Smoking: Still Totally Cool

I used to love smoking. For years smoking allowed me to take longer and more frequent breaks at work, was a good excuse to get off my ass and go outside, and frequently allowed me an opportunity to start up a conversation with another smoker. Taking a drag on a cigarette was a nice natural pause in every conversation. I was a better listener and, perhaps, a better person when I was a smoker. I could happily engage anyone for hours over coffee and cigarettes. The sky seemed a brighter shade of blue and I spent more time alone with my thoughts.

When I quit, it was largely by accident and I didn’t notice a sudden surge of vitality. My teeth didn’t get whiter, my penis didn’t get bigger, and my lung capacity remained unchanged. My apartment did not unexpectedly become filled with workout equipment and I did not acquire a bunch of healthy new friends. I have tried numerous times to get re-addicted but it has been so difficult. It’s almost as if I have lost my taste for it entirely. I’ll get a halfway through a cigarette and find myself with a headache or waking up the following day with mild sinus congestion. I also cringe at the thought of the tobacco industry’s decades of upsettingly aggressive marketing, despite cigarettes getting us through both World Wars and being at the center of America’s most prosperous period in history.

It’s a lot to think about and I’m not suggesting that everyone go out there and buy a pack of smokes this instant. While they may stop Parkinson’s, they cause a laundry list of other harmful diseases. They probably won’t kill you right away, however. You’ll likely have plenty of time to have a career, start a family, or even become President before your habit finally forces you into an early grave. And, when you do die before all of your loved ones, you’ll have a big funeral with lots of people showing up and talking about how great you were. They’ll cry and remember you forever and you’ll never have to see them get sick or pass away. You will have left the party early, probably because you were so much cooler than everyone else in attendance.

America has banned smoking nearly everywhere and cut its smoking population in half over the last couple of decades. It was the number one health awareness campaign for years and it seems to have worked. But, in a world where you can tell a dangerously obese person that they are prefect just the way they are, we should be willing to commend smokers for possessing that little bit of extra flair. One of the best photos I’ve ever seen is that of a dog wearing sunglasses with a cigarette hanging out of its mouth. It was the kind of picture that made you want to learn how to skateboard so you could teach that dog.

Who was with me when I had some of my best ideas? Cigarettes. When I was broke and only ate enough canned food and coffee to keep myself from starving to death, who gave me that little extra bit of energy? Cigarettes. When I was depressed and found myself alone in a two story pre-war in Detroit, what was the one thing that got me out of the house? Cigarettes. When someone insulted me and I needed that extra two seconds to deliver the perfect comeback, who always had my back? Cigarettes.

PoskySmoke

Posted in america, comics, Dark Humor, humor, Life, science, society, style, true stories, web comics | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

Become A Billionaire Before Black Friday!

The other day I was eating a money-themed candy bar and thought to myself, “I’m not going to have enough cash to buy people Christmas gifts again.”

I usually try to convince myself that the holidays are all about spending time with the people you love and practicing goodwill toward humanity. It isn’t hard to lie to yourself about brotherhood and togetherness when everyone is singing and coming together around fireplaces and eating fresh cookies. But the fact of the matter is that Jesus wants you to buy people things and God wants you to spend money: that’s why they sent Santa Claus down to Earth and invented holiday commercials in the first place. Your family needs video games, cell phones, lingerie, and food processors or else they won’t understand that you actually love them. We wouldn’t be beating each other senseless with Elmo dolls or having stampede-related deaths on Black Friday if these weren’t supposed to be the things that really matter to us.

I decided I had to do something about it this Christmas. That’s why I’m proud to announce my partnership with every single store in America and the You Monsters Are People Billion Dollar Bill™. This year you do not have to stress over making sure you have enough money to get your brother-in-law the golf clubs he wanted or the diamond, likely used to help fund child soldiers from Sierra Leone, that your wife has been moaning for! Simply print out a couple of You Monsters Are People Billion Dollar Bills™ and take them to participating stores. I have been contacting every major shopping venue in the nation for the last two days to ensure total acceptance in this project, but there may be a store near you that I have forgotten. If that is the case, please copy and paste the following into an email (or letter) and send it to your desired store on my behalf:

Dear __________,

As you know, the holiday season is a very busy time for consumers and businesses alike. But many consumers do not have the purchasing power they once did. As the average family income continues to slide and the middle class loses its place in society, you need new incentives to get people into your stores. It just so happens that I have a solution for both parties.

I have created a billion dollar holiday note for use between November 28th (Black Friday) and December 25th (Christmas). As this is not officially legal tender, you are not technically obligated to give back any change after a purchase. Converting the remaining balance into a gift card will suffice. I believe this will ensure return customers to your business, as they will have millions in store credit, and give the economy a much needed boost.

You do not need to respond to me, I’ll assume your silence is an endorsement of this idea and an assurance that you will be accepting these bills at your stores across the nation in the coming weeks.

Peace on Earth & Goodwill to Men,

Matt Posky
Problem Solver

one billion dollars

This year you can buy your teenager that new car they’ve been begging for, tie a massive bow to the roof, and discreetly park it in your driveway so that you can surprise them first thing in the morning and get that hug you’ve had to go without for the last three years! Momentarily overcome by joy, they might even accidentally say that they love you and you can bask in fatherhood without fear or shame for an entire day of your life. Shower your loved ones with the expensive baubles you’ve always wanted to and rest easy for once. So don’t forget to print out your own You Monsters Are People Billion Dollar Bill™ for use at participating stores and share this with your friends and family members to ensure a happy holiday season for everyone!

