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Tuesday, April 29, 2003


When There's Nothing Else for You Here There's Always Ford

So I'm driving through some wet nighttime city streets in my City of Angels in one of those new little cars that are somewhere between SUV and compact car and nearly always silver and aggressively marketed to young, upwardly mobile urban adventurers with their fingers on three separate pulse points of bleeding-edge culture -- a Focus or Matrix or Vibe or whatever that new one is. A really catchy techno jam that will send the 18-34 demo frantically Googling its origin is pounding on the Kenwood and a ladyfriend who may or may not be Rose McGowan is pop-locking her little heart out in the passenger seat and whom I may or may not have met the other night waiting to buy a twelve of Bud Light at the local corner market. Maybe we left her little Beemer Z3 in the market parking lot because you really can't cruise the wet nighttime city streets in a US$50,000 piece of German engineering. She's had Manson so there's something definitely dangerous and a little tainted about her despite the outward flawless porcelain appearance, like a strawberry birthmark on the inside of her cheek. But for reasons I don't understand there was that thing with J. Lo so I'm not exactly 99.44 pure myself these days. Maybe she's picked up on that, maybe she likes a dude who'll throw down a twelve of Bud Light next to a starlet who's pointing at a pack of Virginia Slims.

After what seems like miles and miles of uninterrupted green lights on Hollywood Boulevard, a red finally slows us down. A black H2 rolls up on us, its tinted driver's-side window slides down. It's quite dramatic.


And craning my neck just a little bit, I can see his broomhandle paramour Calista fiddling with the knobs on his stereo, mouthing to him, who's that?

Like she doesn't know. Like there isn't a black-and-white photograph of me on his vanity mirror with the eyes scratched out with the tip of a safety pin and clips of the transcripts of our previous run-ins on his huge oak desk and explicit instructions to his personal assistant to always,always forward my calls to his cell, even if he suspects I'm just going to flush the toilet and hang up again and he's just going to smash his fist onto the craft services table and send a plate of cold cuts clattering loudly to the sound stage floor.

Before I can utter a derisive "Indy" sidelong into the H2's window, Rose's hand comes down hard on my knee and the car lurches forward. If you believe the obnoxious advertising campaign, an H2's made to drive over things like abandoned bunkers and purse-size, floofy dogs rather than accelerate on a damp Hollywood Boulevard.

If the nighttime streets were not so damp and glistening, he would have been eating the dust kicked up by our little car. Amateur driver Ford obviously does not have the all-wheel drive engaged and his ride spins out onto the Walk of Fame sidewalk, leaving a skidmark on Red Buttons' star.

Rose and I find a Denny's further up the road and I leave her to order some freedom toast so I can excuse myself to the surprisingly well-appointed men's room.

Somewhere on the fancy side of town, Ford's cellphone is ringing, is answered, and is filled with the sound of the counterclockwise roar of a Denny's commode in its full fury.

The freedom toast is that much sweeter and fluffier because Rose keeps asking me why I'm smirking. I don't tell her, and I don't tell her that in five minutes I'm going to excuse myself again when the check shows up and not return until I'm sure she's paid it. I read somewhere that Manson pulled this on her at The Palm so this move is money and a homage to those that have gone before me, even if they sometimes dress in women's clothes and run around in a pair of creepy fake tits.

My cell rings. H. Ford is calling and he's put straight through to voicemail.

Rose laughs and offers me the first mint off the check when it comes back, paid, and in a flash we're back out on the wet nighttime streets.

[This piece is being simulcast at Bob from Accounting]

Monday, April 28, 2003


Please Don't Say Such Things About Condy Rice

I hope that no one would ever do this with one my [exceedingly rare to nonexistent] miscues, but then again it's been well-established that I am both hypocrite and major-league asshole.

But here's Tom Brokaw's interesting Freudian ditty on Bush's risky tax scheme.


Weekend Update Dept.

Starting with the first black eye is as good a place as any.

Friday I rescued My Man D from the clutches of a furry convention where he was quickly went native in the presence of people who get off on wearing cheap mascot costumes with easy access panels in the genital area. Sustained a black eye when sucker-punched by a guy in a fox suit who didn't like the way I threw My Man D over my shoulder to save him from a handsy high school physics teacher carrying a gigantic stuffed panda bear.

