Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Book of Christ

You can now watch the Wild, Aggressive Dog infomercial Book of Christ on the internet.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Book of Christ

The second promised Wild, Aggressive Dog infomercial is called Book of Christ.  It begins airing tonight/tomorrow morning at 4 AM.

Look for this when programming your automated recording device:

Friday, November 21, 2014

Screengrabs, 2

Sometimes I like to take screengrabs of my favorite television shows that I like to watch.




Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Smart Pipe

You can now watch the Wild, Aggressive Dog infomercial Smart Pipe on the internet.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Content

If you want to see the video I'm sorry but you will simply have to search for it yourself, the job of a content provider like myself is always busy and we don't have time to embed all links, search for "shrimp treadmill"

Smart Pipe

Me and the rest of Wild, Aggressive Dog wrote two more infomercials that will be airing on Adult Swim in the next couple weeks.  The first is called Smart Pipe, and it begins airing tonight/early tomorrow morning at 4 AM.

Look for this when programming your automated recording device:

If you haven't yet seen the infomercial we made last year, it was called For-Profit Online University.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Screengrabs, 1

Sometimes I like to take screengrabs of my favorite television shows that I like to watch. I like to watch with the captions on because my ears were hurt by the ocean one year. You can click on them to enlarge.





Saturday, November 01, 2014

Infinite concern

I wanted to go online but my mom said I couldn't because she was expecting a call.  An hour later, still no call.  I went into her room to whine and right when I was launching into it the phone rang.  She pointed at the phone and gave me a smug look.

I was halfway down the hall and she called me back in.  "It's for you," she said.

I took it in my room.  It was Joe.

"Come over to my place," he said.  "My dad died."

"What?"

"My dad died.  I need you to help me bury him in the yard.  Can you get over here without your parents giving you a ride?"

I only had my permit.

"Just drive over here, you pussy."

I snuck downstairs in my shoes and a fleece coat.  I took the keys to our Jeep off the ring by the door.  My dad, on his recliner in the family room, caught me.

"Put the keys down or I'll break every fucking bone in your hand," he said from behind his newspaper.  That's how he jokes.

I decided to bike over there.  I hadn't ridden my bike in, probably, six years.  It was way too small for me now -- I was nearly kneeing myself in the chin.  I couldn't find a helmet so I put on two winter hats.

Joe lived up a bunch of hills, about three and a half miles away.  If I'd known the number I might have found another way to get there.

It took me maybe an hour to bike over.  By the time I rolled my bike up Joe's driveway I could barely stand.  I sat on his lawn for five or ten minutes until I could breathe again.

I rang the doorbell and Joe came to the door.  "Hey thanks for coming, you want a soda or something?"

"Did you kill him?"  I hadn't even thought to ask him that question on the phone.  It came to me sometime on the bike ride, dropping gears until I ran out of chain, feeling my own death closing in.

"No," he said, with no defensiveness, like I asked him if it snowed in June.  "His heart just exploded or something."

He led me in to the den in his basement.  His dad was laid out on the couch.  There was a half-finished TV dinner on the table and someone had been watching something called UFC's Greatest Knockouts.  All the clips looked old.  I saw some old bus driver-looking guy get leveled by an actual kickboxer and begin having a seizure on the mat.  Joe's dad was laid out straight, except his arms were bent up at the elbows, and his fingers were curled like claws.  "I couldn't get them straight," Joe said.  His dad was in between two embroidered throw pillows; one said "I Reach Out For The Embrace Of God" and the other said "Please Help Me Open My Heart To You, O LORD!"  There was a tapestry or something hanging on the wall: "The way of the world is against Christ. He is the other way. The age of innocence is not lost yet. Like petrified rocks they stand. See Christ on the cross being born."  I noticed a dent in the old man's forehead.  "I slammed it on the table when I was moving him," Joe said.

I saw an open bottle of what looked like a very strong, clear liquor on one end of the table, not next to the dinner.  Something flashed in Joe's eye, and his shit-eating little grin, like struck steel.

"I figured we could tie him to this toboggan and drag him up the stairs," Joe said.

"Are we supposed to be doing this?" I asked.  It smelled, but I didn't know if it was his dad already -- Joe's basement always kind of smelled.  "Shouldn't we call the police or something?  Or a hospital?"  I didn't know what you did with a body.