I am also proud to announce the arrival of You Monsters Are People themed buttons and stickers* in my online store! These are available online for purchase as of right now and make great little stocking stuffers for fans and supporters. All buttons and stickers are crafted in the United States out of 100% GENUINE MATERIAL and endorsed as OFFICIAL You Monsters Are People paraphernalia. The small buttons are a choking hazard for tiny children and perfect for throwing and hitting someone in the eye. Stickers adhere perfectly to a stranger’s car or to the cover of any notebook filled with unsettling thoughts.

*The You Monsters Are People Store does not accept the You Monsters Are People Billion Dollar Bill™
Posted in america, Current Events, Dark Humor, humor, Life, society | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

An Apology To People Who Hate Reading

Last week I wrote the scariest story ever told for everyone’s Halloween enjoyment. While it received plenty of accolades and is currently being made into an audiobook, some of my fans complained that it was too long for them to read. A number of people suggested that I spend less time writing and more time working on drawing comics to supplement shorter less word-driven posts. There were even a few people that sent me emails explaining how annoyed they were that I expected them to read so much in the first place. I am terribly sorry to have upset these loyal “readers” and hope that they are satisfied with this singular paragraph and its accompanying illustration.

BeliebIt

Being literate is hard. I know that now.

Posted in america, comics, Current Events, Dark Humor, halloween, humor, Internet Culture, stories | Tagged , , , , , | 27 Comments

The SCARIEST Story EVER Told

DISCLAIMER: This is an incredibly scary story to be read by adults only. If you are a child please ask your parents before reading this very spooky tale. It is not intended for people with weak hearts or epilepsy. 
TRIGGER WARNING: This story contains ghosts AND monsters.

Dracula Gets Frankenstein’s Monster Laid
by Matt Posky

Rush week was the time of year where you could effectively force a relationship or friendship out of nothing more than societal pressure and tradition. Monster House was no different than any other fraternity and Dracula was busy setting up decorations for the homecoming party after the big game while Wolfman and the Skeleton brothers went to make sure their kegs were filled to the brim with the frothy suds that every sexually active creature of the night craves. The rickety old mansion was as infamous for its peeling paint and ghoulish apparitions as it was for its outrageous parties. The members of Beta Omega Theta weren’t about to risk losing that prestigious honor. However, one member, hadn’t even gotten out of bed yet. Annoyed, Dracula exploded into a flurry of bats before coalescing back into his humanoid form at the top of the stairs.

“Frankenstein, are you up yet?” he yelled through the door.

The only response was the bass tones of a creature softly crying into his huge pillow.

“Come on, let me in and we can talk about it!”

“Go ‘way!” boomed the monster’s deep voice.

Not taking no for an answer, the vampire evaporated into a green mist and slipped under the door. Frankenstein ashamedly wiped the tears from his gray-green face, stood up, and kicked the bed as Dracula re-formed in front of him. “Leave me alone!” he bellowed.

“Leave my best buddy in the whole world alone? Not until he tells me what’s wrong and how I can help.”

“Junior year and Frankenstein still virgin.”

Dracula threw his head back in laughter, causing the torchlight of the room to glint off his super cool sunglasses. All of the other monsters knew Frankenstein had never even kissed a girl but had cruelly acted like he was the resident casanova. Sadly, the hulking behemoth never caught onto their sarcasm. He was much better known for being the best damn lineman to come out of Transylvania than he was for his intelligence. While he could have easily worked that to his advantage, his awkward appearance and social ineptitude held him back with members of the opposite gender. Dracula lied, “You? A virgin?! I don’t believe it.”

“True. Frankenstein untouched by woman.”

Suddenly there was a loud crash downstairs, followed by wild laughter. The boys had returned with the keg and it sounded like they may have sampled some on the trip back. Hugging his friend, Dracula said, “Listen, buddy, tonight that all changes. We’re going to find you a nice girl. All you need to do is win the big game and have a good time afterward.” He then kissed his forehead and punched him gently in the arm before turning to go back downstairs. By now he could hear Wolfman arguing with someone. Dracula assumed it was the mummy priest Imhotep. It was practically a nightly ritual with the two of them. Wolfman would work himself up into a drunken frenzy and do something stupid like try to surf down the stairs, usually breaking things in the process, and the mummy would go on a tirade about responsibility and being a good housemate. By the time he got down the stairs, they were already at each other’s throats.

“We don’t have time for this!” shouted Dracula. “Stop fighting, stop drinking, get those kegs into a bucket of ice, and finish getting this place ready!” A huffy Imhotep turned and shuffled off while Wolfman sheepishly began dragging the kegs into the kitchen. The Skeleton brothers snickered quietly to themselves, nudging each other, before clattering off to park the car. Dracula followed them outside. “Can you guys do me a favor?”

Their mouths opened in unison and a singular breathy echo escaped from the void, “Certainly.”

“Stop. I hate when you guys do that.”

The two ghastly frameworks cackled and slapped each other on the back before apologizing and asking what was required of them in a much more shrill voice. “What would you have us do?”

“I need you to help me find Frank a date for the night.”

More laughter, “And you expect us to find someone for him to bone?”

