Friday, September 30, 2016


In past GF's I've talked about doing a daily good deed. I firmly believe that you should do one every day. But there's a group of people who do the same good deed every morning. The monotony would probably get to me, but these people are really good about it.

Every day I'm at the train station, waiting for my train to take me to the city, I hear them. A mother drives a car full of girls by the north side of the tracks, the side headed for Chicago, not Elburn, and they shout out the windows. They tell us all: "Have a good day! Have a good day! Have a good day!" They do this down the whole station so every commuter can hear them.

Is this something they decided to do for themselves? Or did their mother decide to teach them the value of helping others? I don't know. I lean toward the former. They sound so sincere when they do it. Every morning it's like the first time. It seems new to them every time.

I'm a fucking Grinch, but the sheer genuine feeling they give off makes even me smile. I'm my most miserable at that moment, and the fact that not just one person, but a group of people, decided to offer a daily good deed is pretty heartwarming. One of the homeless guys on the river makes me feel the same way. Whenever he's there he's got a lot of encouraging things to say to everyone. Some of it is preachy God shit, but his intentions are pure. I kind of like that he's there with a kind word. Maybe it's just for the money he gets out of it, but it's nice that he offers it for free. The dough is optional.

I can't stress it enough. Do a good deed every day. It doesn't have to be the same good deed every day, but do something. Coming from me it's selfish. I get a dopamine rush out of it. You probably will, too. But there's no harm in it so long as you're helping someone else. That's the important thing.

In the words of two of my favorite philosophers:

Thursday, September 29, 2016


When I first started my new commute I was overwhelmed by the number of people who clogged the streets of Chicago. I've been downtown during rush hour before, but I've never been around the train stations. Holy shit, I think I see maybe 500 people before I get to my office. I started thinking, what are the odds that I'll run into someone I know in these massive crowds?

It's something I've pondered since the last week of July, but I haven't given it much consideration lately because after such a long period of time I've decided that the odds are infinitesimal of running into a friend. There are just too many people in the city. It's next to impossible.


It happened today. It came out of left field. I was zoned out. I do that when I'm walking to the office because I have a lot of story ideas on my mind before I have to walk into the job and check my soul at the door. The same goes for when I leave. I dust off the ol' soul, strap it on and walk for the train station with more story ideas in my work-addled brain.

At first I didn't recognize them. I was too far separated from the world. But then, as I was walking by them, I thought, holy shit. Is that them? I blinked, and sure enough, not only did I run into a friend, I ran into a group of friends. A group of friends I know from the suburbs.

Are the chances more reasonable than I thought? Or did I overcome next to impossible odds?

I think it might be the latter. I don't think it will ever happen again, or it probably won't happen again for a looooooong time. But it was a good feeling. It made the universe seem a lot more manageable than I usually consider it to be.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016


I don't believe in guilty pleasures. If you like something, why do you feel guilty for it? Do you really care what other people think of your taste? If you don't want people knowing about the things you like, then why do you like those things? Do you actually like those things?

Give it up. If you find pleasure in something, don't feel guilty about it. Embrace that shit. Ride that sucker until the end of the world.

When I was in college I remember a friend of mine going through my music collection. He nodded with approval at my Metallica, Megadeth, Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Dead Kennedys and so on and so forth. But then he came to my Tori Amos albums, and he started laughing.

"What?" I asked.

"You like this shit?"

"I own it, don't I?"

He looked incredulously at me. After a moment of shock he said, "You fag."

I've been called that all my life. You know how people say that when they call you that they don't mean it in a derisive way in regards to homosexuality? They're not calling you gay. They're calling you stupid. I disagree with that explanation. They are equating "gay" with "stupid," which is bullshit. But even so, just about everyone who has ever used that word to describe me did not mean stupid. They meant gay. My friend meant gay in that context.

I took offense, but I don't shun those who offend me. I present my case, and I did back then with this guy. "What do you mean? This is some visceral art."

"No. Kurt is visceral art. Layne is visceral art. This is girly shit."

"I can prove Tori Amos is just as valid as Kurt Cobain and Layne Staley with just one song."

He scoffed, but then I sat him down and played "Me and a Gun." He laughed when it started, but I watched his face as the song progressed. By the end of the song he was awed.

"So. What do you think?" I asked.

He took a moment to think. He looked kind of rattled. Finally he said, "You're right. That was fucking incredible."

We listened to a few more songs. He didn't dig them all, but he eventually changed his mind. He decided that Tori Amos is NOT a guilty pleasure. That's coming from a guy who values strength and masculinity over all things.

It's the little victories.

Do you have so-called guilty pleasures? Let's talk about them. Comment below, and I'll try to convince you to take pride in your joy.

