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Friday, October 31, 2003


If You Count This Heading, I've Said "Fun-Size" Twice

I do not "blog," and I certainly do not "link" to other's content. But today I am riding a mildly hallucinogenic sugar high from gorging myself on Circus Peanuts in preparation for tonight's trick-or-treating with Haley Joel Osment (details to follow early next week), and thus am feeling generous.

Rob Diener is the funniest part-time pizza delivery person on the internet. He's a "funnyman's funnyman," which means that no one but me knows that he exists. Go read his stupid site*, but remember where your bread is buttered and come back to Bunsen once you have sampled some of his fun-size paganism.

[*I must somehow devalue his achievements because everyone knows that what we do is a zero-sum game. Or is it a tragedy of the commons? I can never keep those straight.]

Thursday, October 30, 2003


All Hallowed

In honor of tomorrow's celebration of the profoundly evil pagan celebration of Halloween, I offer the following brief rumination/passion play in which I describe events in my life that are similar to goings-on in "The O.C."

My adolescence was filled with episodes (unfortunate word choice is mine) in which a taller, more handsome, older bully would pretend to listen to my reasoned attempts at conflict resolution before sucker punching me in the breadbasket and whisking away the object of my affection.

Thanks, Dad, for toughening me up. I know now that I probably would never have scored with Mom. But she was definitely vibing me.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003


The List that Burns

Southern California is burning.

But you already knew that. Odds are it's some sort of divine retribution for Scary Movie 3's historic opening, Madonna's children's book, or Oprah declaring Mike Myers a genius.

How to Tell that You May Be a Victim of Southern California's Wildfires

--You are in Washington, DC, begging for disaster relief aid, but yet still preoccupied with the disturbing, harsh right angles of your wife's face.

--Your local news truck is charred by the roadside, preventing you from establishing the satellite feed of the water-skiing squirrel doing his thing on a lake of flame.

--The burning sensation that is usually confined to the space between your cartoon mouse pants and your flesh is now most definitely originating from the bonfire on the exterior of your cartoon mouse pants.

--Your favorite coke mirror is caked in ash, and you really fucking hate having to wipe the fucking thing off every damn morning before you can get your fucking day started.

--The triple-reinforced earthquake stilts on your house have become $2.5 million tiki torches.

--As you cower in your fireproof storm cellar you realize that Brad Pitt really is a shitty actor and perhaps you shouldn't have committed 18 mil plus gross points for his portrayal of a man with no face whose shirt stays on for the entire picture.

--You wonder why Dr. Phil is wearing a funny hat and raincoat and continually gesturing to a burning tree with an axe. Also, he has apparently shaved his moustache and lost fifty pounds.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003


From Humble Beginnings Dept.

After a private screening some months ago of HBO's "Born Rich," a documentary detailing the trials and tribulations of New York society brats gagging on their silver spoons, their executives approached me to participate in a companion film, "Noovo Reesch." HBO tabbed me and other up-by-their-bootstraps types who achieved obscene wealth despite the handicap of attending private schools with no boarding provisions and smallish endowments to describe the trials and tribulations of how we arose from meager beginnings to cavort in piles of cash like children in freshly raked leaves.

The following are excerpts from my sections of "Noovo Reesch:"

[Bunsen reclines on a white leather sofa as grainy home movies of him as a child play on a loop on the 85-inch plasma TV on a nearby wall. The childhood clips invariably depict him destroying piles of toys.]

Bunsen: People in Southern California can't relate to this, but summers on the East Coast are like totally fucking brutal. Out here they all take for advantage their backyard pools, the perfect weather. Nobody in New York has their own pool. Who wants to strain out crap falling off the trees all autumn? On those muggy days, we all had to schlep to the neighbor's club. My parents never bothered joining one. It's so much easier to be a guest. Like, way easier.

[Bunsen soaks in a hot tub in his Hollywood compound. He is alone. There are candles everywhere. Above the tub hangs an enormous picture of Bunsen having a soak with four buxom women. Above the tub in the picture is a different picture, this one of Bunsen soaking in a hot tub in the company of three buxom women. ]

Bunsen: Money doesn't change people. People change people. Yeah, I've got money. I've got more, you know, things. A big fucking car. This hot tub isn't even my favorite. Did money change me? I'm a lot more relaxed now that I have these hot tubs, I can tell you that. Nothing like a little soaky-soak, brother. What was that bit about people changing people? Yeah, let's go with that.