“Something like that.” He said while lighting a cigarette.

Again in unison, “We might know a girl. We have a hunch he’s going to love her.”

“…Is she a hunchback?”

The two gaped their mouths and again whispered as one to the affirmative. “Yes.”

“Get the hell out of here and pick up the party sub.”

The two clambered into the massive car and clicked the ignition until it roared to life. It was a hodgepodge of bulbous body panels from early automotive history that they had pieced together with their father over the duration of several long summers.  But it wasn’t until the year before enrolling at Scare University that father Skeleton finally brought home the hellfire motor they would use to power it. They spray painted it red and lowered the hulking assemblage of metal into the black behemoth. It was nearly as well known on campus as it was in their home town and equally loathed for rattling windows and scaring the elderly. It rumbled backwards out of the driveway and into the street. This was followed by shrieking tires, exhaust flames, and the mad laughter of the two brothers as it sped out of sight.
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****

The game progressed as everyone at Scare University had expected. The visiting team had spent the first few plays feeling rather confident but they were quickly worn down. Scare U won sixty-six to six. Frankenstein returned pleased to have been an integral part of the win. Guests had already begun trickling in and Dracula was making his rounds as host. To acknowledge his large green friend’s arrival, he flashed his fangs in a wide grin and gave the thumbs up sign. Frankenstein gave a half-hearted wave and went up into his room. Over the following hour he could hear the party downstairs building momentum while he flipped through a Grisham novel about lawyers who kept secrets for the government or something. But, by ten-thirty, the party had come to him. Woflman burst through his door holding the remnants of a six-pack in one hand and the remnants of a woman in the other.

“Come on, bro!” he begged. “You have got to come downstairs and help us rage! Drac has been asking about you all night.”

Frankenstein beguilingly agreed and sauntered down to the sea of ghouls and ghosts undulating to the beat. From across the room he could see a group of attractive women flirting with the zombies from the debate team. Their argumentative prowess might have been the eleventh best in the nation but he knew that wasn’t enough to get them girls. Frankenstein suspected Dracula had hypnotized them into lusting after the walking cadavers and was worried he would try the same thing for him. That wasn’t how he wanted his first time to be. He didn’t want it sullied by dark witchery and manipulation. It should be beautiful and pure, Frankenstein thought.

Dracula stepped up with a gorgeous blonde goddess and took a sexy drag off his cigarette, “Frank! Great work out there on the field tonight. I was just talking about you with my friend Rebecca here.”

Rebecca nodded and smiled.

“She’s in the science program too so you’ve probably had classes together. I tried talking to her about it but it became incredibly boring for my unscientific mind and I had to change the topic to sports.” Dracula lied. “Maybe you can chat her up about school while I check on the brew supply.”

The vampire having smoothly made an in for his friend, made his way through the crowd of dancing humans, monsters and ghosts, leaving his friend to fend for himself with the most beautiful thing he had ever seen. Frankenstein stood silently for a moment and uncomfortably fiddled with the mice in his pocket. When he finally spoke, it came out a bit too boisterous and at the exact moment a song was ending. “Frankenstein like your sweater.” he yelled.

Everyone around them chuckled and went back to dancing when the next track began. Rebecca laughed too and then pulled on his shirt. “Let’s go somewhere more private and talk.” she said while dragging him off the dance floor and into the dinning room. Both of them breathed a sigh of relief at how tranquil it seemed in comparison. Rebecca confessed, “This is much better.”

Frankenstein agreed and, after a few awkward moments of chit-chat, found himself having a deep and meaningful conversation with a woman for the first time. She was smart and funny and all of the things he had hoped she would be. They were occasionally interrupted by a football fan or competing male but she always managed to politely and cleverly convey that they were not interested in any extended interaction with anyone but each other. It went on like that for hours until they were practically holding hands. Wanting any excuse to hold him, she asked him to dance. Noticing that it had only gotten more crowded since they started talking Frankenstein asked, “Out there with all of them?”

“Well we could just dance here.” Rebecca responded as she wrapped her arms around him.

Every song brought them, literally, closer together until he finally built up the courage to kiss her. His giant hand covered the majority of her back as it pulled her in close and used his free hand to brush away her hair. When their lips touched he could feel something electric shooting through his body and down into his loins. He didn’t know if it was love or merely lust but he wanted more of it. Rebecca pushed back and, grinning widely, went in for another embrace. That’s when they heard it. That’s when they heard the words that made all of those good feelings drain out of him like he had been stuck with some emotional trocar. The words, repeated as their source grew closer, “Get away from my girlfriend! Get away from my girlfriend!”

A hand grabbed Frankenstein’s shoulder and spun him around to reveal a shrouded skeletal face. It was Grim Reaper, captain of the football team, and big man on campus. Everyone knew him and knew what he was capable of. “What the hell is this, Becky?” he asked. “This guy?! Some mongoloid lineman?”

“Leave us alone, Death!” Rebecca demanded.

“No. You’re my girl and I’m not about to lose you to this loser.”

“Frankenstein not a loser!” yelled the monster.

By now a crowd had formed and Dracula was frantically trying to make his way to the front of it. Frankenstein might have the strength of twenty men but that would do him little good against the lord of death. As the monster was technically living flesh, the Reaper could reduce him to a pile of sewn together body parts with a snap of his boney fingers. Meanwhile, Dracula’s inherent undead nature would give him some protection so that he might act as a buffer between Frankenstein and oblivion. Squeezing through the agitated and bloodthirsty crowd, he finally made his way up to them and nonchalantly asked what seemed to be the matter.

