The Angry Czeck started 2008 with a kick in the nuts. Only, it wasn’t really a kick, and the nuts belonged to me.
Through intimate experience, I discovered that a vasectomy is a stripped-down medical procedure that eschews undervalued qualities like dignity and knockout gas. Instead, I received a “local” (which is a nice way to say “needle in the balls”) and a parade of nurses evaluating my junk.
Before the procedure, the most salient point left in question was who would shave my scrotum? My options were (1) do it myself, or (2) let the physician do it. (Oddly, Mrs. Angry didn’t volunteer.) I opted for the physician. I sure can’t sue myself for auto-castration.
Having your testicles shaved is less a sensual experience and more like having a mechanic scrape an old Dukakis ’88 bumper sticker off your car. I was both amazed and horrified by the rapid and efficient manner in which it was done. I’d have preferred more care, peppered with the occasional compliment.
I don’t remember the local anesthetic. I blocked it out. Or maybe I just blacked out, I don’t know. I do know that within ten minutes my crotch felt like a sponge, and that the doctor was ready to slice.
The great thing about local anesthetic is that why you may not feel pain, you do feel stuff. Unsettling, unnerving stuff. What I felt can only be described as an “unzipping,” like a tangled string of Christmas lights yanked from a cardboard box.
“Are you okay?”
I wiped a film of sweat off my forehead and groaned. “I think I need a cool towel.” I was about to faint, which under the circumstances could have only been a good thing.
In came a damp towel and, to my surprise, an icy can of Diet Coke. I put the towel over my face, leaving my lips exposed for the soft drink. Ah. That hit the spot.
“Sorry about that,” I said, my voice muffled beneath the towel. “You must think I’m a pussy.”
The doctor chuckled. “Dude. You have some guy cutting holes in your ball sack. There’s nothing natural about that.”
Good point. By the time I had finished my Diet Coke, my sack was sewn up and the doctor was telling me what to do should my crotch swell to the size of a watermelon. (“Put a bag of frozen peas on it.”) I hobbled into the waiting room, where Mrs. Angry greeted me with a gentle hug.
“How do you feel?”
“Like I could use a fist full of those pills the doctor gave me.”
A month later, I found myself driving back to the clinic with a plastic jar of my essence riding shotgun. We had to confirm that the vasectomy worked. You haven’t really lived until you’ve handed a nurse a paper sack, and then asked her, “Is that enough?”
Furthermore, That Damned Gatsby Keeps Calling Me “Old Sport.”
Two aggravating vernacular trends of 2008: I got you and Really?
Here’s how they work:
FRIEND: You pour the rum, then light it on fire.
YOU: I got you.
YOU: Pearl Jam is better than Nirvana? Really?
The worst part is, once you notice it, you hear it everywhere. I can’t stand it. Especially the Really? It’s right up there with Think about it, a phrase I once believed could never be topped for aggravation. But at least the All Time Aggravating Vernacular Trend is evaporating.
GUY: How can we save more space on our hard drives?
GUY: Servers? What kind of servers?
GEEK: Blade servers.
GUY: Blade servers?
For this, I blame Seinfield.
China on Carrying the Olympic Torch: “It burns! It burns!”
Much outrage was expressed when China was awarded the Olympics in 2008. I know two things about the Olympics: (1) It’s a financially crippling endeavor that turned Montreal into an international hobo, and (2) it points a glaring spotlight on all your ugly moles.
Thanks to the Olympics, China’s miserable record on the environment and human rights was front page news again. It was fun to watch the Chinese scramble to scrub Beijing’s death-inducing atmosphere while sweating out riots in Tibet. (“Sssshhhh! Quiet! Shhhh!”)
We should award the Olympics to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in 2012.
And Yet, Still No Good Punisher Movie.
Unlike 2007, when Transformers punished its viewers with seizures, 2008 gave use a pair of uber-awesome comic hero movies in Iron Man and Dark Knight. (I’d add The Incredible Hulk to the list, but it was a crystal-skull fuck of a movie.)
Directors Jon Favreau and Christopher Nolan didn’t feel the urge to put their own dick-prints on the characters. They simply respected the source material that had been crafted and honed for fifty years. (That’s a tip to Joe Johnson, who intends to direct Captain America in 2009.)
To my great surprise, Iron Man was a most entertaining tale of redemption. Robert Downey’s version of Tony Stark may be an unapologetic womanizer and a drunk, but he draws the line at manufacturing weapons for the use of scummy warlords. And really, that’s where the line belongs, because Tony Stark is only interesting as a drunken womanizer. A dork like Ed Norton would have “re-imagined” Stark as a misunderstood philanthropist who is addicted to Cappuccinos and interpretive dance performances. Thank God for Downey, who gets it because, well, he lived it.