PS: If you want to see another of my favorite Amos songs, check this out. It's "Muhammad My Friend" performed with Maynard James Keenan. It's fucking great.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016


Originally I planned to write a brief blog series about my adventures in PA with Kevin Strange, Mike Lombardo, Lex Quinn, Brian Keene, Dave Thomas, Mary SanGiovanni and Phobe. A lot of it would be about the dead fella bone in my mouth (my bone graft for my impending tooth implant) and Kevin's propensity to rant. (True story: at one point during our road trip he apologized for ranting too much. I told him that I was on a 12-hour road trip with Kevin Strange; I knew what I was getting into.) I was going to exaggerate it all, of course. By the time we got through IN and OH and half of PA we would have been HST and his trusty attorney. Another true story: at one point near the end of our journey I said, "We can't stop here. This is Bat Country."

But I don't have the time to do it justice. In the long run I'd rather let the podcast speak for itself. Besides, Kevin did a great job of talking about our road trip here and here. But I will take the time to make a few comments here. Probably a few more comments than I meant at the end of this very long day, but we'll see if I can remain conscious long enough to do so.

This whole thing started the day after I went through emergency dental surgery. The painkillers knocked me out, so when I didn't have to drive I drank quite a bit. At least while drinking I had my wits about me. I have cadaver bone in my mouth even right now, and that was an endless source of humor and fascination for the weekend.

For as much as I poke fun at Kevin for ranting, he's a great and entertaining friend and navigator. Buy his books here. I'm a speed demon. Imagine how far I cut loose on the open highways of IN, OH and PA. I've never gotten my Civic up to a hundred, but I wanted to. The closest I came was 99. And Kevin was there to warn me of cops he saw that I didn't. There was one time a car wasn't going fast enough to suit me, so I started speeding around it. Kevin then informed me that it was a cop. It looked nothing like a cop car, but HOLY SHIT! There's the State Troopers of IN decal on the side! It was touch and go for a moment, but I lucked out. Zero speeding tickets. That's pretty good, and I owe it all to Kevin.

When we got close to the end of our journey, it was dark and scary. His GPS had us taking back roads, and we suddenly realized, as we DROVE THROUGH A FUCKING COVERED BRIDGE, that Lombardo had secretly invited us to stay with him because he planned to ritualistically murder us. Our surmise was not dispelled when we finally arrived at his place. We rang the bell, and the door very quietly, very slowly opened by itself . . .

Mike Lombardo is an incredibly generous guy. Not only did he give us a place to stay. Not only did he show us a rough cut of I'M DREAMING OF A WHITE DOOMSDAY. But he also gave us this:

How fucking cool is that? I'm super tempted to do a review of WHITE DOOMSDAY for Forced Viewing, but the only thing holding me back is the fact that it was a rough cut. I want to see the finished product before I do that. Suffice to say his work is taking a very interesting new direction. I fucking love it, and I can't wait for you all to see it. You can find out more about his work here.

The next day we got these great burritos. I forgot the name of the place, but I'm fairly certain that the name of the burrito was the Cowboy, or something along those lines. Great hangover food. We also went to a used bookstore (which I also cannot remember the name for), and this was my haul:

The guy who ran the place was an older gentleman, and I think he was impressed with my taste (me being a younger guy). He liked my selection enough that he gave me LANDO and THE QUICK AND THE DEAD for free. If I'm back in the area, I've got to go back to that place. (PS: LANDO has nothing to do with STAR WARS. Spoiler.)

And then came The Horror Show with Brian Keene. It's kind of funny. Kevin and I went out to my car to fetch something when lo! and behold! We ran into Brian Keene and Mary SanGiovanni as they were approaching the house. It kind of threw us for a loop. First of all, I had no idea I was going to meet Mary. That was a great surprise. And to top it all off, they both arrived bearing gifts. Kevin and I got a bottle of Knob Creek for Brian, and I got a shark for Dave Thomas. I had no idea that we'd be getting gifts in return. Their generosity is amazing. I went home with these (and I thought I'd missed out on the Scares That Care 'zine!):

We did the podcast. It was amazing. You don't need me to tell you that. If you haven't heard it already, you're going to. The link is above. It was great meeting Phobe, too. I had no idea she was going to be there, or I would have brought something for her, too. After the show we had a big signing party. I'd brought stuff for Lombardo and Kevin and, of course, Brian. He's so awesome he signed the shit-ton of books I'd brought:

The collections of Hail Saten are very important to me. I'd put them up there with Laymon's A WRITER'S TALE. I'm proud to have signed copies.

We spent a wonderful evening hanging out, and I got drunk and treated everyone to the Grade A John Bruni Blackout Show (C). I haven't been that far gone in a long time. No, it's not bad. I'm told I'm entertaining when I'm in that state. Weird and loud, but entertaining. So far I haven't shot a man just to watch him die. SO FAR.

The next day we went out to breakfast/lunch-ish at a place called Friendly's where Lombardo kinda-sorta convinced the waiter that it was Lex Quinn's birthday. He requested Jim Dandy crowns for us all. My head is too fucking big, but I wore mine as best as I could. Lex Quinn insisted to the waiter that it was not her birthday, but when he came back, he uncertainly asked, "Uh, is it really your birthday?" And I knew in that moment that Friendly's had a tradition of getting the waitstaff to sing a birthday song for just such occasions. Lombardo instinctively knew, too, and he insisted.