[Bunsen is splayed on the hood of a black Hummer H2. He wears an orange velour tracksuit and one of those helmets that holds two cans of beer with a drinking tube running out of them. Instead of beer cans, one side holds a can of Red Bull and the other a bottle of Grey Goose. He manipulates a joystick that's steering a radio-controlled Mini Cooper that does lazy laps around the Hummer. A Von Dutch pirate hat adorns his head.]

Bunsen: You see, it's like this: I won't let my grooming nurse roll me over to wipe my ass for less than 50 grand a week for a rewrite, dig? Genius isn't for sale, but you can lease it on favorable terms. William Goldman said that. Gross points talk louder than words. Open big or you're on the first bus back to Kansas, back at your hostess gig at the Wichita Olive Garden. I'm not talking in general, I'm talking to you with the camera. Hey. Hey! I told you never to shoot me in profile! I know you're just gonna edit this to make me look like a prick. Go ahead, shoot the huge prick in fucking profile. I shall over-motherfucking-come!

Thursday, October 23, 2003


Obituary Dept.*

Wherein a Harried Fact Checker, a Copy Editor on Deadline, and the AP Newswire Meet With Predictably Wacky Results

Singer-Songwriter Elliott Smith Dead at 34

LOS ANGELES -- Elliott Smith, the critically-acclaimed singer-songwriter whose dark, folk-tinged songs from the film "Good Will Hunting" were nominated for an Academy Award, died from an apparently self-inflicted knife wound Wednesday. He was 34.

Smith was frequently referred to by the nickname "Rerun," after the character he played on the late 1970's television sitcom "What's Happening?" His trademark red beret and high-spirited, hopping-and-knee-slapping "Rerun dance" belied a lifetime struggle with drug and alcohol addiction and clinical depression. He was fired from his guest-starring role on the pioneering urban sitcom "Good Times," where he portrayed the janitor/troubadour known only as "Bookman," when he "inappropriately touched' a teenaged Janet Jackson (then a regular on the series) while in the throes of a manic episode. A subsequent blacklisting because of his addiction problems left Smith unable to find acting work until he served a stint replacing Nell Carter on "Gimme a Break" while she secretly battled her own dependency demons at a recovery facility in rural Colorado.

Close friends and associates of Smith revealed that he had recently returned to his small apartment in the Silver Lake district of Los Angeles after a tumultuous marriage to the entertainer Liza Minelli disintegrated. The cancellation of a reality TV show based on their relationship put a strain on their fledgling marriage, resulting in a physical altercation in which Minelli reportedly struck Smith following one of his L.A. club dates, friends said. Smith filed divorce papers and a $10 million suit against Minelli, alleging a pattern of abuse which left him unable to record a follow-up to his critically-heralded album "Figure 8." A source close to Smith revealed that the versatile musician planned to represent himself in the legal proceedings, even claiming to have seen his rambling opening remarks on the nature of "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth."

Smith was found collapsed among hatboxes full of red berets and a pile of promotional photographs signed "Love, Rerun" by longtime friend and "What's Happening?" and "What's Happening Now?" co-star Haywood Nelson shortly after Smith had filed the lawsuit.

Despite the urging of this reporter, Nelson declined to offer "Hey, HEY, hey" as a comment, explaining that "passing off marginally famous sitcom characters and catchphrases as humor in a time of great sorrow is tasteless, unimaginative, and perhaps worst of all, hacky." Nelson shook his head somberly and continued, "You're probably dying to slip in a 'ghost of' joke, unless you've already managed to work in Nell Carter before this point. Or how about a pointless, nonsensical, reaching-feebly-at-surrealism-to-justify-your-parents-overpaying-for-private-school reference to Charlemagne?"

Bunsen: Oh, now, that's really unfair.

Nelson: Does the truth hurt, "funnyboy?"

Bunsen: I can totally hear the quotes around "funnyboy."

Nelson: Well, I was doing the air quotes with my fingers.

Bunsen: Fair enough.

Nelson: Maybe you'd be better off with a nice list of things based on a flimsy comic premise that goes on way too long.

Bunsen: Sounds like you read this site frequently.

Nelson: My publicist sends me clips.