"No one committed a crime," Joe said, "no one's bringing him back.  He just died.  I'd rather just bury him outside now so I don't have to deal with it tomorrow."

"What about waiting and burying him in a graveyard?"

"This is what he would have wanted," Joe said.  "To be buried on his land."

That made some sense to me, I guess.  Although, when I thought about it later, it's not like he farmed, or took care of his property at all, or was born there.  He bought the lot like six years earlier, and maybe he was proud of owning it, but the yard was a dump and their above-ground pool had a big hole in the side from where Joe had driven his lawnmower into it one summer.

We lashed Joe's dad to the toboggan with some bungees.  Then I pulled it up the stairs from the front, while Joe tried to guide it up the stairs from the back.  His dad kept slipping down towards Joe, so Joe had to use his shoulder to sort of prop him back into place.

We got him outside.  It was a nice October night -- not too cold, but just enough bite in the air so you knew that weather was coming.  Joe had started a hole in the ground while I was on my way over, but he hadn't gotten very far.  The place he'd chosen for the hole wasn't very scenic.  It was a sandy spot where the grass only grew in limp, wispy patches.  The hole was sort of diagonal compared to the house and the property lines.  He only had one legit digging shovel.  He gave me a snow shovel and told me to do my best with it.  We worked in silence for a while, until we were maybe halfway through, and we decided to rest for a bit, and Joe brought out some grape Kool-Aid in big plastic glasses.

"How'd you find him?" I asked.

"Who?"

I told him I was talking about his dad.

"He was yelling at me about something, and then he stopped yelling in the middle of a sentence, so I figured something was up."  He shrugged.  I got the sense that he truly didn't remember what his dad was yelling at him about.

"I think this might be wrong," I said.  "You're not supposed to treat bodies like this."

"The guy's dead.  You think he's watching us or something?"

"It's just disrespectful."

"He's not in there, you know," Joe said, pointing at the body.  "That's not a person anymore.  It's empty."  He jabbed at his dad's face a couple times with his shovel, creasing skin.  "It's trash."

"If he's trash then why don't you just leave him by the side of the road?"

He shrugged.  "We put an armoire down there for like three months and the trash guys never took it.  We had to just roll it into the ditch at the end of the road."

I chewed on some grass.  "Even if you're right," I said, "it seems like the kind of thing you could get in trouble for."

"Look, if you're trying to get out of digging, just go," he said.  He got up and went back to work.  "I can finish it on my own."  He looked more significant when he was digging, more real -- strengthened by the labor.

I don't know why he called me in the first place.  I wasn't his best friend or anything, and I might have been his smallest.  But walking away felt like it would have been the wrong thing, so I went back to digging with him.

Towards the end, there were many, many rocks.  I was exhausted and annoyed, and Joe seemed annoyed with me.  I asked Joe how he wanted to get his dad down there, but he said he was going to put a tarp over him or something first, and he went into the garage to look for one.

I was alone out there with his dad now.  I'd only met the guy once or twice.  He didn't seem to want to have anything to do with any of us, but he was nice enough.  I wondered if he'd seen it coming.  I wondered, vaguely, if Joe had killed him after all.  I tried to feel something about him, looking at him like that, but what Joe had said made a certain sense to me.  He was gone.  There was nothing left to project anything onto anymore.  It would be like mourning an empty doorframe.

It was getting dark, and people in the neighbors' houses were turning on lights.  They easily could have seen us out there and called the police or something.  But in my experience, people in our town don't often look out their windows.

Joe lumbered back out from the garage.  "I couldn't find a tarp, so we'll just dump him in like this," he said.  "Well, I found one tarp, but I didn't want to bury our only tarp."  We untied the bungees and kind of slid him off the toboggan down into the hole.  He landed sort of half-sitting against the wall of his grave.  Joe just shrugged and said, "job well done."  He told me he could fill in the grave with the plow on his dad's pickup truck, so I could go home.  He thanked me and I said, without really thinking what the words meant, "any time."

Biking home, I was going so fast down the same hills I'd already come up that I kept skidding out of control, and I wiped out four times.

---

The first time I saw Joe's dad's face on TV was four nights later.  I was getting ready to go to bed and I'd put on the local news at 10 and I half-heard "breaking news tonight from Burlington," and I thought, that's weird, that town has the same name as my town.