Saturday, sustained second black eye after loudly refusing to be a part of Kelly Osbourne's backstage man-harem at the Coachella Music Festival, further rubbing dirt in the situation by remarking that her blonde mohawk looks fucking ridiculous, which it does. Fortunately MTV no longer documents her every move, so no TV camera captured her well-executed right hook. We did wind up making out, but I'm saving that story for the DVD special features blooper reel.

Sunday drove back from the desert to punch this guy in the gut at the otherwise violence-free Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. Scrawled EHDTSMBMF ("Ernest Hemingway Did This Shit Much Better Motherfucker") on his forehead in red Sharpie while he was doubled over, then RIFP--BWH ("Rehab Is For Pussies -- Bunsen Was Here") on a copy of his new soon-to-be-bestselling addiction memoir. I also left a my curriculum vitae in the book. He will probably need someone to write a sequel for him while he is busy counting his money. Aggravated first black eye when Amy Tan threw her poodle at me for failing to respond to several morning-after phone calls.

Rushed down to Anaheim to take in the Angels -- Red Sox game with J.Lo and Ben. In case you missed "Good Will Hunting," Ben is from Massachusetts and therefore Red Sox fan trash. Jenny from the Block and I have both done time in the Boogie-Down, though she hasn't got a bad case of the Old Timey Yankee Religion like I do. Throwing popcorn at Ben, chanting "1917" and calling Nomah a pansy really never gets old. That is until Nomah stopped by for a quick Jen and Ben starfucking session between innings and overhears me talking about how his girlfriend Mia Hamm probably services him with some auxiliary equipment generally affixed to the pelvic area by straps. It should be noted that Miss Hamm was seated no further than a row away above the visitor's dugout and was enjoying a hearty, knowing laugh at my creative New York invective. It should further be noted that Nomah showed admirable restraint in using the butt-end instead of the barrel of his 33-ounce Louisville Slugger to re-aggravate both of my black eyes.

I helpfully pointed out that the team that signs his paychecks will languish in second place as long as organized baseball survives in America. The Red Sox wound up winning the game and Ben cutely thought this has made even the slightest chink in the baseball space-time continuum. Nomah and Ben doused each other in Moët to celebrate the extra-inning win against a team that needs an hysterical macaque to get the motivation to overcome a three-run deficit. In the clubhouse janitorial closet, Jen and I shared a giggle about this and the relatively weak box office of "Daredevil" over a flask of Johnny Walker Black. She mumbled something relating The Curse of the Bambino to an Affleckian performance problem and we laughed so hard I almost forgot about the two black eyes. Almost.

Thursday, April 24, 2003


Requiem for a Dreamboat

To paraphrase the words of someone whose name I cannot presently bring to mind, I assure you that reports of my demise have been greatly exaggerated.

To paraphrase another, I'm not dead yet.

This could go on, but I'll spare you the suspense.

It seems that in an attempt at foresight and expediency, CNN had prepared web page obituaries for some of America's leading personalities. When they eventually shuffle off this mortal coil, the thinking goes, CNN can be first to post their cyberspace tombstones. They would scoop the reaper himself if given half an opportunity.

Furthermore, it seems that the CNN vultures thought my recent, dangerous, intoxicating weekend in the 'Dad might end in tragedy. A disgruntled staffer forwarded me the obituary after a supervisor blocked his access to a website that allowed him to laugh at the mullets of people from a socioeconomic strata lower than his own. Here is the result of CNN's efforts to beat the other starving jackals of 24 hour news organizations to the grisly punch:

While it is true that I was recently in Baghdad, it remains unconfirmed as to whether or not I was a patron of a local comfort house whose operation may have been permanently shuttered by a smart bomb that didn't quite graduate at the head of its class. I did not expire in a downpour of rubble while being serviced ("on the house," I might add) by a regiment of Mesopotamia's finest consorts, slippery in a coat of exotic, replenishing massage oils. The rubble was merely the set-dressing of a themed fantasy room. With so much actual rubble spilled in the streets of the city, there's something thrilling about a hedonistic adventure in the company of professionals in the sensual arts. A little role-playing close the front-line action never hurt anyone -- at least no more hurt than a hastily whispered safety word couldn't bring to an immediate halt.

So fear not, gentle readers. I'm still here despite what an intern in the death notices department has to say about it.

I cannot, however, make the same claim for the journalistically-challenged ghostwriter I hired recently. Last I'd heard, he was writing material for the Iraqi Information Minister before he disappeared from the capital.

God help them both.