Bunsen: Surely you realize that this very conversation is indulging exactly the type of imagined dialogue with a kitschy semi-celebrity that inspired your righteous anger.

Nelson: And it's not helping with your self-deprecating, meta-posturing commentary as a substitute for an original or funny thought.

Bunsen: Hey, HEY, hey.

Nelson: Stop that.

Bunsen: Hey, HEY hey.

Nelson: Fuck it. I'm off to pretend that I'm having sex with just about every halfway attractive actress in Hollywood. Oh, wait. That's you.

Bunsen: I know Harrison Ford. Harrison Ford is a friend of mine. And Haywood, you are no Harrison Ford. (A long pause) Hey HEY hey.

Nelson: This conversation is over.

[*We all mourn in our own ways, so I don't want to hear it. And people just keep on dying', you know?]

Wednesday, October 22, 2003


Countdown to the Call from the Volkswagen Advertising People Dept.

Elliott Smith kills himself.

It seems so unfair that John Mayer has such a sunny disposition and optimistic outlook on life.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003



In case anyone cares, and I know you do unless you arrived here by Google search for, say, "most sexiest women in the world with picture" you'll be delighted to know that The Great Broadband Blackout of 2003 has ended.

But you knew that already, didn't you?


Reality TV is My Slop, and You Know I'm a Filthy Pig

I know that the small, shivering community that has formed around the cozy fire that is The Greatest Blog in the World is breathlessly waiting for me to hold forth on "The Next Joe Millionaire." I'd love to, but nothing happened on its maiden voyage other than:

1. Foreign chicks giggling uncontrollably when they found out that Mr. Perfect Hunky Rich Guy was, of all things, a cowboy, and do we really even have those in America anymore? (And before you, Mr. Small-minded American Noncowboy, laugh at their accents or sometimes clumsy engage grammar, I ask you: how good is your Netherlandish?)

2. Next Joe Millionaire/Authentic Struggling Cowpoke and Woody Harrelson doppelgänger David Smith (couldn't FOX have dropped in on their local hemp rally and actually gotten Woody?) in various states of undress from the belt up, talking to an Italian horse with the improbably English name of Hurricane.

My fearless, 100% accurate prediction on "The Next Joe Millionaire's" big twist: Wrangler model David Smith is revealed to be as gay as Liberace's Thursday evening alligator-skin thong. If the lingering shots of his six pack weren't enough, the floofy terrier should have been as good a tipoff as four fabulous buddies who hoot, roll their eyes, and upturn everything in my apartment.

I suppose we can discuss this further once something actually happens on the show.

In the meantime, we can look forward to other things FOX has planned to continue its odd vendetta against the people of Europe:

--Renaming the Macarena "The Bennifer" and shipping it back to Munich nightclubs. The repurposed dancefloor scourge is instantly huge in Barcelona hotspots, decried in Paris as American cultural imperialism, and mocked nightly as a punchline in Jay Leno monologues.

--Annexing the Sudetenland, but with that trademarked outrageous, ballsy FOX attitude. The network televises UN appeasement talks and repeatedly cuts away from the diplomatic action to jittery close-ups of the teen stars of "Skin" and "The OC," who are conspicuously peppered throughout the gallery.

--Unveiling the midseason reality TV smash, "When Rupert Murdoch Defecates on an Oil Painting of the Royal Family"

As you can see, FOX has its hands full these days.

Monday, October 20, 2003


Everyone Will Be Calling Their Coverage "Out of the Box," So Why Shouldn't I?

David Blaine has my nose. He sits across from me in his London hospital room, withered from his heroic, forty-four day stay in a plexiglass box suspended over the Thames during which he survived on nothing but an intravenous supply of water, my nose clenched firmly between the index and middle fingers on his right hand.

"It all just got me thinking, you know? About life and what the human body can endure," he says, and lightly tugs at the tube still attached to his nose with his left hand. My attention immediately shift back to his other hand, which still clutches my nose.

"The human body is like, you know, the most incredible machine God ever made. And what do machines need to run? Fuel. And what's the fuel that covers the earth? Water. So I thought that I could, you know, like reduce everything to machine and fuel, and just live like that. You know?" His eyes meet mine; they've often been described as bedroom eyes, penetrating, truth-seeking. But I think they're more like a drunken night crashing on your friend's fold-out couch in the living room, the metal support bar disallowing any attempts at comfort and protracted rest. I break their pull and watch as he takes my nose and pushes it halfway through a quarter, his gaze never leaving me.