“Your friend is dying to move in on my girl.” hissed Death.

“Well that’s a bit of a cliche, isn’t it? She is certainly in her rights to choose to be with whoever she wants.” Dracula responded cooly.

“Of course she is. I’m a gentleman and a feminist at heart. I will gladly send them to the grave together if that’s what they desire.”

Enraged and terrified, Rebecca lashed out into a cursing frenzy and was forced to be held back by Frankenstein. The Skeleton Brothers and Wolfman approached ready to lend whatever assistance they could as Dracula continued to smooth things over. “Listen, this is our house and the last thing we want is to see it messed up in some monster brawl.” the vampire explained. “Why don’t we figure out some reasonable way to settle this.”

“You’re offering me a deal?” asked the Reaper.

“More like a contest.”

Having never lost at anything but chess for his entire life, Grim pondered the arrangement. He loved any opportunity to show off and, with such a large audience, was finding it difficult to refuse. “Alright. What do you have in mind?”

“Frlip a coin!” yelled a sloppy drunk Wolfman.

The monsters turned back to each other and debated what the nature of the contest should be. Knowing full well that anything they chose would put Frankenstein at a distinct disadvantage they even briefly came back to Wolfman’s coin flipping idea. Then Dracula smiled and said, “I’ve got it. I’m going to need everyone’s help though.”

“Do you have something for me or don’t you?” said an annoyed Reaper.

“It’s gonna be a drag race.” Dracula smirked.

****

Thirty minutes later, the entire party was on the front lawn. The Skeleton brothers were tinkering with their car with Frankenstein at the wheel. They slammed the hood and gave the thumbs up, giving him the okay to bring the beast to life. The roar made the crowd yelp and take a step back as Frankenstein slowly moved into position next to the Grim Reaper’s chariot of blue flame and twelve skeletal horses. The rules were that there were no rules and Dracula reiterated that upon his walk up to the starting line. “It’s the first one to the end of the street and back. Anything goes.” he shouted over the booming hellfire motor and demonic neighing coming from the Reaper’s steeds. Before the race he had explained to Frankenstein not to worry about anything other than getting there and back as quickly as possible and assured him that there was a plan in place.

“I love you, Frankenstein!” cried Rebecca from the sidewalk.

The big green monster nodded and revved the engine up. It was on. Dracula made his way to the front and lifted his cape above his head. The stallions all reared up in anticipation and everyone in the crowd started screaming. The cape was jerked toward the ground and the race began. The sheer torque of the Skeleton’s black coupe spun the tires while Death shot ahead as a flaming blue streak. But, once the wheels found some traction, they moved the pavement under them at an alarming rate. Frankenstein was pushed back into the seat as the vibration of the car shook him violently. He began to close the distance and watched the speedometer climb into the triple digits.

Several hundred yards behind them Dracula barked orders to his friends as they went about putting their plan into action. Ghosts were busy filling buckets with ectoplasm which were then handed out to the skeleton brothers and Rebecca who had made their way further on down the street. Meanwhile, Dracula transformed himself into a fog in the hopes of obscuring Grim’s vision as the others doused him in sticky slime. While not a perfect plan, he believed it might provide Frankenstein an opportunity in which to win the race.

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Still ahead, Death closed in on the end of the street. Whipping and shouting at his ghastly animals, they slowed for the turnaround. Tripping over themselves they clumsily halted as he yanked the reins to the right. Approaching the cul-de-sac at speed, Frankenstein had no intention of slowing down. The brothers had made it clear that he could drift the vehicle around the outside edge of the street without losing much speed if he kept his foot hard on the gas after the initial turn. Daringly, he did as he was told and slid the massive car wide around Grim and his horses. His tires spun wildly as flames erupted out of his exhaust, setting all of the nearby homes on fire. The resulting ring of rubber and smell of brimstone infuriated the Reaper. He lashed his horses violently and they galloped in pursuit of Frankenstein. It would not be long before he was again in the lead.

“Here, here he comes.” whispered Rebecca.

Frankenstein roared by and Dracula allowed fog to become soupy behind him. Death saw the trap but could do nothing. The fog worked perfectly to screen the buckets of slime and they hit their mark. Emerging from the haze, an enraged death wiped his face and shook his reins. The cadaverous horses unleashed a terrible sound that could be heard for miles and lurched forward at three times their original pace. In his rearview mirror, Frankenstein could see them bearing down on him and could do nothing as he passed. “It isn’t going to work! We’ve got to do something!” yelled Wolfman from the finish line.

Imhotep, who had been against the party from the start, clenched his fists. Knowing that they had to do something, he grabbed the Wolfman and hustled up the street toward the approaching vehicles. Handing over a piece of his wrappings he said, “Whatever happens, don’t let go of this.”

Doing as he was told the werewolf watched the housemate nobody liked cross the street and leave a line of bandage behind him. Realizing what was about to happen, he positioned himself against a tree while the mummy wound himself around a fire hydrant. Death approached. Looking up the Wolfman shed a single tear for his brave friend. As the horses galloped through, the two pulled the bandage taut and allowed the mummy to unravel and become wrapped up in the stampeding legs. The animals clattered against each other as their limbs were tangled in bandages or snapped off entirely due to the sudden strain. The collapse caused the chariot to spill over to one side as the Reaper tumbled out. However it did not take him long to right it and use his scythe to cut his animals free. They limped forward, crippled by the crash.