Tuesday, April 22, 2003


Myers-Briggs Dept.

I'm a bad person.

I missed "Mr. Personality" last night. There were reasons.

I know that you count on me to devour any new reality product, chew it into a fine paste, and spread it on the finest crackers for your consumption.

But I've reviewed the coverage of this new gift from Fox this morning, and I think I have pieced together enough to post a brief recap of the proceedings.

The premise is simplicity itself: One beautiful woman, twenty men in masks. She has to choose a man without the benefit of seeing his face. On this show, personality is king, declares all the promotional materials.

Oh yes, everyone's favorite Presidential knee-pad and Cuban cigar tester, Monica Lewinsky, is the host. Now some of you might object to the gratuitous reference to Ms. Lewinsky's notorious fellating of the Most Powerful Man in the World. But those were good times, no? Political satire was no more complicated than the nimbly-worded blow-job joke. The economy was, er, humming along with the dot-com boom, while Monica was getting knots on the top of her head from the underside of the stately oak desk in the Oval Office as President Clinton talked on the Red Phone to various members of our government and foreign heads of state. Her repeated servicing of the did-we-mention-he-was-The-Most-Powerful-Man-in-the-World was almost certainly based on the merits of his personality alone. So who better to be our Virgil through this latest circle of the reality-TV underworld? Certainly not the "Are You Hot?" guy. I can't remember his name either.

The first ten minutes of the show set up the premise. The host is introduced, met with wild applause from the frothing studio audience, who have been starved like animals in the Baghdad Zoo for three days and then fed Twinkies with a creamy methamphetamine center. There is nearly a riot as a montage of Monica's greatest hits plays on the thirty-foot screen behind her: clips from her HBO special, "Black and White"; sound bites of President Clinton pointing a thumb defiantly at the camera and declaring, "I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky," and "it depends on what your definition of 'is' is..." This is followed by another montage of the three-thousand-forty-five monologue jokes Jay Leno dedicated to Monica's prowess with a bent Presidential unit. After the video screen goes dark, an audience member hops on the stage and demands that our host provide him with oral satisfaction; when she demurely refuses, he claws out his eyes. It seems the Twinkies did not agree with him.

We then meet the One Beautiful Woman who will be separating the personality wheat from the good-looking chaff. Hayley was raised in a small town, helped her family tend their farm, then went to business school. She now is a corporate raider and part-time model making more money than the twenty men laid out before her like a blue-light special buffet.
She is the archetypical American woman: beautiful, successful beyond all measure, a Madonna on your arm, a whore in the bedroom... There is a gauzy glow surrounding her at all times. A bluebird alights on her outstretched finger. Another audience member rushes the stage, demanding oral satisfaction. Hayley refuses, there is more eye-clawing, and the producer who dreamt up the speed Twinkie idea is promoted to head of programming at Fox. A scroll on the bottom of the screen implores us to "Watch the Fox Fall schedule for 'Crank Addicts Beg for Oral Satisfaction'." We laugh because we realize that reality TV has long been a self-parody, and no snarky comment on the programming decisions of television executives could possibly surpass what actually will be produced in the coming months.

The twenty men are paraded by Hayley. Only their chins are exposed by the colorful Mexican wrestling masks they wear. Hayley thinks aloud that they all look Mexican and that she's not "particularly fond of beaners," so this will be a true test of her suitors' personalities. Monica makes an off-color joke about her pool boy's conversational skills. They laugh.

Hayley then proceeds to eliminate ten men solely on the relative attractiveness of their jawlines. She and Monica praise the personalities of the survivors.

"This is going to be a really hard decision for you next week," says Monica.

"I know," says Hayley. "Will they still be Mexican?"

"We'll see what we can do," says Monica.

The credits roll. The eliminated doff their masks. To a man, they are hysterically crying. A plastic surgeon has been retained by Fox and is already sketching improvements on the losers' chins with a grease pencil. A twitchy audience member bursts backstage, demands oral satisfaction from one of the eliminated. His tears quickly dry.

This time, there are no eyes clawed out.

[This piece is being simulcast at Bob from Accounting]

Monday, April 21, 2003


If I Could Talk to the Animals Dept.

These Iraqi looters are, to use the parlance of my Southern California residence, hella funny.

Turning on CNN to see what statues are being toppled has been replaced by tuning into CNN to see exactly what these ingenious liberators of personal property have absconded with in the aftermath of all that unpleasant bombing that resulted in a whole lot of rubble and a truckload of Total Fucking Victory.