"It was just me and the box, you know? And all those people watching me, but I was alone, doing my thing, testing myself and being alone high above a crowd," he says, absently conjuring a deck of playing cards from somewhere in his hospital gown. "There was nothing but love, man, you know? All those people watching me be alone, and I felt nothing but love radiating up toward me." He fans the cards across the tray in front of him, and I reflexively pick one and turn it over. It's my nose on the one-eyed jack. I just nod and return the card with my nose to the deck. I notice somehow my nose has jumped back into his right hand.

"And forty-four days, man. I calculated that's how long I could do this for. I'd be dead at forty-five, you know? And you know what else?" I shake my head. A nurse enters the room and changes the bag for his IV drip. He points a finger at her. She unbuttons her blouse. I barely notice her lacey bra, as there's my nose, etched onto her ivory stomach in charcoal. She buttons up her blouse, straightens a few items at his bedside, and stands by the window. "People don't know this, but Jesus was actually out in the desert for forty-four days before the Devil tempted him. The translation everyone reads is wrong, man, you know? That guy with the cheeseburger in the little helicopter? That was the Devil on a bun, man, the devil hanging out on a little whirligig, tempting me. And I said no, I have to do my time. Just me and the box, you know?"

I nod. I realize that I'm breathing a bit heavier than normal, more deeply and with a slight wheeze, because it's all through my mouth. I look to his right hand for the nose. It's not there. He nods knowingly and weakly gestures to the nurse. Sec draws back the curtain. A nose is painted onto the side of the building across from us.

It's not mine.

I tell him so. He looks sad, just for an instant, disappointment flickering across his face like the shadow of a telephone pole inside a fast-moving car. He coughs. Then coughs again. And again, the rattling in his chest getting louder, wetter. I signal for the nurse, but she doesn't move. His coughing fit continues to intensify. I expect his tray to be covered in blood, his test of the boundaries of human endurance to end tragically a few feet from my astonished eyes, my noseless face.

There is one final cough. There is no blood. Something lands with a wet plop on the tray. He picks it up.

"Is this your nose?" he asks.

It is, I tell him.

"It's a beautiful thing, man, the human body, you know?"

I can only nod, knowing with every fiber of my being how beautiful as I push my nose back onto my face.

How beautiful indeed.

Friday, October 17, 2003



I am still basking in the afterglow of the Greatest Ball Game Ever Played.

Since the skin-of-the-teeth, soul-crushing-everything-northeast-of-Greenwich-Connecticut Yankees victory over the Red Sox, the world has certainly changed for the better. I barely have the time to surface for breath in the middle of a pile of high quality, "we're just trying to make it in Hollywood, but this is certainly not a permanent career choice" exotic dancers who were willing to celebrate a New York win, gratis, to note improvements wrought since Aaron Boone's home run landed in the left field stands at Yankee Stadium:

Several niggling forms of cancer were miraculously cured, and herpes sufferers were granted permanent relief from symptomatic outbreaks while retaining the ability to whitewater raft and kayak.

ESPN baseball guru Peter Gammons' jowels were tightened and hair darkened, releasing him from a Dorian Gray relationship with the twenty dollar bill portrait of Andrew Jackson.

China's fledgling space program, inspired by the pluck of Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, has already colonized the moon, declaring every day Chinese New Year and installing California Governor Elect Arnold Schwarzenegger as its Emperor.

North Korea has disbanded its nuclear weapons program and devoted all of its scientific resources to building a robotic, tiger-proof exoskeleton for hero Vegas entertainer Roy Horn.

Pedro Martinez, bound, gagged, and set adrift on an ice floe in Boston Harbor with Rue McClanahan in the midst of a hot flash, finally learned something about humility and respect for his elders. (I believe this involves being grabbed by his ears in a poetic inversion of his Game 3 dance with Don Zimmer.)

If you don't mind, I must now return to my celebration. I'm told that some of my companions plan to drink champagne from certain areas of my anatomy that would appear to be quite ill-suited to that task.

Thursday, October 16, 2003


When in Doubt, Interview Something Dept.

Today marks Pope John Paul II's 25th anniversary as head of the billion-member Roman Catholic Church (actual non-lapsed membership: 12,462).