Frankenstein’s right foot remained buried as the needle continued to climb. He passed Death two houses before the finish line. The crowd erupted in cheers and ran out to meet the victor. Grim’s chariot hobbled up behind him, its driver furious. “It looks like you’ve won. I take my leave.”

“Friendship won this day. Not just Frankenstein.” replied the monster.

Death touched a bunch of people in the crowd causing their bodies to fall lifelessly to the ground as a form of petty revenge but, as agreed, he left Frankenstein and Rebecca living. He rode away as Rebecca and the boys came into view. Frankenstein ran to them and hugged Dracula before giving Rebecca a kiss and tossing the keys back to the Skeleton brothers. As they celebrated and laughed they could see a battered Wolfman running up holding something above his head. When he neared they could it was the surviving bits of Imhotep. “He saved the day!” howled the werewolf.

“Just trying to be a considerate roommate.” said the mummy with a wink.

They all had a good laugh and took the party back inside where they danced and drank the night away. All of them except for Frankenstein and Rebecca, who had snuck off to his bed to make passionate love. Undressing him, she thanked him for a wonderful night. But he reminded her, “Night not over yet, sweetness.”

The sex was everything he had hoped it would be. She was gentle, passionate, and gave herself over to him completely. He held her hand as they journeyed into a land of ecstasy together. They did everything, all of the normal stuff and bunch of the weird stuff too. He let her lead him and show him everything a woman had to offer a monster. Near the end, however, he could feel his lust building and took control of the lovemaking. Their sex building in intensity, she yelled his name as her sweat-drenched body writhed and gripped him. Understanding that she had been satisfied, Frankenstein allowed himself to finish as well holding her tightly against him.

****

The following morning, Frankenstein awoke feeling like a new man. Trying not to disturb Rebecca, he snuck off into the bathroom to get something to drink. In the hall he saw Wolfman and Imhotep spooning in the hallway, the sexual tension that caused them to always fight now relieved. Looking out of the bathroom window he could see the Skeleton brothers cleaning up the front lawn. It would be another few hours before Dracula was up but Frankenstein went to his room and left a note on his coffin that read:

“YOU FRIEND.”

Feeling particularly good about himself and putting on Dracula’s sunglasses he strutted back to his room to wake Rebecca for breakfast. Kneeling down beside her, he gently rubbed her shoulder and whispered her name but she did not stir. She was dead. Frankenstein had killed her with his inhuman strength while they made passionate love. It was the best night of his life. It was the best night of her life. But it appeared that Rebecca had ended up with Death after all.
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Posted in Dark Humor, friendship, halloween, humor | Tagged , , , , | 25 Comments

These 15 Photos Of Cosplayers Revealing That They Aren’t Unemployed Virgins Or Child Molesters “Might Blow Your Mind”

A popular internet content aggregator asked some of the “best cosplayers of New York Comic Con” to reveal what they did with their days and none of them confessed to jerking off to anime and steampunk all day or spending endless hours arguing online with strangers while updating their Facebook statuses relentlessly. Despite the original article’s authors reassuring me that the results might just blow my mind, these people (who spent an entire non-Halloween day dressed like things they like) all have really boring sounding jobs. Some people might say that this is one of the laziest and pathetic concepts for an article imaginable but experts know that it has received half a million views on its very first day and that its co-authors have already written nearly one-thousand published articles each. Take that, haters.

1. enhanced-6135-1413055576-3I looked up what this was and this woman is either a high ranking UN official in a foreign country or is in charge of college students moving into dorms. Either way it’s outrageous that she’s dressed up as Ms. Marvel!

2.
enhanced-18585-1413055655-1This one was so intensely unbelievable that the photographer actually left it slightly out of focus. But this woman is actually a student when she’s not spending part of her day dressed like a character from, I’m guessing, Game of Thrones or some stupid vampire-themed anime.

3.
enhanced-21274-1413055606-5I’m only blown away that this guy’s sign reads anything other than “pedophile” but there you go. He’s the girl from Pokemon who is also a sales analyst. Is your mind totally destroyed yet?

4.enhanced-13756-1413055610-13

This guy went as someone who is really into the number three but he is actually a stay at home dad who is just ashamed of that enough to need to include that he is also an author.

5. enhanced-7972-1413055582-6This spot on cosplay of Jessica Rabbit is actually Joe Biden.

6.enhanced-7953-1413055622-9This one is a little out of focus too but it’s difficult work to take photos using a phone when you’re so geeked at how much these two look like Judge Dredd and his mom!

7.enhanced-18567-1413055572-8I almost refused to believe that someone dressed so extravagantly could possibly be a legal assistant but then I had to because she was holding a sign that indicated as much. This photo taught me that you can’t always judge a book by its cover and that the photographer didn’t cover a lot of ground or do more than five minutes of work because I can clearly see Ms. Marvel from the first picture in the background.

8.enhanced-13771-1413055591-24Does anybody know which longhaired character wears hoop-earrings and dresses in an open plaid shirt with their large purse laid carefully in front of them? This woman is probably doing the best cosplay in the world of whoever that is.