Yes. There was a birthday song. And a birthday balloon. It was glorious.

We went to Philly because I'd expressed my desire to see the Mutter Museum. I wrote about it here. Surprisingly enough the Mutter Museum read that post and loved it. That made me feel really good. Also, they asked me to take part in a survey, and my reward was a bunch of cool Mutter postcards:

Unfortunately my shit tooth was getting the better of me. I couldn't enjoy any food in Philly. We did go to several bookstores and curio shops, though. I found this at one of them:

Wow! A book on Clint that I had no idea existed! It took me a while to figure it out, but I'd never heard of it because it was published exclusively in the UK. But look at that cover! He looks like he needs a bearskin rug to recline on!

That's when we went back to Lombardo's and we had a private screening of WHITE DOOMSDAY. We passed out and got up waaaaaay too early to drive home.

It was a great experience. I hope to do it again someday even though the toll roads nearly throttled us to death. I hope you all enjoyed our appearance on The Horror Show with Brian Keene. I hope you've enjoyed this mini-account of our adventures. I hope you'll buy a bunch of kickass books, and maybe--POSSIBLY--vote for me for US president.

But mostly I hope you enjoyed all of this. I know I did.

PS: on our first night we went to a place called Giant. I gather it's a version of our Jewel/Osco. I found this there:

I tried to explain why I loved this little movie, but I don't think I sold Kevin or Lombardo on it, even though I went straight for the messy diarrhea scene with RDJ trying to help Duvall in the bathroom. Ah well.

Sunday, September 25, 2016


I didn't have a lot of friends growing up. I'm fond of saying that of all the people I knew in high school, I'm still friends with the only people I cared about back then. Everyone else could go fuck themselves. But . . . well, that's not necessarily true. I believed it was true when I said it, but I was unconsciously wrong.* There are three people I have not had contact with since 1996, the year I graduated from high school, that I wish I still had in my life.

These three people were my first readers. They were the ones who read everything I wrote back then, and all of them read it before I started submitting to publishers. They were invaluable to me, and I feel like shit that I didn't follow them through the course of our lives.

One of them contacted me lately. I'm not naming anyone because I know I draw some weirdos, and I don't want to expose my old friends to them. But she was my favorite of them. The other two liked my work, but they joked about it a lot. She treated me seriously, and I greatly appreciated it.

I have changed a lot since then. When I wrote stories in high school I knew my mom was going to read them all. I kept myself in check a lot of times. I did not give my inner muse the car keys and let it ride, like Thad Beaumont suggests in the movie version of THE DARK HALF. I censored myself left and right. I didn't have the courage yet to turn loose the crazy shit living in my brain.

My friend contacted me asking if I was the guy she knew in high school who gave her the stories I wrote, and if not, sorry. I told her I was that guy. Maybe she's reading this now. If so, you had such an inspiration for my creative development, and I can't thank you enough.

But I don't know how to describe to you the drunken puddle of dick jokes I've become. I write horror primarily, but I've been on a bizarro jaunt of late, and most people know me as the guy who writes horrifying shit about dicks. I've written a novella about butts lately, which will be a part of an unannounced anthology right now, but most people know me as the dick guy. She knew me when I was writing juvenile stories about fucked up things.

A high school friend of mine told me that when he first read my work he thought it was utter shit. When he read my new work he was impressed by how much I'd improved. I wonder if her reaction would be the same.

I kind of want to know, but at the same time I'm embarrassed. She knew me at a different point of my life. The rest of you know me as the savage degenerate I am now. Back then I was different. I was shy. I was subdued. I hadn't learned to pour my heart out on the page yet. Because even when I'm talking about crazy dick shit, I have a purpose in mind. "Monster Cock," for all of its loony shit, is a feminist story.

It's weird. She wondered if I'd become an author, and I was proud to say that I did, but at the same time I'm nervous to find out what she thinks of my new work. I haven't seen her in literally 20 years. A lot can happen in that time. Back then I was still in Stephen King/Peter Straub/Franklin W. Dixon mode. I wasn't me yet.

Maybe I'll find out. If so, I'll let you know. Goodnight, beautiful people. I'm in Morris, IL, on Saturday at the library to sell some books. I hope to see those of you in the Chicago area there. I'll be the weirdo selling copies of POOR BASTARDS AND RICH FUCKS and DONG OF FRANKENSTEIN, among others. Say hi.

*There is actually one other person. Catherine H. H. might not actually be her last name anymore. She wasn't a reader of mine, but she was a good friend. I ran into her at the Elmhurst Public Library once shortly after college, and she told me she was working with one of my favorite authors, John Sandford (John Camp, but still, he did the Davenport and Flowers detective series that I love so much), at archaeological digs. I would love to find out what happened to her. If you know her, please let me know. Tell her that fucking weirdo John Bruni would like to find out where she is in life.