As is my wont, I hit the pontiff on his hip to reflect on his quarter of a century as spiritual leader of the Church.

Pope John Paul II: Hold on one minute, Cardinal, my shit's blowin' up. I can never figure out how to work this thing... Hello?

Bunsen: Holy Father, it's Bunsen.

PJP2: Good to hear from you. Have you cooled it on all the sex talk on your website? I've been a little under the weather, I haven't checked in a while.

Bunsen: I try, I try.

PJP2: For shame. But at least you try. What can I do for you, my son?

Bunsen: What do you think about all of this talk about you being, er, on your way out?

PJP2: I have no plans to depope.

Bunsen: What about the health problems?

PJP2: I'm going to let you in on a little secret: popes never die. We just float stories about bad health, step down, and hang out in the Vatican. John XXXIII does nothing but sit around in his tighty whiteys, forcing us all to watch "World's Strongest Man" reruns on ESPN. I haven't even seen "Coupling" yet. And don't get me started on the Borgias and the whirlpool bath.

Bunsen: How about those Cubbies?

PJP2: I would apologize to their fans, but this is the way He likes it. They should be used to it by now. There's a delicate balance in Creation, if the Cubs make the Series, 10,000 have to die in a Ugandan mudslide. He's tired of mudslides.

Bunsen: What about my Yankees?

PJP2: No comment.

Bunsen: Oh, shit. The Ferry?

PJP2: No comment.

Bunsen: Let's get back to depoping. If you decide to step aside, who would you like to see fill the hat?

PJP2: You're really putting me on the spot.

Bunsen: Just between you and me.

PJP2: Joe Torre and George Steinbrenner, as the first pope team.

Bunsen: You're kidding. I think you have playoff fever.

PJP2: What the Church needs now is a good cop/bad cop team that gets results.

Bunsen: Looking back on your 25 years as pope, what's been your greatest accomplishment?

PJP2: Offing Marilyn Monroe for despoiling a good Catholic boy. She was a wily one.

Bunsen: That was before your popedomship.

PJP2: Er, right. Then it has to be the IMAX theater I had put into the sacristy at St. Pete's Basilica. I just watched "Kill Bill" there last night. There's nothing like an 80-foot blood geyser in Dolby surround to get the heart pumping. But Uma Thurman's nose looks like a flying buttress on the big screen.

Bunsen: Thanks for the time, Father.

PJP2: Let's keep the Marilyn Monroe thing on the DL, dig?

Bunsen: You got it. It's like being in confession when you're talking to Bunsen.

PJP2: Peace out.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003


Mr. October Dept.

Baseball, I have said many times over, is the greatest sport known to man, with the possible exception of bedding frigid supermodels and watching as they slowly thaw under the glowing warmth of my seductive powers. But last time I checked, the latter is not televised. (Unless you count that unfortunate romp with a comely popcorn vendor in the centerfield hotel suite at the Skydome. I have since turned in my exhibitionist card after the interminable, syncopated repetition of "Boo-yah!"by Sportscenter anchor Stuart Scott to every thrust of my hips captured by their prying cameras. If it weren't for my trusty Robin mask, I'd be ruined.)

But I digress.

Last night the Chicago Cubs choked away a three-run lead with their best pitcher on the mound, a mere six outs away from their first World Series trip since the Battle of Hastings in 1066. This delayed one half of a possible Seventh Seal Series featured those lovable, hapless Cubbies and their diamond foils in futility, the profoundly evil Boston Red Sox, who dutifully capitulated to the New York Yankees. The Red Sox have suffered a similar drought in World Series championships, last winning when their ancestors in the English Imperial Rounders League, the Shropshire Long-Stockinged Dandies, at the high tea immediately following the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215.

Should the Cubs outlast the Florida Marlins (yes, Billy, there's a team in Florida -- actually, two) and the Red Sox rally to
beat the Yankees, it is quite likely that the existence as we know it will cease to exist. I can't tell you if it will be by fire or by ice, but I can assure you that the suffering of Cubs and Red Sox fans is the glue that tenuously holds together the fabric of our universe. I am not being melodramatic. I saw The End in a little-death vision at the conclusion of my first supermodel sandwich, and the melting faces of Sammy Sosa and Nomar Garciaparra haunt me still.