9. enhanced-14699-1413055624-10Since we had one already, you might be a little surprised to see another person that is a student. Well you had better believe that this female Thor is 100% committed to scholarly pursuits when she isn’t fighting Loki and eating thunder or whatever.

10.enhanced-18521-1413055639-13More students?! Outrageous. Who could have ever imagined that there would be so many? Not BuzzFeed, that’s for sure. These three are dressed up as an incomplete American flag or maybe the Andrews Sisters if one of them didn’t realize they were supposed to work a USO tour that day.

11.enhanced-21325-1413055612-8I thought that cosplaying meant you had to get all costumed up as a character. This guy is basically dolled up as himself in stockings and hot pants. Since “the man that rapes me in my nightmares” isn’t technically a profession, he had to write that he was a psychologist because he loves getting into people’s heads.

12.enhanced-1631-1413055572-5Samurai V (for Vendetta) lives with his parents.

13. enhanced-954-1413055577-12And we’re back to student. The only difference is that this person also came to NYCC dressed as their day job. BuzzFeed really screwed the pooch on this one.

14.enhanced-20716-1413055630-11This person is an actor… yayyy. I bet they are really fun to talk to for long periods of time when you’re in a confined space.

15.enhanced-22470-1413055629-3This man came as the big version of the Little Mermaid and didn’t write “future sex partner to the luckiest man or woman on earth” because he’s a class act. Whatever council he’s on is very lucky to have him.

All photos of “New York’s best cosplayers” are courtesy of BuzzFeed’s Ryan Broderick and more can be found at his awful BuzzFeed article that contains 621 fewer words in it than mine does. 

Posted in america, art, comics, Current Events, Dark Humor, humor, Internet Culture, society, style | Tagged , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

The Nexus Of Magic: A Real Place I Walked To

The other day I visited the most magical place in the world by accident. It exists at sunset between the Triborough and Hell Gate Bridges in the northern most tip of Queens, New York. There, decades of broken glass litter the shoreline and ring with the lapping of every wave. The resulting sound is that of wind chimes, crystalline starlight, and a million tiny bells all serving to create a state of tranquil harmony. No crime committed could be too egregious not to be cleansed by the sounding of the green and brown shards suspended in salt water caressing the stony coast.

A plastic bag arose from the park-side refuse cylinder and was carried almost the entire way across the watery expanse of the East River. We watched with abated breath as it bobbed and weaved over the swirling tidal strait like a massive black butterfly. Hundreds of yards and several minutes passed before it finally landed a few feet from the opposing shore. The infamously swift waters took it from our eyes in an instant.

A boy ran up and grabbed the guard rail for dear life only to bark unexpectedly into the crisp fall air. The dogs in the nearby dirt ring park silenced themselves in awe of the child’s passion and zeal. No quadruped that day could hold a candle to the wild majesty of a young human drunk on the energy of the most special place on our planet. He remained there for some time looking across the water at Manhattan, his barking fit over and his mind calmed by the sound of wind and wave. I looked only for a moment but I could see tears in his eyes.

As we walked away I knew that the plastic bag was being hauled down into the depths of the river, pulled under by its strong opposing currents into the murky underdark. It represented hope and, even though it had failed, we were impressed by how far it had come in its impossible quest to cross the river on a single gust of wind. If only we could be so fortunate and bold in our own lives, a meaningful failure would be enough.

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Take This, Society.

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That ought to rattle a few cages.

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Police Stopped Climate Change… Protesters From Protesting.

Over the weekend nearly half of a million people peacefully marched down Sixth Avenue through Midtown Manhattan hoping to make the correct amount of noise required to convince corrupt decision-makers and science-ignorant mongoloids to stop ignoring that climate change was a genuine issue. There was an eerie moment of true silence followed by a wall of sound that came up the streets like a wave of mad energy. They hooted and tooted and blasted the vuvuzelas like insane sports fans who had replaced men kicking a ball with natural resources and breathable air.

What this march showed is that people really seem to care about this issue and are upset enough to stop complaining online and get out into the streets. This makes sense because most rational people would jump at the chance to stop a series of world destroying disasters from taking place. Unfortunately, this particular set of disasters has yet to garner the right sort of attention from the right sort of people. If there was a giant asteroid hurtling toward Earth at four-hundred times the speed of sound, we wouldn’t need a march. I know this because there is just such an asteroid and NASA is already planning to land astronauts on it when it’s in our neighborhood roughly sixty years from now. Meanwhile, climate change is this sort of vague blanket term with no single physical manifestation that exists as a byproduct of making people tons of money. We can’t fix it by shooting totally awesome space rockets at it and that’s a huge problem.

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The following day several thousand other people went downtown to Flood Wall Street. Dressed mostly in dark blues and aquamarines, protesters assembled at the bottom edge of Broadway near Battery Park and moved north. I had come to gawk with a musician, a knitter, and my main creative partner of the last decade who was in from our nation’s third coast. He had brought a camera and was interested in documenting the goings on while I was content with quietly judging people with my arms folded. Just beyond midday the mood was casual and Vincent snapped the occasional photograph while we meandered through. There was a sequined woman on stilts dancing, a giant flower that hinted unsubtly back at the shooting of Mike Brown, and oodles of the nearly relevant hippie drivel scrawled upon signage that we’ve come to expect. We even saw a man happily handing out bottled water, which I thought was hysterical. The crowd itself seemed genuine in its cause, however, and continued to grow throughout the day. Officers were speckled throughout the crowd and many were smiling and chatting up the protesters. At this point, the most densely populated areas were at the base and thinned out as you went north with the press skirting around the edges. There was a large open space up the block where the NYPD had set up numerous barriers that people seemed to be avoiding. But, for the most part, everyone seemed tranquil and several groups of the crowd were doing call and respond speeches referred to as “The Human Microphone.” It was close to a perfect demonstration. Nobody seemed angry and the area didn’t smell like people had been pissing in the streets– but all of that was about to change.

