. Invites to the “Holiday in Hambodia Hanukkah Feast” were emailed to all our drunken friends.

On the night of the party, we had a “Happy Hannukah” banner hanging above a table with a menorah, a dreidel, matzoh balls, gefilte fish, Hannukah gelt, and of course, booze. Our friend Dr. Kim was frying up latkes in the kitchen. There was only one thing missing: the ham.

I had ordered the ham online and arranged to have it delivered to our friend Sarah since Betty and I were both working that day. After waiting all day and seeing neither hide nor hair of ham, she called to relay the bad news. I pitched a regrettable hissy (not directed at Sarah though I doubt she wanted to hear it regardless) and then called UPS customer service to find out what was going on. They assured me that the ham was somewhere.

It arrived the following Monday.

So for the party, Betty ended up ordering pizza (with ham) so our treyf needs were attended to. Dr Kim’s latkes were yummy and Sarah was forgiving of having to wait for a nonextistent ham until eight o’clock at night. My first Hannukah (now dubbed “Hamukkah” by Dr. Kim) was a rousing success.

Next year though, I don’t think I’ll put much effort into planning any Hannukah festivities. I’ll be too busy partying with the Church of Satan this coming December. We all need a plan and mine is to use an accelerated Sammy Davis Jr. timeline as a blueprint for living. Wish me luck.

Elvis Was a Hero to Most

Elvis Presley would have turned 72 today if he were still alive. It’s fun to pretend that he never died, that he’s hiding out somewhere in Tibet eating peanut butter and banana sandwiches and playing Stratego with Jim Morrison. Then again, it’s also fun to pretend to believe in flying saucers, the Easter Bunny, and that Jager shots make me cute and charming.

I was 14 and it was my last year at summer camp when I got the news of his death. I shrugged. To me, he was just some fat, sweaty guy in a jumpsuit from those TV commercials selling his greatest hits.

I doubt I would have heard about it at all except that two of the campers happened to be Doc Esposito’s daughters. The counselors, knowing what little bastards we all were, cautioned us about asking the girls if they were “All Shook Up” or making other insensitive comments. Looking back, I realize that it must have been hard on the Esposito kids when they got home. The sight of their father doing something other than scribbling on a prescription pad nonstop must have been quite a shock to them.

Years ago, I considered myself an Elvis aficionado in a budding postmodern smartass sort of way. If you wanted to master the art of irony, the whole Elvis thing seemed to provide a good set of training wheels. Any combination of the hip swaying, the obesity, the drugs, or the appalling fashion sense could be played for laughs with a minumum of effort. An even easier target were the serious Elvis fans in the way they deified him, or at least made him royalty.

I’m more or less over that now. Every no-talent hipster and his cousin were doing the same schtick. It got so you couldn’t swing a dead cat without hitting some asshole winking and nudging about the King. Tongue-in-cheek Elvis knickknacks could be seen in boutiques that cater to those who habitually smirk. It was clearly time to move on.

So there you have it. You’ll get no pelvis gyrations from me today, no pointing straight at you and saying “Thank you very much” as if weren’t the stalest joke on the planet by now. There will be no cute anagrams done with his name nor any silly conjecturing about how he cheated death on that Vegas toilet seat 30 years ago. All I’m going to do is wish happy birthday to a dead man who just wanted to do right by his momma. Happy birthday, Elvis. Happy birthday to you.

Mars Needs Women

I should be spending my time re-reading the next pulp slated for review, thinking up clever things to say. Instead, I spent way too much time installing and monitoring SETI@home on my new laptop. For those of you who aren’t complete geeks, SETI@home is this deal where people volunteer to have their computers number crunch radiation-level data from the cosmos to see if they can find extraterrestrial communications.

Granted, this is a long shot but the odds are better than driving down to Roswell, assuming the position, and waiting for the aliens to land so they can give you an anal probe.

OK, so installing and running the program has nerd appeal but why I spent any time monitoring it is beyond me. When I turn on the neato graphics display, the numbers whiz by way to fast for me to read any of it. And of course, there’s the small problem of my not having any clue what it all means even if I could.