Please, Sox and Cubs, don't steam off the envelope glue of the infinite just to "Reverse the Curse*" or "Beat to Death the Billy Goat**." I like my life, and it would be much harder to enjoy my escapades if everything is reduced to primordial soup.

Go Yankees.

[*The Curse of the Bambino, incurred when the Red Sox sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees following their last World Series championship.]

[**The Curse of the Billy Goat, incurred when Ernie "Mr. Cub" Banks bedded a one-legged Southside Chicago prostitute nicknamed "the Billy Goat" after her signature sexual feat, which is far too filthy to describe here, but almost certainly involved pine tar, a weighted baseball bat donut, and a Polish sausage.]

Monday, October 13, 2003


Broadband Blackouts Can't Stop the List Dept.

In honor of "Kill Bill" running off with this weekend's box office crown...

How to Tell That Your Killer Pimp is Out to Ruin Your Wedding Day

--You've registered at Crate & Barrel but he insists on sending you a linen napkin set from the Pottery Barn

--He signs your guest book "I am going to rape and/or kill everyone in this room"

--He RSVP's three weeks late and forgets to mention the squad of vegetarian assassins he's bringing along, leaving you tragically short on meatless entr?Šes

--He insists on "turning out" whoever catches the bouquet immediately following the reception

--His intrusive yellow subtitles, lengthy voiceover, and nonchronological storylines make your wedding video popular with the critics but hard to follow for Joe Sixpack

--He sulks and threatens to cut anyone who refuses to participate in back-to-back performances of the "Hokey Pokey" and the "Chicken Dance" for ruining "his day"

--Walks off with the main table's floral centerpiece after bloodying you and leaving you for dead

[And given the events of the game on Saturday, why not have a looky-look at this little ditty about the Yankees and the Red Sox?]

Thursday, October 09, 2003


Thursday's Post Dept.

Excerpt from the diary of a celebrity-obsessed, egomaniacal semiautobiographical nonblogger trapped in Day 6 of The Great Los Angeles Broadband Blackout:

10/09/03: It's official. I've devolved into savagery, my id less unchecked that it is under normal circumstances. Have you heard about this Governor thing? I didn't until moments ago, right after I finished defecating into a three-week old copy of Entertainment Weekly, my only news source since the Blackout. I knew I became a savage at that moment, looking into the feces-streaked eyes of Gwyneth Paltrow, moments after biting my door-answering girl on the leg. I imagined the leg would be fatty and delicious since my abbreviated publishing schedule has led to fewer guests at the new Hollywood compound, and she's been lazing about. But I couldn't bring myself to break the skin. My last pang of superego aroused her, and we coupled over and over again under the flickering light of my computer workstation, the blank, white screen of my web browser taunting me with a reminder that I had no broadband. The white screen, the white screen. A polar bear in a blizzard? An albino lost in a cotton factory? The release was unfulfilling.

I've tried reading the acoustic version of the New York Times. No sooner do my eyes wander below the fold than I tear the pulp and newsprint salad with my teeth, lashing out at stale, day-old news.

This is my Inferno. I can count the pitchfork prongs jamming into in my haunch, see the beady eyes of disgraced Adelphia* chairman John Rigas licked with hellflame. He's laughing, whispering under his breath, "Can I interest you in a nice AOL account?" He throws his head back and bellows, "Have you heard that Winona Ryder was caught canoodling with Jack White this morning? No? BWAAAAAA HA HA HA!"

Not even four more soulless rounds with the door-answering girl can purge his laugh from my ears.

Maybe it's time to check into DSL availability. But I'm putting the phoneline to autoerotic use. I've found last month's issue of Vanity Fair.

[*My supposed broadband provider.]

Wednesday, October 08, 2003


The Morning After

It seems that Governor Elect Schwarzenegger, inspired by his victory, is truly contrite about his serial sexual harassment of women. He's replaced the electronic beeping noise when his Hummer backs up with a rape whistle.

God bless the great state of California.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003


Tragedy Has Two German Daddies

My referrer logs* have informed me that Google thinks this site is one of the leading sources for information on the Siegfried and Roy tiger-mauling tragedy. I haven't written about it other than an oblique (really, is they any other kind?) to it yesterday.