It seems that every city in Iraq is throwing a series of parades. But the Mesopotamian equivalent of an Underdog float is an endless stream of marchers laden with furniture, rugs, vases, and electronic equipment.

My favorite was the pilfered city bus towing a looted motorboat behind it. No doubt the resourceful thieves were on their way to the Gulf to see how many bomb-sniffing dolphins they could round up.

But that was until now, when they even made off with everything in the Baghdad Zoo that wasn't nailed down. Fortunately for our intrepid animal-nappers, it seems that the extremely hungry lions and tigers were nailed down, because they were conveniently ignored by the ravenous mob. Even Mandor, the magnificent tiger that Uday fed a steady diet of harem girls who stopped doing "that special favor" for him, was left to languish amongst the newly-vacant cages.

So you can imagine my surprise when Mandor's publicist gave me a ring, seeking an international audience for his client. Within minutes, Mandor was on the line to bring his plight to the world.

Bunsen: How's life in Baghdad now that Saddam's skipped town?

Mandor, pet tiger of Uday Hussein: It's not quite what it's cracked up to be for everyone. Sure, you see grateful Iraqis bringing the U.S. soldiers flowers and throwing high-fives around. But if you're stuck in a tiger cage gnawing on last week's bone, life ain't all peaches and cream.

Bunsen: So you've been going hungry since the liberation?

Mandor: I'm sorry, what? I was just thinking of Peaches and Cream. They were two strippers that Uday fed me a couple of months ago because they eventually tired of grinding on his lap to "Cherry Pie" over and over again.

Bunsen: He fed you strippers?

Mandor: Strippers, prostitutes, the odd bellydancer once in a while. I love the sound those tiny finger-cymbals make when they get caught in your teeth.

Bunsen: He ever feed you men?

Mandor: Sure. Mostly political dissidents, but I'd get the occasional busboy that didn't fill Uday's water glass fast enough.

Bunsen: Isn't that, you know, kind of gay?

Mandor. Brother, I'm a tiger. Food is food. I'm fucking starving. I would eat an entire Chippendales revue right now and wash it down with Siegfried and Roy without batting an eyelash.

Bunsen: Well, that sounded gay.

Mandor: Do you check every burger you eat to make sure there's no bull meat in it?

Bunsen: Of course not.

Mandor: Then maybe you're gay.

Bunsen: It's not the same and you know it. Besides, you could have said you would have eaten the Clippers or some firemen. But you went for Chippendales and Siegfried and Roy. Let's just call those interesting choices.

Mandor: Dude. Siegfried, Roy. Tigers. Hello?

Bunsen: Exactly.

Mandor: This interview is over.

Bunsen: Very well. Anything else you want to say?

Mandor: Send more meat.

Bunsen: I bet you'd like that. A mouthful of meat for Uday's hungry, gay tiger.

Mandor: Oh, grow up.

Friday, April 18, 2003


Inspiration Dept.

Inspiration is a funny thing. You can sit at your typewriter, your word processor, your small wedge-shaped reed and clay cuneiform tablet and wait for it to come to you. Or you can throw down your writing tools, pack a flask full of raspberry liqueur, and go stalk inspiration in the filth where it lives.

In the late 1997, I was a consultant on the German situation comedy "Die Verrückte Hosenfamilie" (which loosely translates to "The Crazypants Family" in English). Then in its fourth season, it seemed that all the stories had been done. The set-up: a family living in modern-day Berlin but insisting on living a rustic, "Sound of Music" existence in the newly-reunited German state. The father, Hermann, had a prosthetic leg that he was always misplacing to hilarious effect. The mother had a withered hand. Their two teenage twins, Anna and Anna, were beautiful and promiscuous despite large birthmarks that covered much of their faces. And there was a parakeet who only spoke in badly-translated American gangsta-rap idioms (sample: "fuckamotha"), a constant reminder of the encroaching modern world.

Despite this fertile material, inspiration was less than forthcoming. So I rallied the writers for a late-night break in a local Berlin S&M club. For those of you who haven't had the pleasure, Berlin is to the S&M underground what Bern is to holey cheese and multipurpose knives. Our hostess, Dame auf der Mensch, was quite accommodating, letting us pull up some chairs and observe one of Berlin's highest-paid corporate raiders being humiliated by a buxom dominatrix with an oversize ping-pong paddle and riding crop. After two hours of watching the submissive's near-constant paddling, I broke out a box of pens and yellow legal pads.