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As the the sun went down and the closing bell neared, the protesters made a push north as they had not yet reached Wall Street. The police had begun bringing in additional steel barricades to keep the protesters isolated just southwest of their goal. By now the tactics honed years earlier at Occupy are common practice for most law enforcement groups when dealing with crowds. Wall Street, which will almost certainly be underwater when the sea level rises as a result of the icecaps melting, wanted nothing to do with the protesters and the police had established a line to keep them from it. Barricades already lined the sidewalk but they continued to bring more in as the crowd surged up the block. The media had predicted this move and condensed here, as did we. Vinnie, a shorter man than some, had to really press himself in and hold his camera high to get much of anything. Tensions were building and random officers trickled as more aggressive protesters attempted to move barricades and encourage others to the front line. We saw a patrolman’s hat fly over the crowd as everyone lined up to face each other. Then, with little warning, someone sprayed mace into the faces of a few protesters trying to make it past the line. This caused light panic, some yelling, and the sea of people swelled before condensing in on itself again. I could see the dancer on stilts just behind the main group holding her ground as Vinnie returned briefly to say he’d tasted the residual misting of pepper spray. There was a light scuffle before the police made clear what part of the street would be theirs.

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Some officers were clearly excited for any excuse to bash someone’s face in while many others genuinely seemed interested in keeping the peace. The same could be said of the protesters as I could see a frantic pocket getting worked up and mad. They would clumsily attempt to move barricades or climb onto light poles and chant angrily. Nobody, however, bothered to take note of the large number of officers assembling on scooters two blocks up. Nobody except for us anyway. Gawking with no objective allowed me to survey to area and I suggested we fall back behind the line if we were planning on having dinner not in jail. De Blasio has proven himself more relaxed about people exercising their constitutional right to organize than the Bloomberg administration but we all assumed it was just a matter of time before things got ugly.

While we debated it, a large group of men in light riot gear reinforced the entrance to Wall Street along with a number of mounted units that made a secondary line with their horses. Private security also showed up in their bad suits and helped orchestrate things while men in much more expensive clothing exited the imposing gray buildings behind the police line, their faces soured by the inconvenience. As the standoff continued, we moved up to Liberty Street where a second group had amassed and were bringing in NYPD trucks and busses. They closed off the street roughly the same time we got off of it. Confused looking tourists lingered as we made our way around the far side of the blockade which was far bigger than we initially realized. The boys in blue were coming in by the van full on Trinity while also closing off any escape routes toward Battery Park. They were literally running in groups of ten to twenty toward the protest. We hopped a train and ate sushi uptown while watching a small blurb about the protest on the news. Over one-hundred people were arrested while I finished my beer. It was a Tiger Gold Medal, imported from Singapore. I wanted something cheap but definitely not domestic.

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–Photographs are courtesy of Vincent Massimino.

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A Fond Look Back: Vomit And Strip Clubs

My first time at a strip club was when I was seventeen. My friend’s older brother was a DJ for such an establishment and thought it would be an important passage into manhood for us. I had previously been in a sexually active relationship with a lunatic who possessed a nice body and a cat that I liked to feed corn chips. Beyond that, I had very limited experience with the fairer sex. My friend, Eric, had even less. He would prattle on anytime he was accidentally grazed by a woman’s breast and was dating a puritan. While faithless, he still went to church every Sunday with his girlfriend for six months in the hopes that she would someday take her shirt off. When she finally defied Jesus and did, he threw a party at his house to celebrate. Eric’s disreputable brother seemed incredibly nonplussed by all of this and the next week he invited us over for a real party. He fed us drinks for roughly an hour before his gravelly voice commanded, “Alright, let’s hit it and get you two faggots some pussy.”

The club was within walking distance and looked like it used to be a movie theater during America’s heyday. It smelled vaguely of stale cigarettes but not of booze. At this time in Michigan there was a law that prohibited clubs from serving alcohol if performers exposed their vaginas. The effectiveness of this law should be placed under some mild scrutiny, as I arrived at the front door swimming in a personal sea of orange juice and vodka. The benefit of these alcohol free clubs is that they are eighteen and up (seventeen and up if your friend’s brother works there and sneaks you in). The downside of these kinds of clubs is that they attract a lot of garbage people with poor hygiene and a loose moral code. However, the greasy perverts did not occupy a controlling share of the space. The majority of the clientele were couples, bored soldiers, and the random band of college students. The club itself was dark and predominantly lit by pink neon and the occasional pastel-colored spotlight beaming through the smoker’s haze. Private booths were illuminated by a single bulb covered with a lacy rouge lampshade. In the very back corner was a VIP area with black lights that showcased the dander on my shoulders as illuminated green flakes. It reminded me slightly of laser tag if they replaced all the guns with breasts and changed the music from bad techno to hits from the nineteen-eighties.