Since the tiger-mauling tragedy is still unfolding, I feel it's irresponsible to provide further information at this time. Tiger-mauling is a tricky business, very touch-and-go, and I would never try to influence Google's ranking algorithm by using that term repeatedly, especially by including the word "video" to attract gawkers who are too lazy to rewind their "Faces of Death' tapes.

This high-profile tragedy has overshadowed other tragic, animal-star related tragedies, shoving them into the recesses of our collective unconscious in the reflected gleam of Vegas sequins. Let us not forget:

--Grizzly Adams was sodomized by Gentle Ben during a three-legged race in a 1979 edition of Battle of the Network Stars

--The fourth Lassie (who turned out to be a feral collie from a local shelter substituted during a salary holdout) nipped Timmy on the scrotum (which resulted in a profound self-image problem in the dark days when prosthetic testicles were crudely fashioned from pine cones; leeches were also involved)

--Emmanuel Lewis was carried off by a hawk early in the second season of Webster, unharmed thanks to the heroic sharpshooting of Alex Karras

--A "Steamboat Willie"-era Mickey Mouse was swallowed whole by a cartoon lion, but vomited out fully intact. Unfortunately, Mickey contracted a rare circulatory diseased that shriveled his limbs and swelled his hands to triple their normal size.

--On the set of "Conan the Destroyer," Arnold Schwarzenegger cupped twelve engorged teats of a sow, calling it "Good, clean fun on the set that I somewhat regret"

[* Bunsen broadband update: Today's post originates from a Sunset Boulevard Starbucks, where I had to fake a seizure to obtain their WiFi password. I may or may not have claimed to contract the "falling sickness" from some turned cream in my latte.]

Monday, October 06, 2003


Monday, Monday Dept.

Take away my fleet of lime-green Oldsmobiles, take away a number of my first amendment rights, hell, rub some A-1 on half of Siegfried and Roy and sic a crazed white tiger on him. But, whatever Supreme Being or Prime Mover you believe in help you, don't take away my broadband.

There's a broadband outage at the New, Improved Hollywood compound. A team of technical support personnel assured me it was a problem on their end. But I suspect it was Harrison Ford's publicist (or Instapundit) cutting my cable line or releasing a powerful magnetic pulse from a black van outside Compound 2.0's wrought iron gate. She gets cranky when I don't mention him for an extended period.

Even more than a poolside foie gras plate at Brad and Jen's house, the internet is my lifeblood. Deprive me of my supply and I desiccate and abuse the help.

So I'm forced to resort to driving around town in my H2, my laptop sniffing for a free WiFi connection. I found a fortuitously unsecured connection outside Jennifer Connelly's house, where I wasn't scheduled to watch her come out for the morning paper for a couple of hours. Thanks to her, I'm able to post this modest update before completing my morning rounds at Ford's mansion, where I stand atop the Hummer and decry his recent box office performance with a megaphone. Sometimes I throw in a joke about Calista being unhealthily thin, often referencing a broom or mop handle.

That'll teach him to cut me off from my supply.

Friday, October 03, 2003


Friday Afternoon Bonus Post, Like an Extra Cookie Before Naptime

Other Creative Ways Arnold Schwarzenegger Has Sexually Harassed Women, But for Which He is Very Sorry

--Gallantly placing his jacket over a mud puddle to allow a woman to cross, then pulling away the jacket to reveal that the mud puddle was actually his exposed genitalia

--Whispering "I'll be your back door," to the craft service lady, then adding, "by that I mean attempting to have anal sex with you."

--Showing a campaign staffer the failed result of an attempt to have "Gubernatorial Monster" tattooed in henna on the steroid-ravaged remains of "Lil Arnold"

--Bawling crocodile tears while candidly admitting "I'm married to Maria Shriver, for Chrissakes, her face is all right angles!" before cupping a breast

--Concocting an elaborate innuendo drawing together a cigar, a Hummer, the recall election, his erection, the Terminator, his Austrian homeland, and for reasons not entirely clear to anyone, a Daschund

Thursday, October 02, 2003


A Note on the Publishing Schedule

The constant stream of outraged e-mail, instant messages, and diplomatic pouches have adequately expressed your feelings on my somewhat abbreviated publishing schedule. You have my permission to relent. The cinderblock through the window of my H2 (license plate "BIG [heart] HMMR") was not entirely unwelcome, as I was able to parlay the insurance claim into a DVD player inside the minibar.