The episode "Hermann's Been a Bad Boy" was furiously scribbled at our table amidst the repeated cries of the submissive's safety-word (which was, incidentally, too filthy to be printed in this space). In this seminal script, Hermann mistakenly enters an S&M club while looking for some birdseed for his parakeet. Once inside the club, Hermann discovers that a healthy dose of discipline is quite to his liking; it gives him time to forget how his traditional world is eroding -- that is until he discovers that he's being paddled by Anna and Anna, who are unexpectedly unmasked in classic, screwball fashion.

"Hermann's Been a Bad Boy" was later nominated for the show's only Günther, the German equivalent of the Cable Ace Award.

I still have the riding crop. It was a gift from Dame auf der Mensch, whom I took to the Günther ceremony. Later that evening I didn't even have to use my safety word.

Wednesday, April 16, 2003


Bob Wednesday: Once Again, With Feeling

OK, fearless readers, Total Fucking Victory has finally been deployed at Bob from Accounting. Click on the logo to go there.

And just in time for the apparent end of the war.

If there is any doubt that Total Fucking Victory is responsible for the swift fall of the 'Dad, let those misgivings go now like a magnificent flock of doves with heat-seaking missiles strapped to their backs.

Tuesday, April 15, 2003


Audited Faster Than You Can Say Take Down Your Pants Dept.

Death and taxes, death and taxes. If I hear this one more time today, I am going punch a kitten in the face and scowl at some orphans.

At least with death -- in your more common, Judeo-Christian belief systems -- you're going to get something, harps and clouds and dancing, or perhaps three prongs' worth of hot pitchfork in your eternal hindquarters. That's something. If you avoid organized religion, you can probably even avoid contributing directly into the salvation/damnation fund.

And if you don't subscribe to the above newsletters, then death and taxes are going to get you the exact same amount of nothing. It should be noted that I consider vital social services, many of which I don't personally benefit from, to be nothing.

Which is why I've decided not to pay taxes. Haven't you heard the commercials on the radio, the one where that guy tells you that there's no law that requires that we pay taxes? I didn't look into it any further than flipping the station several times at an interminably slow stoplight, but it sounded like a sound idea to me.

The considerable fortune I've amassed in the last fiscal year has been tax-proofed by a crack team of CPAs, money launderers, and bank officers of unnamed-but-politically-neutral-countries-that-make-really-cool-knives-and-may-be-located-in-Western-Europe.

There are tax shelters within loopholes within workarounds like the most maddeningly tiny Russian nesting dolls.

There are stacks of green stuffed in the fine Posture-Pedic mattresses of certain female acquaintances of mine scattered across the continental United States.

There are offshore accounts in locales so exotic that good taste dictates that I don't mention them.

There is creative red ink in the ledgers of motion picture studios and major-league baseball teams.

There is at least one Lincoln Town Car circling Sioux City, Iowa, with a trunk laden with duffel bags overflowing with gold bullion.

There is a meager, non-interest-bearing savings account in a local credit union.

Of course, until the heat of tax season dies down, I will be famously subsisting on tuna fish sandwiches and vodka. My lifestyle will be self-consciously austere, except for when the occasion demands an extravagant outlay of cash.

How is that thumb in your eye feeling, Mr. Internal Revenue Service?

Death and taxes, death and taxes.

Friday, April 11, 2003


Movie of the Week Dept.

Today, NBC announced that they are going to make a TV movie about the rescue of American POW Jessica Lynch, with or without her family selling them the rights to the story.

Yes, they wanted me to write it.

Not five minutes had passed after the story hit the news wire before my phone rang with a roomful of NBC suits on the line.

You have to do it, they said. You've spent time in the 'Dad. You know what's up. You will keep it real and raw. It will be heartwarming-yet-edgy in your capable hands.

Calibrate me, I said to the Head Suit in Charge. I don't change my underwear for less than Angelina Jolie.

She'll never do TV, they said. How about that girl from "Felicity?"

I assured them that If they mentioned someone that had even heard of the WB, I was going to march up to Burbank and give each of them a dancing frog colonoscopy. I was not feeling particularly poetic. Bring me Swank, I said.

She's poison right now, they said. Has anyone seen "The Core?"

