Part of my intention of starting this blog was to get people interested in my writing, as a means of ensuring my work reached a wider audience.
In an act of shameless self-promotion, I have decided to take my published stories and reprint them here (so long as the rights have reverted to me). For those who have been so gracious as to have read them already, please feel free to forward the link to others and help spur on my hopefully burgeoning literary career. I will be sure to thank you in my Nobel speech, or at least post "Thank you so much!" on your Facebook page. For those who have not read this story and enjoy it, please feel free to travel to the Fiction page and seek out those other stories I have been fortunate enough to have published.

(Quick note to prospective writers looking to get published in online publications: editors do respond to overstuffed envelopes of unmarked, non-consecutive 100 dollar bills.)

This story originally appeared in Opium Magazine in October 2008, and then again in December 2008 when it inexplicably disappeared from their archives.

As always, enjoy.

Height: 6’ ½”. Weight: 183. Age: never mind.

Number of bowls of cereal I’ve eaten: 893. Number of times I’ve smoked weed: 428.

Number of times I’ve stuck my tongue into an electrical socket: 5.
Number of times I’ve contemplated murder: 562.
Number of cups of coffee I’ve drank: 18,952.
Number of times I’ve shaved: 3,804.
Number of times I’ve brushed my teeth: 32,412.

Number of times I’ve washed my hair: 11,789. Number of cigarettes I’ve smoked: 167,475 ¼. Lucky number: 13. Number of times I’ve burned my fingers: 14. Number of times I’ve stapled my fingers: 6. Number of beers I’ve drank: 10,863.

Number of books I’ve read: 1,516. Number of times this will be compared to the Harper’s Review: 1,309.

Number of CD’s I owned: 716. Number of books I owned: 506. Number of films: 16. Number of keys on my last key ring: 34. Number of keys that I knew what they went to: 23. Number of keys that belonged to my stuff: 3.

Number of times I crashed a car: 8. Number of cars I stole: 103.

Number of cigars I smoked: 43. Number of hamburgers I’ve eaten: 6. Number of French fries: ???,???,???,???.

Number of times I’ve slept on the couch: 301. Number of times I’ve slept on the street: 36.

Number of times had sex on a couch: 75. Number of times I’ve had sex in the shower: 57. Number of times had sex: 892. Number of times I’ve been married: 4. Outside of Vegas: 2. Number of kids: 1… I think. Number of times I committed adultery: 16. Number of times divorced: 3; my fourth wife disappeared.

Number of times I’ve contemplated murder: 569. Number of times I’ve driven across country: 5. Number of times I’ve been on a train, not counting subways: 338.

Number of times I’ve lost a watch: 13. Number of times I’ve been in a fight: 83. Number of times I’ve been arrested: 26.

Number of times I’ve masturbated: 15,337. Number of times I’ve masturbated to Mary Tyler Moore: 534. Number of times I’ve gone skinny dipping: 17.

Number of times I’ve blown up a mailbox: 9 ½.

Number of times I’ve played chess: 1,389. Number of times I played chess before I got here: 189. Number of times I’ve watched the Super Bowl: XXIII. Number of times I’ve won the lottery: 3. Number of times I collected the money: 2.

Number of times I’ve held a gun: 8,906.

Number of times I’ve carried a briefcase: 16,902.

Number of letters in the longest word I know: 45 (pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis: written on the blackboard in my 8th grade English class. Don’t believe me? Count the letters yourself.).

Number of times I’ve ridden a bike: 1,936. Number of times I put baseball cards in the spokes: 58. Number of times I’ve ridden a roller coaster: 85. Number of pets I’ve had: 23. Number of dogs: 13. Number of times I’ve eaten a dog biscuit: 59. Number of times I’ve licked a battery: 35. Number of bikes I’ve stolen: 45. Number of times the spokes were removed in my bike wheels: 5. Number of times I knew who did it: 3.

Number of times Arnold Carson, the fat-assed kid I grew up with, beat me up: 86. Number of times I beat him up: 1. Number of times he beat me up, anyone beat me up, after that: zero. Number of times I’ve contemplated murder: 578. Number of times I’ve committed murder: 2. Number of times the government let me kill someone: at least 150. Number of languages I speak: 6. Number of times I’ve flown in an airplane: 308. Number of times I’ve flown out of the country: 216. Number of countries I’ve visited: 89. On vacation: 3. Number of Nobel Prizes I will win, one for peace, the other an as yet formed prize for being great: 2. Number of years I have left in here: 7 … or life.
A friend recently told me about her new iPod. I made an uncharacteristically sarcastic comment about her downloads being Perry Como, and duets between Engelbert Humperdinck and Ice Cube. And this was born this new game, and new post.

What are some of the strangest duets in music history?
Some nominees:
David Bowie and Bing Crosby - Little Drummer Boy
Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow
Aerosmith and Run DMC - at the time this was revolutionary; in 1986, no one thought rap and rock could co-exist.
Eminem and Elton John
The KLF and Tammy Wynette - Justified and Ancient

To take this to its logical conclusion, what are some of the greatest, strangest duets we would love to see, and what song would they sing? (The original artist has been added in parentheses.) Enjoy.