Saturday, September 24, 2016


The new version of THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN came out this weekend. Last night and today were pretty rough for me. I needed to escape for a while, and I hoped that this film would do the trick. To be honest, when I first heard about the new remake, I had no interest. This story has been told so many times that I'm completely bored with it. But then I learned that Antoine Fuqua was directing it. That interested me a great deal. I got excited for it. He's a great filmmaker, and I knew he would bring something new and interesting to this old, used up story.

I'm a lifelong fan of westerns, but I came to this one late in life. I didn't see it until I was in college. When I finally saw it, I was blown away. I sought out SEVEN SAMURAI so I could see the original story, and that, too, is fucking awesome.

And then came the day that my local theater decided to play it on the big screen. The dean of my college was in charge of it. He wanted to do a talk after the film. You'd better believe that I got in on that action. The old westerns, like this one and Sergio Leone's work (I saw THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY on the big screen when the Music Box showed it, and that was amazing), are perfect for a theater showing. Sure, you can enjoy these films on your TV, but it just doesn't do the work justice. You've got to see it on those giant screens, the ones that show you every pore in the faces of the actors, pores big enough for you to fit your head in.

I loved it. It enhanced my experience. And the dean had an interesting talk about the film afterwards. He told us that when he was a kid his father woke him up in the middle of the night. The old man said not to tell his mom, but he absolutely had to show his son THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN. And that sounds like the best set of circumstances to watch such a film. If my dad had woken me up in the middle of the night to watch this movie? That would have been a magical experience.

And then I finally got to see the new version at the very same theater, on the very same screen. When I'd first seen the original the screen was #2, the one in the middle. The one that has an organ in there for opening nights, when they want to give the viewers an old fashioned theater experience. They've expanded since then, and now #2 is #5, which is where I saw the new version.

My friends, this might be the greatest remake ever made. The beginning is crazy. The violence is so swift and out of control it made me nervous. Peter Sarsgaard is a vile villain. I'm pretty sure that if it would make him money, he'd set a baby on fire and punt it into an alligator's mouth.

And then we meet the new Seven. This is Denzel Washington's best role since GLORY. I don't know how to explain it, but he's got this weird Jack Elam thing going on. There isn't a wandering eye, but I couldn't help but think of Elam every moment I saw Washington on the screen.

I love every minute of this movie. No, it's not as good as the original, but it's really fucking good. I think it has a lot of social relevance, especially since they changed the nature of the bad guy. In the original it was Mexican bandits led by Eli Wallach. In the new version it's a land baron, the very embodiment of capitalism. That says a lot, and I like that.

There is so much violence in this movie. If it does well at the box office, I'm sure there will be a hundred "think pieces" on cinematic violence and how it's wrong. Fuck the Wild Bunch; this new Seven kills maybe--POSSIBLY--everyone in the West. It's an overwhelming orgy of western violence. I think Washington alone killed about 3,000 people. The end is a crazy, super-violent action sequence filled with uncomfortable deaths. When members of the Seven get killed, it's shockingly painful. Fuqua isn't one to back down or flinch; he jumps in with a mad grin, both fists swinging.

Outlaw Vern has a great philosophy of badass cinema. This should be in the top ten badass movies of all time. There are so many great moments, too. My favorite is when one of the Seven keeps shooting this one asshole until he falls dead . . . into a coffin at the undertaker's shop. Fuqua also doesn't over-explain things. I hate when people do that. He gives you a detail, and then it comes to fruition down the line. It's incredibly satisfying.

Remember when I saw THE H8FUL EIGHT for the first time? This one had nearly the same effect on me. The new Seven isn't as good as Tarantino's masterpiece, but it's really fucking good. I felt like a kid again. It made me so happy that for two hours and thirteen minutes I completely forgot about some horrible shit that's happening in my life right now. That's happening to a dear friend of mine.

If you're anything like me, go see the new version of THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN. It's fucking amazing. It might even bring the western back to life. We'll see. I hope that happens.

Friday, September 23, 2016


For those of you who have known me a while I've been having problems with my Shit Tooth for years. It all began when I started getting monstrously evil headaches, and I had no idea what caused them. I couldn't do anything about them at work, but when I got home I pounded whiskey to the point where I was downing 3/4 of a handle every night just to kill the pain. It was the only thing that worked. I went to several doctors, and none of them were able to solve the mystery until one of them came up with the brilliant plan to see a dentist.

I'd gone through most of my adult life without dental insurance. The last checkup I'd gotten was when I was getting into freshman year of high school. After that my grandparents, who raised me, lost their insurance plans. In 2007 I got a job that gave me benefits. (Just so you have a point of reference, I got into freshman year in 1992.) By that time I figured my teeth were fucked, and I didn't bother getting them checked out. To this day my mouth gives people The Fear.