Dark Knight is an all-together different movie. Unlike Iron Man, Dark Knight is not a movie about human achievement, but about mankind’s inevitable decent into despair. While the lesson of Iron Man is that one person can make a difference, the lesson of DK is that one man can’t – even if that man owns the coolest motorcycle this side of Street Hawk.
After watching Dark Knight, what affected me most was that there would be no encore performances from Heath Ledger. Early in his career, I dismissed Ledger as an airhead pretty boy who was perfectly cast for unwatchable movies like The Patriot and First Knight. He was a lightweight. A fluffer. A pre-Se7en Brat Pitt.
Monsters Ball changed my perception of Ledger. The role was such a weird choice, especially after his dumb turn in The Patriot. Watching Ledger in Brokeback Mountain confirmed what Monsters had too briefly revealed; Ledger was no lightweight.
Playing the polar opposite of Brokeback’s Innes Del Mar, Ledger’s fantastic Joker is a maniacal pogo stick that tramples your nerves into the dirt. He’s a boogyman. An artful liar. The high school nerd that comes to geometry class with a shotgun and his mother’s head in a bag. Most actors, even good ones, would have turned in a facsimile of Jack Nicholson’s 1989 performance and cashed the paycheck. Ledger showed the mighty Nicholson how you’re supposed to play the Joker.
Now Ledger is dead, and somehow Josh Harnett yet draws breath. It’s not fair.
Full-Frontal Hug Bad. Side-Hug Good.
My eldest son attends a Catholic school. In order to participate in school functions (like volunteer for playground duty), Mrs. Angry and I were required to attend a Catholic church-directed sex education course.
That’s like letting Amy Winehouse host an Avon party, but I took away at least two surprises from the three-hour course.
One: There was no pussyfooting around the Church’s shameful scandals. In a message delivered via DVD technology, a church clergyman candidly admitted that the Church’s record for sexual abuse was a disgrace and that they had a long way to restoring trust.
Second: A point was made to remind those completing the course that sexual predators are rarely homosexual, which is not always a tact taken by the Vatican, who seem to believe that the key to eliminating sexual abuse is to expunge gay priests.
One sexual abuse course doesn’t count much against decades (centuries?) of sexual abuse and its concealment. But it’s a start.
“About That Energy Plan…Psyche!”
On December 1, the National Bureau of Economic Research confirmed what my 401K report had long since revealed – we’re in a recession, baby! Break out the Kroger brand macaroni and cheese.
However, not everybody got the memo. Exxon and ConocoPhillips enjoyed some record profits this year, even as fuel prices exceeded four miserable bucks per miserable gallon. If you were brilliant, you followed the oil industry’s shamelessness right here on these furious pages!
First, the oil industry assured us that those record profits were going “right back into the company.” Thanks, oil industry. That really means nothing to the consumer. Oh, wait! That message was directed to shareholders! Swell. Fuck you, too.
Second, the oil industry exposed the true super-secret villain of high gas prices: Us! Yes, us! Our greedy demand fueled the price hike while the noble oil magnates worked day and night to fill our gas tanks. We should be ashamed.
Third, when blaming the customer didn’t work, the oil industry hired some pros to spin their (assholery) message. The American Petroleum Institute, an oil lobby brazenly disguised as The People of America’s Oil and Natural Gas Industry, launched a national ad campaign that reminded us that, if we make $70,000 annually, we likely own oil companies in our retirement portfolios. High fuel prices are good for us! No word on what high gas prices meant for the Wal-Mart checker crowd.
Though it was costing me a princely $50 to fill the tiny tank of my Anger Mobile, at least the gas crunch got lawmakers serious about pushing alternative fuels again. Gimme my ‘lectric car!
Then the world’s economy deflated like Chinese Viagra. Suddenly, some obscenely wealthy sheiks realized that if they hadn’t caused the economy’s collapse, then they damn sure weren’t helping it at $120 per barrel. Now I’m filling up like it’s 2002.
I wonder what that means for the Chevy Volt?
What Would Jesus Wear?
While many of you (i.e. 3) enjoyed The Angry Czeck’s award-ignored post, Do You Want to Look in My Closet?, some mistook the piece as an attack on religion, faith, and Jesus Christ.