Point taken. I didn't even bring up Winona. I had no intention of being accused of falling into that rut again. Besides, I have it on good authority that she's back to playing groupie, and it probably won't be long until she stars in another grainy Exhibit A retail movie. Which is hot, but this was business.

Get me Katie Holmes and I'll forget you ever mentioned Tori Spelling, I said. Yes, the WB thing, but the only way to deal with these network weasels is to constantly contradict yourself --they'll start to lose track and agree to anything you say. To whit:

Done, they said.

Good, I said.

One more thing, I said. I want Gere to do the voice of her talking tiger.

We wouldn't have it any other way, they said.

And also, I play myself in the scene where I rescue PFC Lynch from her sultry, cat-suit wearing female prison guard, where the three-way breaks out like penny candy from a shattered piñata. No body doubles, real Redi-Whip, not the off-brand shit.

Did it yesterday, they said.

I should probably tell you that I don't write TV movies, I told them.

A slight pause. Of course you don't, they said. For less than US$XXX,XXX.

A gentleman never talks numbers in public.

I hung up. They already know that the dial tone is my signing on the dotted line.

This went a lot smoother than the deal I'd made with CBS the day before, with Tony Shaloub as disappeared Iraqi Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf.

Rest assured, there is no Redi-Whip in that one.

But strangely, there is a rescue scene involving yours truly, a cat-suited Iraqi vixen prison guard, and Katie Holmes.

Some ruts I don't mind so much.

Thursday, April 10, 2003


Where Is She Now? Special

After my brief satellite phone conversation with Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf, I wondered aloud, "What ever did happen with Winona Ryder?"

Many of you have wondered the same thing.

There was a time when you couldn't get through one post on this site with that name popping up, say, two or three times, often in a sexually suggestive context.

The short answer: she hasn't stolen anything recently (at least not that we are publicly aware of), which made her dangerous. And we all know that I am drawn to dangerous women like an angry, looting mob to an Iraqi storefront. Less danger, less Winona.

But she's been completing her 480 hours of community service with the proverbial flying colors. Was there any doubt she would?

And I, as has been well-documented in this space, have been jetting off to the war zone to bring you the finest English-language front-line reporting available on the Web.

I've been busy, she's been busy. People have lives to live. Let's not read too much into this.

Her picture is still in rotation on the front-page animated WFOoBH GIF. Things are fine, really.

You think that there's trouble in paradise, do you? Have you noticed that there's a war being fought on several 24-hour cable news channels? Did you miiss the stunning image of Saddam's great big statue being toppled this morning?

There are so many more things to be concerned about than the seemingly-declining level of Winona coverage on this site. Cyclones are tearing through Australia, scattering kangeroos like psychological warfare pamphlets. A mysterious plague with an ominous, sci-fi badguy acronymnic name is wiping out every single human life in Asia and is being spread across the globe in the Petri dish of pressurized airplane cabins.

And yet you persist in knowing what's up with everyone's favorite doe-eyed ingenue.

Doe-eyed ingenues and esteemed authors of The Greatest Blog in the World grow apart. Shit happens.

Maybe it's that I can't quite look her in the eye after 480 hours served in a hospital, passing out bedpans and testing the tensile strength of lime-green jello, pushing delighted codgers around in wheelchairs, squealing "Wheeeeeee!" and after having a phalanx of shift-nurses and candy stripers falling hopelessly in love with her the way that all of America did after "Beetlejuice" and before "Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael."

Maybe it's that I've forgotten how to talk to her, the way that we did when she'd drop by with a couple of bags from Saks or Fred Segal, brimming with casmere and security tags and without a sales slip for miles and miles.

Maybe it's that I've forgotten how to care since wading through the rubble in the 'Dad.

Maybe it's that I've moved on.

Maybe because it's really badass to drop a hot celebrity just when she's two clicks to the left of the radar screen.


Tuesday, April 08, 2003


The Information Dept.

I could hardly believe what I was seeing. The Iraqi Information Minister, Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf, proclaiming that Saddam's troops were repulsing our "international gang of criminal bastards" from the streets of Baghdad.

I've been in the 'Dad, and I've sent underqualified, underpaid people to the 'Dad to take my place for fear of a friendly bomb falling on my delicate head, and I can tell you: there is nothing but Total Fucking Victory as far as the eye can see.

I had to hail this guy on the satellite horn as quickly as possible For those of you less versed in the jargon of the military apparatus than my battle-tested self, the "horn" is war talk for a telephone.