I caved and went to the dentist. Apparently the tooth which would eventually be dubbed the Shit Tooth had a deep chip in it, which had exposed the nerve. The dentist put a giant filling on it, and everything went back to normal. Cool.

Fast forward a year. The Shit Tooth is killing me again. My alcohol use increased again. My dentist did a root canal and put a crown on the chip of tooth I had left back there.

A few weeks later I was eating pizza. Suddenly I took a bite and something seemed off. Something was missing. Holy shit, my tooth was gone! I have very little money. Crowns cost a lot even if you're insured. What did I do? I sifted through my shit for days looking for that crown. Hence, the Shit Tooth.

I never did find it, by the way. Not that it matters. It turns out the very little piece of tooth I had left had cracked. The dentist wouldn't have been able to put the crown back on.

This time he put a screw in my mouth to support the three centimeters of tooth I had left. It worked wonderfully after the crown got put on.

Fast forward to this year. My Shit Tooth acted up again. This time the dentist told me that there was decay built up under the crown. He sent me to another dentist out of hopes that it could be saved. The two options: remove the crown and drill out the decay, or cut into the gumline to drill out the decay. The other dentist said there was too much built up. The tooth had to go.

I've been through the process of an implant before. It sucks and it's expensive. I didn't want to do it. But I was told that if I didn't get it I would lose more of my teeth because the Shit Tooth took on a heavy burden in my under-bite.

I was going to go to another dentist to get the Shit Tooth pulled and to get an implant, but then SURPRISE! I got fired and lost my insurance. When I finally got a new job it took forever for my insurance to kick in. When it did I took a half-day to get a consultation. This was the day before I was going to go on a road trip with Kevin Strange to be on The Horror Show with Brian Keene. I thought the dentist was just going to take a look at it and schedule surgery for maybe two weeks later.

SURPRISE! It looked so bad that I was told it would crack out of my mouth over the weekend. The image of being interviewed by Brian Keene as I spat out my Shit Tooth horrified me, so I decided to do the emergency surgery then and there.

I should not have done that.

While the Shit Tooth is finally gone, it is still haunting me. Even now I have horrible pain in my mouth. The Orajel helps. The painkillers help, but they make me woozy. The whiskey is the best solution.

You know the phenomenon of phantom limbs? I have a phantom ghost tooth in my head right now, and it's killing me. (It doesn't help that I also have cadaver bone in my mouth to help make an implant possible. I don't know the guy or gal who donated it, but I do know that I've given Mike Lombardo a tickle in his tooth.) I've shoved a bunch of whiskey down my throat tonight, and it's only helping a little. I need this to go away. It would be so awesome to have just one day where I wake up and don't feel any pain in my mouth. I need that to happen tomorrow.

Goodnight, you wonderful people. Thanks for listening to me rant about this garbage.


Check it out here.

Thursday, September 22, 2016


For years I've heard about the Mutter Museum. For some backwards reason I thought it was in Germany or possibly Amsterdam. As most of you know I spent the weekend under Mike Lombardo's roof. I don't remember how the subject came up, but he surprised me by telling me that the Mutter was in Philadelphia. We decided to go there the next day.

There were four of us: Kevin Strange, Mike Lombardo, Lex Quinn and myself. I hate driving through cities, and Philly was no exception, but when we approached the Mutter I was in awe. It was totally worth it.

Inside the very first thing we saw was Einstein's brain. I didn't know what I was looking at at first, but someone mentioned it, and I thought HOLY SHIT. This is the brain of the person who is thought to be the smartest person who had ever lived. Already the museum was worth the price of admission.

But there was so much more. I saw a wall of skulls, and many of them had the nationality of who each one belonged to in life. Sometimes it even had the cause of death. Every once in a while there was a name. They have a save-a-skull thing: if you donate enough money you can save one of the skulls and have your name in the Mutter Museum. If I had the cash, I would totally do that. If *you* have the money, click on the link and help out.

There's more. You can see deformities caused by STDs, for example. If you've ever wanted to see a skull altered by syphilis, you can find it here. For some people being surrounded by such imagery of death can be overwhelming. For me it was fascinating. I have no illusions about what happens to us when we die, and to be surrounded by so many examples stimulated me (my brain, that is; get your head out of the gutter).

Then we entered a room that thoroughly impressed me. It described Civil War field amputations. They even have an interactive thing where you can stand in one place and see an animated arm attached to you where your real arm should be. You get shot in the war, and it shows you what would happen. Not too far away from there is a display about Walt Whitman. I know a fair amount about him, but I had no idea that he was a nurse during the war. He'd sit at the bedsides of wounded soldiers, trying to comfort them, and when they died he would write letters of consolation to their families. Very touching.

And then there's the Soap Lady. I'm not going to say much about her. You just need to see her in person. All right, I'll say something. She's a mummy, but she looks like she died in sheer agony. But she didn't. According to science, that's just the way of her natural decomposition. Interestingly enough, they sell Soap Lady soap in the gift shop.