Chillax. This was an attack on tacky fashion. And Nuttyism™. (I just made up that word.) I’m no theologian, but I suspect that Jesus doesn’t need us to verify His work with corny corporate puns and cheesy imagery. Nor would He appreciate His life story being sold in shops alongside ninja stars and brass knuckles. Also, I don’t believe Jesus would wear a Hollister t-shirt either.
Speaking of Jesus, I think Hell is having dinner with the people in Olive Garden commercials.
Threat of Bitter White Guy Race Riot Greatly Exaggerated
It was on these furious pages that The Angry Czeck predicted that the 2008 Presidential Race would be among the Nation’s bitterest. I expected more screaming, more rancor, and possibly even a few fisticuffs. However, the entire election went down like a Hootie and the Blowfish album, and we have the tanking economy to thank.
After all, it was becoming damned near impossible to come up with one legitimate reason to vote Republican this year, and the Recession That Really Was a Recession proved to be the deathblow for McCain’s candidacy.
Which kind of stamped all the steam out of Disgruntled White Guys, who will watch closely to make sure President Obama isn’t taking the oath with a Koran beneath his palm.
California is the New Arkansas
Nearly 90% of the Angry Czeck was ashamed of mankind when Californians voted for Proposition 8. The remaining 10% felt oddly vindicated. See, California? You’re just as narrow-minded and homophobic as the rest of us. Sit down and shut up.
As usual, California’s assault on human rights received all the big press, allowing Arkansas to fly beneath the gaydar. Little did you know that we passed our own disgraceful piece of legislation this November, too. But ours was even sneakier!
Act 1 makes the roll of foster parent an exclusive right to married couples. This was Arkansas’s crafty means to disqualify gays from adopting children or serving as foster parents.
The purpose of the ballot measure, according to the Family Council Action Committee, was “to blunt a homosexual agenda that’s at work in other states and that will be at work in Arkansas unless we are proactive about doing something about it.”
Mission accomplished! Agenda thwarted!
Here we have foster care, an institution in desperate need of willing participants, summarily denied an entire segment of people willing to give unwanted children a home and care. Good work.
Perhaps the Family Council Action Committee’s next step will be to recruit the Arkansans who voted for Act 1 to become foster parents themselves. After all, if homosexuals (and unmarried heterosexuals) are not worthy of the job, then you had better find appropriate candidates willing to pick up the slack.
Come on, Family Council Action Committee. Don’t leave us hanging. There’s a parentless, meth-addicted teenager who occasionally lights cats on fire waiting for your call. Let’s go! Start fostering.
The Angry Czeck is waiting.
I’m A Doctor. I Save Lives. And Kill Hope.
Sadly, the Grey’s Anatomy Death Watch continues, despite even Katherine Heigl’s denouncement of the vapid doc-drama. When the show’s self-important (but busty) star not only declares the writing lousy, but refuses an Emmy as a result, you’d think the rest of the Nation would take note.
Meanwhile, the Angry Czeck continues to throw support behind House, even if he has detected the routine plot device from which each House episode takes its predictable shape.
DOC 1: “The steroids should cure your lupus.”
PATIENT: “Thank God.” (Begins to cry.)
DOC 2: “Oh my God! She’s crying tears of Fritos!”
DOC 1: “It’s not lupus.”
Men Wearing Tampons and Frank Zagarino Shirtless
Sometimes people stop and ask me, “Angry, why do you write a blog?” Usually, I get all Henry David Theroux on their ass and reply, “Why aren’t you writing a blog?” But then, that’s an easy avenue out of a boring conversation. I’d prefer that you didn’t write a blog. That way, my opinions and insight have less competition.
And that’s all The Angry Czeck is: a one-sided forum where I win all the arguments.
Eight hours each business day, my writing is critiqued and picked apart, and then ultimately used to sell products that rarely live up to the prose. Nobody edits The Angry Czeck but the Angry Czeck. As a result, the writing isn’t always crisp, the points are sometimes muddled, and the research is sloppy. But at least it’s mine, and I don’t have to account for demographics, focus groups, or the whim of a client.
In 2008, The Angry Czeck received 4,847 hits from more than 1,800 cities worldwide. That breaks out to 14 visitors a day.* Many times, these visitors aren’t even looking for The Angry Czeck. Some seek men wearing tampons. Or Lana Clarkson on a torture rack. At least five people were looking for monkey sperm, and two people were hunting for Arabian penis.
Those viewers probably left the pages of The Angry Czeck disappointed.
But the rest of you might have gotten something else out of The Angry Czeck. (I don’t care what it was.) It may not have been as invigorating as electric paddle punishment or naked girls in sandals, but at least you did get something that wasn’t re-written by a marketing director.