I hate to delve into my personal life in this space. I'm a very private person. But by way of explanation for the stanch in the flow of Bunsen, I've been busy. I'm moving.

That's right, I'm abandoning the Hollywood compound. In fact, I'm trading it in for a slightly smaller Hollywood compound. This move to a incrementally more modest space has nothing to do with the incrementally slower stream of writing work I've been offered. I've merely grown weary of my footsteps echoing through the marble-floored hallways, the banisters rubbed dull by the gradual erosion of my buttocks gleefully gliding down them, the master bedroom with a planetarium-quality R. Kelly laser light show available at the touch of a button. It's time to get more intimate with my surroundings.

Unfortunately, this has led to a round of layoffs for my compound staff. The services of the in-house curator of my acclaimed porcelain tiger collection are no longer required. Feel free to retain her -- she's signed an ironclad nondisclosure agreement, her lips will spill no Bunsen tales. Fortunately, the new compound has plenty of doors, so my door-answering girl's head will not roll, except onto my shoulder following extracurriculars, boo-ya.

I could detail the other sacrifices I've made in the name of keeping my habitat intimate, but I don't need the laudatory e-mails validating my Buddha-like asceticism crowding out the crazed plaudits of you, my loyal readers.

I love you all (not so fast, Ford!), and thank you for understanding.

Last one in the slightly less cozy hot tub has to rub my shoulders!

Wednesday, October 01, 2003


Every Time I Link, a Shar-Pei has to Die

Batten down the hatches, cover the children's eyes, for I am about to "blog."

My aversion to "blogging" is well-documented. I simply don't link to other bloggers, for it is something akin to a Guantanamo Bay human rights violation to leave this site before you have savored every precious word that I've posted with very little thought.

But my old crony from my pre-conquering-Hollywood-like-a-bloodthirsty-Viking days in the New York Media Elite has opened shop on the Web. After you have read everything on this wonderful internet presence, feel free to check out ex-Gawker editrix (I don't even know what that word means) and current New York magazine scribe (I don't even know what that word means) Elizabeth Spiers at The Kicker, her new blog. I feel that she needs the hand-up that so many have given me, so my link will join those of roughly 16,000 other internet
suitors. Besides, she is probably the only person who looks better than me in black-and-white with a sweater draped over her shoulders.

There. I did it. I "blogged."

I feel dirty. I need to go gargle with Paris Hilton's tonsils. Or maybe the tonsils of the other one, because I don't particularly want to taste Brian Urlacher.


Stop Me Before I List Again...Too Late

Forbes magazine has just released its list of the ten healthiest sports. I won't keep you in suspense, squash topped the list. I could've told you that without the nagging egghead magazine journalism; the results of my weekly bloodsport squash round-robin tournament with Harvey Weinstein (solid rock underneath a deceptive flabby coating) and Dodi Al-Fayed (a devastating backhand unhampered by several pounds of gold jewelry) were Hollywood water-cooler staples for years (when Dodi dropped out for personal reasons, he was replaced by tragically miscast Dennis Miller, whose digressive and insistent play-by-play of our matches drove me from the courts like Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce over the Plains.) Rounding out the top ten were rowing, rock climbing, swimming, cross-country skiing, basketball, cycling, running, modern pentathlon, and boxing. I possess amusing-yet-improbable anecdotes involving celebrities for all of these sports, which I will refrain from disclosing due to space concerns. But I will tantalize you with the tableau of Mickey Rourke, Strom Thurmond, and yours truly scaling a rock-climbing wall in turn-of-the-century drag at Steven Spielberg's ranch outside of Malibu as I anticlimactically introduce the obligatory...

...list of the Ten Unhealthiest Sports*:

10. Prison Football League toe-touching
9. Caddying for Bob Hope moments before his expiration
8. Self-linking
7. Ride the Crossover Internet Celebrity Writer
6. Trying to stop Kobe Bryant from "taking it to the hole"
5. NFL combine two-a-day induced sunstroke/dehydration drills
4. Polo
3. The West Hollywood Sauna Narcoleptic Homophobe Games
2. Simpson spousal knife-catching (league disbanded 1995, joke found on back of Batman Forever movie ticket stub)
1. NBA millionaire bastard-siring with inadequate legal representation

[*or activities where it suits my list-compiling purposes.]

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