There's a wall of pickled fetuses. There are more than one display for conjoined twins. If you've ever wanted to know what organs look like you'll find displays for them all. I found a gall bladder, which I no longer have my own. And I saw gall stones. Interesting. There is even a colon on display. And yes, I found a hard dick. I usually do. There was a scrotum next to it. Next to that was a preserved vagina.

I was pretty worn out by everything. Not that I was grossed out. No, I was more fascinated than Spock ever was. But walking around that place is pretty wearying for a flop sweater like myself. I had to sit down and rest for a bit. I got to watch everyone's reactions to the displays in that room (which included a boulder of an ovarian cyst). Not a single person was grossed out. I'm proud of them. Their reaction was a healthy interest.

But my favorite display? The one that fascinated me the most? Shit. Photography is prohibited there. Yet I'm sure they know who their most popular attraction is. Upstairs they have a banner of this guy:

Meet the Mutter Giant. Isn't he a sinister looking bastard? That's just the banner. I got to see the real bones, and he's ten times more scary. In life he was seven-six, if memory serves. I'm six-one. The regular skeleton they had next to him was more my height. He also has a dwarf skeleton in there next to him, just for comparison. But the Giant? I cannot describe to you how menacing he is in death. His hands hang by his knees like a gorilla's. Look in his eyes and you see pure malice. He towers over me. Like one of my favorite actors, Rondo Hatton (the Creeper from the old Universal pictures), the Giant had acromegaly. He did not live very long. I'm sure he was a nice guy, but seeing him so many years after his death genuinely creeped me out.

There is so much more at the Mutter. You all need to see it for yourselves. Just don't go down to see the Giant on your own. Something tells me this guy walks around at night after everyone else is gone. Planning.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016


It's kind of weird. I remembered something from my childhood that I haven't thought about for years, and it's made me think more, deeper, until I remembered other things from my past.

The thing that started this was seeing a kid the other day waving to the engineer of a train. It's slipped my mind, but I remember doing the exact same thing when I was a kid. Every time I saw a train, I waved to the engineer. He always waved back.

I also remember putting pennies on the train tracks, not to derail the trains like some of my more sadistic friends, but to flatten them. And it always worked.

I remember when my grandfather used to pick me up to bring me to elementary school. He had this weird thing that he did that I don't think he even remembers now. First he would hold up a thumbs up. Then he'd stick out his index finger like a finger gun. And then he'd open the rest of his hand. I would do the same thing back to him, and he'd smile and clap me on the shoulder.

Gramps also used to do a, I guess it's a human pyramid, with me and my cousin. He'd be on the bottom. As the oldest I'd be on his back. My cousin was the youngest at the time, so he was the top.

The time that my stepfather was dragging me to a grocery store, and we were at a street corner where we had to wait for the cars to go by. I put my thumb out like I'd seen in movies, not realizing that it was the universal sign of hitchhiking. My stepfather slapped the shit out of me for that, and I've never done it again.

My cousin and I watching the trucks go by just outside our grandparents' backyard. We were impressed by the passing of these things on the expressway. And then a wooden wall was constructed between us and the trucks, and we were depressed.

My grandmother tells me a story about the time, back in the 'Sixties, when there was no wall, and there was a horrible storm. A family abandoned their car on the expressway and eventually wandered into the backyard seeking aid and succor. They got it, too. Different times.

Behind my elementary school there were train tracks and a tiny bridge we could go under to avoid them. But there was a yellow line we had to stand behind if there was a train going through. We didn't pay much attention. It was thrilling to be in the underpass while a train thundered overhead.

The snake that attacked my one and only friend in first grade. He showed me the slashes in his elbow. There were only supposed to be garter snakes back there. Maybe not that one time, though.

Then there was the moment I met my best friend in third grade. We fell in together because he could fold his eyelids back. Everyone else found it gross, but I thought it was cool as shit.

My cousin and I used to hang out in the rec room of our grandparents' place, and when we had to take a piss we'd just do it through the screen door. We got away with it for a long time, too.

There was also a scary crawlspace there.

It's surprising all of the things I forgot when I was a kid. Back when I was let loose in the world when I was done with school, no parental supervision, just so long as I was back for the six o'clock siren. If I was late, I was fucked.

What do you remember from when you were a kid that you haven't thought about in ages?

Tuesday, September 20, 2016


Remember a while ago when I did a good deed and it felt great? You can read about it here. It feels pretty good doing good deeds. It's kind of addictive because of the dopamine release you get in your head when you see positive results. It's kind of like when you see that your Facebook post got 100 likes. Or maybe President Obama responds to your Tweet. And so on.

A couple of weeks ago I found myself in a position to do another good deed. But it started out from a horrible thing I did.

Not last Saturday, but the Saturday before I went to Skippy's for a burger. They've got a great burger, even though it's only a charburger. Anyway, I could have sworn they were open until ten on the weekends. I arrived at the drive thru and made my order. Only then did I see the sign that says they close at nine on every night except Sunday (8 pm). I looked at the clock. It was 8:59 pm.