It should go without saying that al-Sahaf took my call immediately. He had to put Uday on hold, but he was willing to take the chance at jilting Saddam's favorite Caligula-worshipping offspring.

al-Sahaf: "Hello, is this pig-dog American evil hero Internet journalist?"

Bunsen: "Did you just call me a hero?"

al-Sahaf: "I did no such thing."

Bunsen: "I was just calling to ask you how the war was going."

al-Sahaf: "Things could not be better. The Iraqi people are moments from victory. We have captured thousands of American soldiers, donned their uniforms, and have nearly liberated Baghdad."

Bunsen: "Aren't you fighting to keep Baghdad?"

al-Sahaf: "That is what you are supposed to think. We will occupy the city with our American solider impostors, roll through with American tanks, fly the American flag above the rubble of our one-hundred presidential palaces. We will then occupy the nation for two years, take a stab at installing a Western-friendly democratic government, and eventually reinstall an autocratic regime once the West loses interest. Everything is going according to plan. Did you hear that we captured Saddam Airport?"

Bunsen: "I thought it was pretty clear that the coalition controls the airport."

al-Sahaf: "The coalition, or Iraqi soldiers pretending to be coalition forces?"

Bunsen: "The coalition."

al-Sahaf: "Exactly."

Bunsen: "Let's pretend for a moment that I understand you. Aren't you worried that by revealing your plans to me that the entire supposed ruse will fail?"

al-Sahaf: "That is exactly what you are supposed to think. Everything is going according to plan."

Bunsen: "I have a headache. I need to go."

al-Sahaf: "No one will believe you. You write lies. Do you think that anyone believes that you have ever been within a whore's mustache of a supermodel sandwich?"

Bunsen: "Of course they do."

al-Sahaf: "After we win the war, which will be very soon, Winona Ryder is going to invite me to bend her over a pool table while you are forced to watch, chanting 'Here is your Total Fucking Victory, biatch.'"

Bunsen: "Indeed."

al-Sahaf: "And Angelina Jolie is going to diddle herself as I triumph over Winona again and again,"

[There is a deafening blast, then much commotion from al-Sahaf's end of the phone connection.]

Bunsen: "What was that?"

al-Sahaf: "That was the sound of my American-impostor troops dropping a bunker buster on my compound. Impressive, no?"

Bunsen: "I better let you go."

al-Sahaf: "I must go and prepare the ticker-tape parade that is going to envelop Baghdad in the confetti of victory within hours."

Bunsen: "Well, I better go and warm up Winona for you."

al-Sahaf: "Whatever."

I was briefly put on hold. A Muzak version of "We Are The Champions" played. Then, abruptly, I was disconnected.

I still can't get that song out of my head.

Monday, April 07, 2003


Never Send Someone with a 2.1 GPA to Do a Man's Job Section

With the recent tragic deaths of several American journalists on the Iraqi war front, I wasn't about to go and spend another weekend in the 'Dad.

But the New York Times has a way of being, shall we say, persuasive. In the form of an absurd per diem, an expense account that would make Condy Rice panty-drop faster than a bethonged extra in a Jay-Z video, and a guarantee of my dispatch's placement above the fold on the massive Sunday edition.

How could I say no?

I was certainly in the mood to cash a substantial NYT check. The subwoofer in the back of my Escalade is starting to sound a little muddy, a problem easily solved by throwing some hazard pay at it.

So I decided to enlist a practice long revered by our government's favorite sons: I paid someone from a lower economic strata to take my place on the front line. I couldn't risk my Ivy League Quality education in the line of tracer fire two straight weekends, wouldn't run the risk of being collaterally damaged by a smart bomb that woke up feeling a little slow that evening, deciding that a hookah-filled tavern bore a striking resemblance to a piece of the Iraqi telecommunications infrastructure. I sent a cub reporter with an eminently expendable state-school diploma to the 'Dad in my stead.

And yes, I paid him some money. I got the feeling that he would have done it for free as long as he got internship credit, but I do have morals.

"Jimmy" departed on the first flight to the newly-captured Freedom International Airport (formerly known as Saddam Int'l). He spent the weekend in the 'Dad, just as I would have if I didn't have this celebrity roast of Jimmy Carrey to attend to (I was caustic, filthy, brilliant, soused).