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Between dances, Eric’s brother would hustle us out back and encourage us to to smoke and drink with some of the girls. They had a private stash of cigarettes, clear liquors, fruit-drinks and were more than willing to share them with us. I had imagined that I’d feel sorry for them but it all felt very casual and orthodox. I’ve had less comfortable smoke-break exchanges with people I’ve worked with for years. As I watched them work, I realized that they were playing each guy in that room for every dime he had. Someone would make their rounds and report back who had money to spend and what type of girl they might like. The work didn’t seem particularly enjoyable though. Every so often a woman would come back with a story about a man having grabbed her ass or a particularly bad smell a patron was giving off.

When we made our way back to the front of the club, an oversexed Eric was sheepishly eyeing every single woman there. As a cure, the older brother bought him lap dances relentlessly. “This is my baby-brother!” he would yell over the bass. The women always looked surprised and would giggle and say something before grinding their pelvis into his lap like a mortar and pestle. That was the strangest part of the experience for me. It wasn’t the women or the false promise of sex, it was that brotherly love meant using a proxy to sexually stimulate each other. Each time one of them gave the other a knowing nod affirming their sexual gratification, I felt uncomfortable and glad to only have sisters. I refused every dance offered, confident that I was too high, drunk, broke, and bothered to want to participate. Eventually the featured performer, a Canadian actress in the soft-core porn scene, came out and pulled random people up on stage. Tired of me dodging the women, they gave her a handful of bills and she grabbed me. Once I was standing in front of a bunch of hooting men and women, she pushed me to the ground and mimed sex with me before shaking her loins directly into my face. I recall her looking lovely but not feeling very good about myself when I went to go wash my glasses off in the sink. The smudging may have been perceived but the shame was genuine.

She was around later, allegedly doing cocaine with one of the bouncers but I didn’t see any. I chatted her up and told her I felt a little like an asshole when asked how I liked my dance. She laughed and told me that was admirable. At this point I ensured that all of my exchanges with people were exceptionally brief as I was trying with great difficulty to pass myself off as a sober person. I had drank and been drunk before but this was my rookie season in the big leagues of alcohol so I did not yet understand my limits. The conversations people were having were becoming increasingly difficult to participate in and I noticed that time was sort of leaping on ahead without me. Before I knew it, it was time for us to leave.

Eric’s brother brought us back to his dump of an apartment. There his wife was waiting, annoyed that he had brought company. She was a dancer as well and smoked long, thin Capri Super Slim cigarettes one after another. I was attracted to her and Eric hinted at the idea of her giving him a dance and she shot him a look that would have withered any man’s penis. She treated me much better and offered me some marijuana, which I accepted gratefully. This was the decision that ruined everyone’s night. At seventeen, you’ve only a limited number of experiences to draw from so you aren’t always in the best position to make quality judgments. In an effort to keep up with Eric’s brother, I had already gone through half a pack of cigarettes and had enough drinks to put a much larger man to bed early. While I thought this would earn me respect, allow me to reassure the younger readers that nothing is cooler than maintaining composure. Those few drags of a joint were the tipping point. They were the last step over the edge and into a free fall into pain and, finally, insensibility.

It started as a cold sweat and a throbbing in the temples. The room shuddered, pulsed, and shifted as I attempted to use my eyes to examine it. Something was terribly wrong with me. Their speaking became a distant echo as my internal monologue became a clumsy plea to stand up and run to a waste vessel. I know I made an attempt to explain my situation and it might have emerged eloquent and polite or it may have just come out as a garbled mess of verbs and nouns only hinting at the torment and intentions. When I entered the bathroom I ensured that the door was secured behind me as I erupted into a sink surrounded by empty pill containers and grooming items. I could hear someone asking if I was alright through the door and, during a reprieve in vomiting, I assured them everything was going great before falling to my knees and yelling my insides out into their filthy toilet.
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The ride home was long but filled with blackouts that expedited my trip. The passenger-side window was left down as I frequently needed to wretch into the frigid January air and the little coupe smelled pungently of the alcohol I drank earlier in the evening. Once we arrived at my home, I tumbled out of the car and swatted at the door until it swung shut. Eric, fed up, drove off as I collapsed into a mound of snow at the side of the drive. Convinced I was about to get sick again, I paused there for a moment.

I awoke to my father standing over me two hours later. He had gotten up early to plow the driveway as it had begun snowing. He asked me if I had enjoyed myself and suggested that I might want to go inside. It was his practice not to punish me when it was clear I had already done so myself. My joints felt fused into place but I managed to hobble inside where the warm air made my legs and arms feel itchy and swollen. I changed into sweatpants and a clean shirt before crawling under a quilt and falling back asleep. I didn’t make it into work that day because of the hangover and I didn’t work the next four days because I ended up with walking pneumonia. The entire experience taught me a lot of valuable lessons. I learned not to smoke weed after a night of hard drinking and no food. I also found out that strip clubs can be normal or sad; it is all dependent upon your perspective.

Despite having friends that worked as erotic dancers, I never voluntarily visited a gentlemen’s club after that. The closest I ever got was a eight month stretch where I attended nearly every burlesque show in New York City at the behest of my girlfriend. But I eventually stopped going. Maybe I just got tired of seeing breasts. I certainly didn’t tire of the humor and vampire or robot-themed costumes routinely incorporated into acts. That will never get old.

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The Hiatus Has Ended

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