Then, an old photo of the guy I'd helped put in the ground, wearing a brand new-looking tank top and a NASCAR hat, mouth opened weirdly, mid-word it seemed.  No dent in his forehead, of course.

According to the anchor, he'd been reported missing after he hadn't showed up for work four days in a row without calling in.  Someone from his job had reached Joe, who said he hadn't seen his dad either.

Then, Joe, being interviewed outside his house.  The raw dirt from where his dad had been buried, way back in the distance, but if you knew what you were looking for, visible over his left shoulder.

"I just hope he comes home soon," Joe told the camera.  "I'm real worried about him, obviously.  I think he'll probably come home soon though, as long as people don't make a big deal out him being gone."  A cut, to a couple sentences later in the interview.  "Whoever did this to him, uh, whatever they did, they're going to pay the price."

I thought, he's talking about me.

I reached for the phone so fast I knocked it and the lamp off the table.  I heard the modem screeching through the receiver, then the computer in the living room downstairs sign off, "GOODBYE!"  My sister screamed up, "who picked up the phone?"  I told her I had to make a call.

"Oh hey, what's up?" Joe said, sounding calm as a Sunday.

"I just saw you on the news -- "

"Oh, yeah.  Not on the phone, though.  Let's meet at the Little League field."

---

Joe was there, waiting for me.  "What took so long?" he asked.  I ignored him.

"They think your dad is missing," I said.  "What did you tell them?"

"Relax," he said.  He picked up an old, filthy baseball and whipped it into the woods next to the field.  I gave him a moment to expand on that, but he didn't.

"That's it?" I asked.  "The police are looking for him, they're going to be asking questions.  What do you think they're going to say when they see that someone just dug a hole in your backyard?"

"'Looks like someone was digging a hole,' probably."

"You can't just make a person disappear.  Police, reporters -- these people don't let anyone disappear.  That's their job."

"They'll fuck around for a couple days and then they'll get bored and it'll be over."

"Why couldn't you have just told them the truth?"

"Too much hassle.  I've got a lot on my mind these days.  Sarah's pissed at me because I yelled at her brother -- "

"I don't care about Sarah.  They're going to find him."

"So what if they do.  It's not like anybody killed him.  All they're going to find is a dead guy in a hole."

"And what was all that stuff about how the person responsible is going to pay.  We're the person responsible!  We're the ones who are going to have to pay!"

"Frankly," Joe went on, unmoved, "I don't see what business it is of anybody else what I do with my dead father.  If I don't want him found, then stop looking for him.  If I want to put him in a hole, he's my property."  He kicked the chain link fence.

I was going to say his dad wasn't property, but I guess I didn't know what he was anymore.

"Listen, I need a favor," Joe said.  "The couch my dad died on is really starting to stink.  I need you to bring a couple cushions home, just until the cops and reporters and everyone stop sniffing around."

"I don't want them.  What am I supposed to do with them?"

"Just keep them somewhere for a while.  You have a shed, don't you?"

"No."

"Well then find somewhere to throw them for a while."

"Why don't you just throw them away?"

"What, am I supposed to buy a whole new couch?"

"I'm not taking them," I said.

"Fine.  I'll bury them too.  That's another thing I have to do now before the police come back around."

"Well what if the police come to my house?"

"Nod, agree with everything they say, and keep your mouth shut," was his advice.

---

It wasn't the police who visited me the next day, but the pastor, Reverend Cullen, from the church in town.

"Good afternoon, Chris," though the sun had already set.  I said I'd go get my mom but he said he wanted to talk to me.  "I was just visiting your friend Joe."

A gust of wind blew a sun-bleached basketball down the driveway.

"You know Joe's father was a member of our church," said the Reverend.  He was wearing a flannel shirt and black jeans and boots.  I wasn't sure I'd ever seen him wearing anything other than his church robes.  He seemed somehow diminished, but also tall and thin and dour, more like an undertaker than a man of God.  "Every Sunday, no matter the weather, no matter how many hours he'd worked that week, I knew I'd see him in that same pew, three rows from the back."

"I never really knew him," I mumbled.

"You can imagine that I and the entire congregation have been very upset ever since we heard that he was missing, and that we would do anything to help bring him home."