Apparently, my embedded placeholder never made it past the newly-installed TGI Friday's in Freedom International's Terminal A. Following is my ghostwritten dispatch from the 'Dad during some of the hairiest fighting of the Total Fucking Victory campaign, which arrived in my hands by Express Diplomatic Pouch with the telltale stains of Extreme Buffalo Wing sauce smudged over its handwritten pages (apparently Jimmy couldn't figure out the e-mail):

BAGDAD, Iraq -- I can't believe that I'm in Iraq. I know that I was just here last weekend, fucking beating up Dan Rather and Tom Brokaw, but it's me and I'm really back in Bagdad. There's a war going on here.

And I am so fucking drunk I can't see the men shooting their guns and the tanks look all blurry as Total Fucking Victory rolls all over these crazy towelheads. I think that I may also be fucked up on some kind of drug that is making me surly and horny.

I was getting a blowjob from Diane Sawyer in the back of a Hummer (there's a reason they call these things Hummers, if you get my drift, ha ha) when I got a call from my best friend, Tom Hanks. I had to tell him that I was a little busy what with Diane Sawyer servicing my knob, but I told him to make sure he called Harrison Ford to tell him what I was doing. Meanwhile, people were shooting at each other only feet away and shit was blowing up, and I was getting a blowjob in the middle of a real war, isn't that fucked up?

I am so badass.

After Diane Sawyer cleaned up, my cellphone rang. It was George W, Bush. Mr. Bushie asked me how the war was going. I told him that things were blowing up all over the place and he laughed. He said that he told them to do that. Then there was something about oil prices going down in a couple of months but I wasn't listening because all of the sudden Ann Coulter showed up in Army fatigues and no bra and started making out with me. I hung up on Mr. Bushie so I could hook up with Ann Coulter.

Later, I was back at the bar and I got into a fight with Walter Kronkite because he doesn't like the Lakers. I kicked his old ass and told him he should have retired twenty years ago and that Shaq is a badass. Then I did a some coke and things got really hairy. I fell asleep in one of the booths until some MP's grabbed me and put my ass back on a transport to the States.

Fuck, I love Bagdad.

I suppose you get what you pay for.

The Times still ran the piece, but in the Op-Ed B-list ghetto. I have a feeling I'm going to have to make a return trip to the 'Dad to get back on Page One where I belong.

But my subwoofer is pumpin' like an oil derrick blasting out 10,000 barrels of crude per day.

Thursday, April 03, 2003


A Mouthful of Sand and an Assful of Combat Boot Dept.

Geraldo Rivera thrown out of Iraq

NBC, MSNBC, National Geographic fire Peter Arnett

Is it coincidence that in the two days following my weekend trip to the 'Dad and subsequent scrap with peripatetic journalists Peter Arnett and Geraldo Rivera, one has been pink-slipped from three networks and the other's been ejected from the entire country, headed stateside for a fresh round of vault-hunting?

Let it be known:

You fuck with Bunsen, you get the horns.

Dan Rather -- One more countrified turn of phrase and you might find yourself on the first hayride to the unemployment line, you dig?

Peter Jennings -- You're aboat to get your Canadian anchor ass cross-checked back to America Lite.

and Harrison Ford -- Well, you already know the score.

[I don't know what's up with the Bob from Accounting site. It'll happen eventually.]

Wednesday, April 02, 2003


Welcome to Bob Wednesday

Today, the Total Fucking Victory campaign rolls over Bob From Accounting like an Abrams tank over a shack full of Iraqi grandmothers possibly waiting to sneak-attack a sympathetic American G.I.

I suggest that you get on the bandwagon before it reaches capacity to avoid a similar fate beneath the treads of Total Fucking Victory.

New Total Fucking Victory merchandise to be dropped in the coming weeks, provided hostilites continue that long:
--Total Fucking Victory diary (with lock to keep out prying eyes)
--Total Fucking Victory pogs
--Total Fucking Victory edible boxer-briefs
--and much more!

So click on over to Bob and be reminded of the three little words that are hotter than a burning oilfield or the smoldering rubble of a freshly-dozed bedouin camp.

[If the Bob hasn't been updated yet, wait a little while. It will happen today.]

About this site

This is the internet home of Mark Lisanti, a Los Angeles writer sometimes known as Bunsen. He is the founding editor of Defamer, a weblog about Hollywood, where he now serves in the nebulous capacity of "editor-at-large."
If You Like Bunsen, Then You'll Love Bunsen