* Marilyn Manson and Amy Grant - Greatest Love of All (Whitney Houston) or Islands in the Stream (Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton)
* Hank Williams, Jr. and Dixie Chicks - My Way (Frank Sinatra)
* Flava Flav and Jordin Sparks (Sinatra was the first choice, but he's dead) - You Light Up My Life (Debby Boone) or We Don't Have to Take Our Clothes Off to Have a Good Time (Jermaine Stewart)
* William Shatner and Barry Manilow - Detachable Penis (King Missile) or The Sun is a Mass of Incandescent Gas (They Might Be Giants)
* They Might be Giants and Celine Dion - Little Red Corvette (Prince) or anything by Fugazi
* James Taylor and Ted Nugent - Total Eclipse of the Heart (Bonny Tyler) or Making Love Out of Nothing at All (Air Supply)
* Michael McDonald and MGMT - Total Eclipse of the Heart (Bonny Tyler) or Making Love Out of Nothing at All (Air Supply)
* William Shatner and Avril Lavigne - The Time Warp (Rocky Horror Picture Show)
* Biz Markie and Barbara Streisand - I Got You Babe (Sonny & Cher)
* Tori Amos and Michael Bolton - It's a Man's World (James Brown)
* Snoop Dogg and Melissa Etheridge - Open Arms (Journey)
* Ozzy Osbourne and Shania Twain - Reunited (Peaches and Herb)
* Rick Astley and Courtney Love - still undecided, but some choices are La Vie En Rose (Edith Piaf), Glory of Love (Peter Cetera), or Next Time I Fall in Love (Peter Cetera and Amy Grant). But whatever song they sing needs a visual of Rick Astley sitting on Courtney Love's lap with her wearing a black beret.
* Fred Durst and Alanis Morrisette - Don't Go Breaking My Heart (Elton John and Kiki Dee)
* Leonard Nimoy and Hilary Duff - Almost Paradise (Ann Wilson and Mike Reno)
* Jessica Simpson and Tom Waits - 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy) (Simon and Garfunkle)

And for the "if they were still alive" duets list:
* Cher and ODB - Endless Love (Diana Ross)
* Jimi Hendrix and Doris Day - Eleanor Rigby (The Beatles)
* Roy Orbison and Andrea Bocelli - Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me (Elton John) Everyone thought Roy Orbison was blind, and Andrea Bocelli actually is: Tasteless? Yes.

Those that I legitimately would love to see:
* Ben Folds and Sarah McLachlan - God Only Knows (Beach Boys)
* Cat Power and Damien Rice - Massachusetts; How do You Mend a Broken Heart; I Started a Joke (Bee Gees)
Taylor Swift and Kanye West - We Got Tonight (Bob Seger)

Feel free to add your own, or vote for your favorite.
The Top Ten List will be released at some point in Scribbling and Bibblings history, with each person who voted for the top duet receiving an album  of all Top Ten hypothetical duets as sung by me, and a sperm whale.
My friend, and biking enthusiast, Lee is planning to bike across the country next summer. As part of his preparations for this trip, he has created a blog to chronicle his training for and his actual trip: Bike Bike Bike Blog.

He decided to create the blog in order to generate interest in the trip, to create a community that would be interested in providing him encouragement, recommendations for travel, planning tips, and possible future hospitality for a weary traveler while trekking across the dangerous plains of Idaho, Wyoming, or any of the other states he will cross.

I do not have the exact route of his travel (and I suspect he won't have the EXACT travel route until he's actually traveling) but he does have a planned route which you can read about here.

For those interested in this astounding and once-in-a-lifetime event, and in following his progress and efforts, please start following his blog now. And if you have any suggestions for his trip (packing, what gear to bring, what food to pack, where he should attempt to find lodging, what areas are safer to camp in, what to expect re: inclement weather patterns, safety of certain roads, or if you want to host him for a night so he can save money), please start reading now.

As his leave date gets closer next summer, I will give occasional updates to promote this trip, his blog, and to offer as much encouragement and support I can. Hopefully all of you find his trip as fascinating, motivating, and inspirational as I do.

As always, thank you and enjoy.
A few years back I attempted a blog to practice writing satire: The Befuddler. It was short-lived, neglected, and unappreciated, much like David Caruso's film career. (O Befuddler! Please forgive me for treating you so poorly. It definitely wasn't you. It was me!) Every so often, I will repost some of The Befuddler's greatest hits here on this blog. You've been warned.

*****                                    *****

I was just reading an article about climate change. I know, I know: paint me a pink commie lefty liberal alarmist tree-hugging nutjob. But before you do that, take a look at this. Climate change, my friends.

And in that article while reading about the myth of climate change, I saw a little nugget of information stating that China has overtaken the United States as the biggest polluter in the world. Is this the kind of country that you and I want to live in? Aren't we supposed to be #1 in all that we do? We're America, dammit! We're Number One! We're Number One! It's Not We're Number Two! There's a great responsibility that comes with being Number One in the world, and we have to live up to that responsibility. Burn some car tires; burn some styrofoam packaging; cover your trees, your children, your pets, your award-winning pumpkins in Aquanet. We need to get to #1 again.

 It's bad enough that we're not the top polluter anymore, but it's even worse knowing that we're the #7 countryin the world for executions! That's six countries that kill more of their own people than we do. We can do better, US government. It's high time that the citizens of this country started holding their politicians and their policies accountable. We can be number one at EVERYTHING and we should be. It's Yes We Can, people, not Maybe We Shouldn't.

We're the country of the Manhattan Project, Christmas Morning in Cambodia, and Rocky IV: The Final Chapter in The Search for Electric Spock Boogaloo . The people who accomplished those things had can-do attitudes. We need that again.

And once we get back on top of the executions and pollutions list, then we can set our aims high. Don't think you have abject poverty cornered, Zimbabwe and Haiti. We're coming on strong.