"I'm sure Joe appreciated hearing that."

"I'm not so sure he did," said Rev. Cullen, and he smiled uncomfortably at me.  "I'm not so sure he did."

I felt naked, somehow.  I felt looked-into.  "What did Joe tell you?"

Rev. Cullen smiled again and looked down, like he was sad to see that he had been right all along.  "Why don't you take a ride with me?"

I looked back into the house nervously.  "I don't think I can."

"Come on!"  Fake cheery, wanting me to hear the fakeness, and be scared.

I stepped back into the house.  "I gotta go -- "

He lunged for me and grabbed my arm, and it wasn't exactly violent, but there also wasn't anything to do but go with him.  "We're just going to take a little ride," he said, "and then the whole thing will be taken care of."

He sat me down in the passenger seat and then ran around to his side.  "Buckle up for safety!" he said.  I didn't move so he reached across me and grabbed the seatbelt for me and buckled it in.

He started the car and a furniture store commercial started playing over the radio, very loudly.  He snapped it off so fast the volume knob flew off and landed somewhere under his feet.

"Where are we going?" I asked.

He squinted out at the road -- he hadn't turned his headlights on and drivers coming towards him seemed to be slowing down and drifting away from the center to avoid him.  "We're going to a place where lies die," he said.

---

He meant the church.  He pulled into the parking lot, and then drove around to the church's back entrance.  "There's a Stewardship Committee meeting going on inside," he said, "so we'll go in through here."

"Do you have a gun?" I thought to ask.

He just exhaled sharply, like every second spent with me was a burden on his soul.

He led me into the back hallway, past his office and the bathrooms and into the door that led to the basement, where there was some storage and a couple of Sunday School classrooms.  From the top of the steps, I could see the committee meeting in the next room, but the Reverend came up and pointed me down into the dark basement, with its pressed brown carpet, reminding me of nothing more than Joe's dad's hole.

He didn't turn on the light until he'd shut the door quietly behind him.  "Can't be too careful," he said.  He put his hand on my back and gently guided me down.

"Let me show you something," he said.  He led me into the smallest of the three classrooms.  The tables and the chairs had all been taken out and the only thing in the room was a felt gray room divider and a plain wooden cross, leaned up against the far wall.

"I need to go," I said.  "I have a bunch of homework."

"'I have, a bunch, of homework,'" he repeated back to me.  "Is that what you just said?"

I decided not to answer him.

"The three of us have other things we need to settle," he said.

"Who's the three?"

"You, me, and God."

"I have to go to the bathroom," I said.

"I want to talk a little bit about your friend Joe's father," he said, "and I want to show you this cross."  He picked up the cross and laid it down on the ground between us.

"I don't know anything about Joe's father," I said.  "I don't know what happened to him."

"What did I tell you about lies in this building?"  He knocked on the wall.  "God can see straight through you."

"But you're not God though."

He shrugged.  "Close enough."

He stood up the cross and pulled out some rope.

"Now I want you to know," he continued, "that Joe didn't tell on you."  He stood the cross up behind me.  I tried to turn around but he tapped the back of my head to say, keep still.  "I didn't ask him any difficult questions, but then I didn't have to."  He took my left wrist and started to tie it to one arm of the cross.  "It was all over his face."

"What do you think I've done?"  He tied my other wrist to the other side of the cross.  I suppose I could have run, but I was, by this point, half crucified and tied to a cross.

"You've sinned greatly," he said.  "You've sinned and lied and abandoned those who sought to lead you down the right path.  Your vile corruption has turned a good boy away from God and you've made a feast for the devil out of your deceit and poor attitude."

"What boy?" I asked.  It wasn't Joe; he'd never been to church.  He pulled the ropes tight, and then tied my ankles to the bottom of the cross.

"Now," he said, "let's see if you won't answer my questions."  He lifted up the cross, and with it, me.

He broke me immediately.  "We buried him in Joe's yard!" I shouted.  "He was already dead!"  It wasn't the pain, because there was no pain at all.  All I felt was that I was slipping down the cross.  If I'd waited a second longer I probably would have been back on the ground.  It was just the panic.  In a way, it was probably worse than what Jesus felt, because at least he knew what he was getting into.  Whereas, what the fuck was happening here?