Oh fuck. I just became *that* guy. You should never EVER show up to a restaurant at literally the last minute and order something that takes more than a minute to prepare. It takes them five minutes to make a burger. Oh goddam, I felt like such a heel. If I'd seen that sign before making the order I would have gone somewhere else. I could only imagine the cook cursing my name--if they knew my name, that is.

I paid at the window, and I felt like an utter asshole. Then I awkwardly sat in my car, waiting, feeling like shit.

Out of the corner of my eye I saw a skunk starting to pick around a car parked behind the building. Something scared it, and it backed away with its tail in the air. I thought for a moment it was going to spray, and I was in the direct line. I did not like the idea of my car smelling like skunk. I can control skunks, but I can only use simple commands. They might not listen to me if I said more than STOP. And GO AWAY. I wrote a Goodnight, Fuckers about it near the beginning of the run, but I can't find it, and I'm too lazy to dig that deep. If you have a better discipline, check it out. It's there somewhere.

The skunk came back to the car and poked around more. It pawed the wheels. It sniffed around the back. And then I saw it go under the car. Whoever owned this car obviously worked at the restaurant, due to the parking place. I was horrified at the idea that the owner would come out after their shift, not knowing there was a skunk under their car. I kept seeing them getting squirted and spending the next few days trying to get away from the stench.

The guy at the drive thru gave me my burger. I asked him, "Do you know who owns that car?"

"Uh, yeah, I know who owns it." He said it nervously, like maybe he thought someone had damaged it. Or maybe someone was going to sue the owner. I felt I had to immediately allay his fears.

"I just saw a skunk go under the car. I'd appreciate it if you'd warn whoever owns it so they don't get sprayed tonight." Imagine working at your shitty day job, and when you're finally ready to go home to some relaxation you get sprayed by a skunk. It's ugly, man. UGLY.

He reached into his pocket and pulled out a key fob. He pressed a button, and the car turned on. It took me a moment to realize that he was the owner. I said, "Oh! Uh, in that case, be careful, man."

"Hopefully the sound of the car drove it off. Thanks, man. I appreciate it. Can I get you a drink? We have Pepsi products."

I already had my drink, but I thanked him anyway.

"You really saved me, man. Thanks for warning me."

No problem. I drove off kind of giddy from doing the right thing. It felt amazing. It felt so good that I was halfway home before I realized that this thing had started with an asshole move on my part.

I vaguely believe that the universe balances out. I don't think there's a force behind that, or a god, or whatever. But I do think that for every shitty thing you do, you do a good thing, even if it's an accident.

I do a lot more good deeds than I mention, but that one felt the best. I felt like I made up for driving the cook a little crazy with my last minute burger. (The cook was, after all, the guy I saved from a spraying. He wasn't just the guy at the drive thru window.)

Do good deeds. It feels really fucking good. You'll see.

Monday, September 19, 2016


I went out to Pennsylvania this weekend. It's the third time I've been to one of the original 13 colonies. I tend not to count New York because I was only at the airport there for a connecting flight to Ireland. The other was Georgia. A friend lived in Tennessee back then, and the only airport he could get me at was in Atlanta.

But Pennsylvania is waaaaay better than Georgia. Georgia is a shithole. No offense to anyone who lives there, but the Civil War, in particular William T. Sherman, really did a number on that place. It never recovered. There is a sense of dilapidation about the place. Of desolation and decay. Of death. It's falling apart and has no hope of ever recovering. The Reconstruction left that state behind.

Kevin Strange and I rode into PA at night, so we didn't get to see a lot of it. I'll talk more about our trip later and possibly in installments, but I saw a lot of interesting things in PA. It's just as old as Georgia, but there isn't the same feeling of abandonment.

I live in Illinois, in a suburb of Chicago, and around here we don't give a shit about old things. If something turns fifty, it's obsolete. We have to tear that shit down and build something new. There are no old houses or structures in my town. I live in a townhouse made in the 'Fifties, and it's falling apart. I imagine that very soon we're going to get a visit from an Elmhurst official wishing to buy this place so they can tear it down.

PA has no desire to do that kind of thing.

Let me explain. Kevin's GPS took us off course for a McDonald's run, and as we tried to get back on track it told us to take the back streets. All we saw was corn. That's old hat for me. I live on the Suburban Prairie, and corn is fucking everywhere as soon as you travel beyond the 'burbs.

But Kevin's GPS was telling me to go straight down one road, and all I saw was what looked like a house in the middle of the road. It seemed like the GPS was asking me to blaze down the driveway and plow through this house. I had The Fear.

It took me a moment to realize that it wasn't a house. It was a covered fucking bridge. I'd never seen one in real life before. When I was a kid we had a . . .  I don't know what to call it. It's not a painting. It's not a sculpture. It's a work of art. It's . . . I don't know. But it depicts a covered bridge. I remember it from "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow." I remember it from Joe Hill's NOS4A2. But in real life? I had no idea these things existed. Awed, I drove through it.