He set me back onto the ground.  He was smiling now.  I stood there and let him untie me.  He patted me gently on the back of the head, like I'd done a good job.  "Let's take a drive," he said, and he led me back into his car.

---

He drove right past my street.  We were heading for Joe's.

"Why'd you think I had something to do with it?" I asked.

"Because you're slime," he said.

I didn't get it.  I'd never done much of anything wrong, never done anything slime-like, certainly not to him.  I'd never done much of anything at all, in fact, and he only knew me through my mother.  All I'd done was live a small life.  But I felt it to be true all the same -- I was slime.  And maybe this guy could see into my soul and feel the aching, throbbing rot inside, better than I could see it myself.  Maybe God showed him that.  I'd just figured someone had seen us digging and told him.

We drove up to Joe's house and I walked up him to the hole.  The Reverend nodded, then walked back to his car and pulled a couple shovels out of his trunk.

"What is this?"

"You're going to help me dig up this poor man," he said, already ripping into the loose soil, "and we're going to move him to the cemetery and give him the burial he deserves."

"Come on, he's in the ground already.  How is digging him back up going to do any good?"

"Because one thing you and your friend don't understand is that you don't get to make the rules for death."  He chopped at a root or something with the sharp side of his shovel.  "Only I do."

"Shouldn't we ask Joe?"  Every light in his house was on, like he was trying to corner something.

The Reverend tossed a shovel to me.  The handle hit me across my chest.  So I picked it up and started digging.

Just a few inches down, my shovel hit a rock we'd reburied.  The shovel flew off the handle, back towards me, and smashed right into my shin, slicing it open through my pants.

"Goddamnit," I shouted, more self-pitying than actually hurt.

"You shouldn't take the Lord's name in vain," said the Reverend.

"I think God has better things to be concerned about than some idiot teenager swearing."

The Reverend shook his head at me sadly.  "God is a being of infinite concern."

I thought about that.  It was said that God had limitless knowledge, and power, so I guess it was only right that there should also be no limits to the stuff he could get annoyed about too.  This was an angry, petty, pitiful God, maybe, obsessed with slights and wracked with self-doubt; a perfectly insecure being, miserable and anxiety-chased from alpha to omega.  Of course he should be upset when I swore or when someone committed adultery in their mind or when someone ate a pig.  Wasn't it only right, for any consciousness with the clarity that comes with a literal eternity of pure thought, with no earthly limits on his capacity to be offended or indignant, to look at this world and be annoyed with it constantly?  This was a God who made more sense to me than any other God I'd ever considered.

It was hard digging around the body.  One of his arms, broken, apparently from the weight of the dirt, dangled like a snapped branch.

The Reverend sent me into the grave to hoist the body out.  I tried to get my arms around his waist.  His skin was subterranean cold.  I heard Joe run out onto his back porch.

"Hey!" he called.  I climbed out of the hole.  "Hey, what the fuck man," he said when he saw me.

"Joe, I am so sorry about your father," said the Reverend, going into full Reverend mode.  "I understand this is a difficult time for you, so I'm taking your father to the funeral home so we can bury him in the graveyard here in town.  How does that sound?"

"Get off my property, please," he said.  "And you," pointing down at me in the hole, "who else did you tell?"

"I didn't tell anyone," I said, even as I stood there in his father's dug-up grave.  Joe kicked a clump of dirt into my face -- it got right in my eyes.

"We're just going to take your father out of here, and then you don't have to worry about it," said the Reverend.

"I'll fucking kill you," Joe said, calm and level as the shore.

"This is all in God's hands."

I saw a news van pull up to the bottom of the driveway.

"I'm coming for you now," Joe said.

The Reverend threw down his shovel and brushed off his hands.

Joe charged.  The Reverend dodged and shoved Joe to the ground.  He picked up the shovel and brought it down on the back of Joe's neck.  Blood burst, undammed, from Joe's mouth.

A blonde reporter in a blouse, skirt and sneakers squinted, saw something was happening, started hustling towards us.

I climbed out of the hole and ran off.

I didn't care who lived or died anymore, I didn't care about the fate of our immortal souls.  I didn't care.

I ran through backyards and crossed a street and ran through more backyards until I got to the woods, and then I kept running until all I saw in any direction was trees.