I was kind of excited to see any evidence of the Amish. Again, I've only seen the kind of thing in movies or literature. We caught a fleeting glimpse of a dude in a horse-drawn buggy. We don't have that kind of thing where I live.

We were staying with Mike Lombardo. On Saturday night we were walking through his area of town, and I couldn't help but notice how old every house was. In Elmhurst they would all be torn down or labeled historical locations and thus protected. In PA they were just business as usual. I was absolutely fascinated. Kevin and Lombardo were lost in conversation, but I couldn't help but stare at and admire these old buildings that had modern people living in them.

And then we drove home. We started out pre-dawn, but as we went the sun rose and illuminated everything we'd missed on the way in. We saw the mountains we drove under thanks to the tunnels that had us thinking about DAYLIGHT and that one scene from THE STAND. But more importantly I noted the fog. It was everywhere. It clung to the mountains and in some cases shrouded them so heavily we didn't even know they were there until later. It was haunting.

We drove close to Gettysburg. I kind of wanted to see the old battlefield. I own a bullet from the site during the Civil War. I couldn't help but think about the history that lurked in that fog, hidden within the mountains. I don't know if there were any unrecorded skirmishes that happened in those areas we saw, but they certainly had soldiers marching through there on their way to killing. Getting killed. Or maybe getting wounded enough for a good ol' fashioned field amputation, which I learned a lot about from going to the Mutter Museum in Philly.

Years ago there was a movie called GHOSTS OF THE CIVIL DEAD. I would not have learned about it if not for Nick Cave being an actor in it. I love that title. It gives the perfect phrase to what I felt as I drove through the foggy mountains. I could feel the history around me, inarticulate in its ways but a presence nonetheless.

I love living in Elmhurst. When I was younger and thought that writers got good money for what they did (thanks, Stephen King . . .) I fantasized about my living arrangements. I would spend my springs and autumns in Elmhurst (because it's the perfect environment for those seasons), and I would live in Las Vegas during the winter, Canada in the summer. But honestly I've never seen myself seriously living anywhere other than Elmhurst. This place is in my blood. My bones. My soul.

For the first time in my life I considered living elsewhere. I loved the environment of Pennsylvania so much that I wanted to pull up roots and travel across the country. It's a wonderful place. It's got a great vibe. It has the ghosts of the civil dead.

I'll probably stick with Elmhurst, but goddam it felt good to be in Pennsylvania.

Friday, September 16, 2016


I remember when I was a kid the only booze I was exposed to was Jim Beam mostly because of my grandfather. It was his drink of choice. Every night he'd built his own sub sandwich and top it off with shots of Jim Beam. Later my stepfather would keep a bottle of Jim Beam for night whenever he got off of work. He held a lot of different jobs because he kept getting fired. He was a scientist when I first met him, but he worked as a cabbie for a while and he worked at a paint store and so on and so forth. But that bottle remained the same.

As a result my first taste of booze as a discerning adult was Jim Beam. I stuck to what I liked at first, but when I saw the variety available I jumped in. I quickly discovered Wild Turkey 101 within the first year it was released, and I fell in love. It's been my favorite ever since. I think Booker's is even better, but it's too expensive for me to drink more than maybe once every two years.

But Jim Beam will always have a place in my heart. Imagine my joy when a friend of mine inherited a bunch of booze from the 'Seventies a while back. One of them was the bottle of Jim Beam you see above.

He shared, for which I am eternally grateful. My fellow drunkards know that Jim Beam documents their family on the side of their bottle. Currently Jim Beam has seven faces on their label. The one my friend shared with me?

Five. How cool is that? Also I noticed something I'd never seen as a child because I didn't have enough booze knowledge. The original Jim Beam had a proof of 86. Today it has a proof of 80, which is the industry standard. When the fuck did this happen? I have a history of protesting Jack Daniel's because they quietly lowered their proof from 90 to 80, and when MODERN DRUNKARD called them out on it, they acted in a very snobby way. They were of the opinion that MDM didn't know what the fuck they were talking about because they weren't distillers. Well . . . the writers at MDM were your customers. I was, too. Not anymore.

Jim Beam quietly lowered their proof from 86 to 80. No one ever called them out on it, so they had no opportunity to respond in a snobby fashion. I searched the internet far and wide, but I've never been able to find an explanation. It's almost like it never happened. But I had the, uh, well. Proof. Sorry. I tried to avoid a pun, and there was no pun intended. There wasn't a way around it.

My friend gave me the bottle, and I had about an inch left at the bottom. Vintage Jim Beam. I intended to save it for a special occasion. Earlier this week, however, I decided to down it. I'm going on a road trip tomorrow that could be a great help to my writing career, and I decided to celebrate.

The thing is, no one is likely to drink vintage Jim Beam from here on out. It's all been drunk, right? It was the end of an era. Whenever I do something I know is going to be the passing of a way of life I like to listen to my favorite song in the world. I don't listen to it often because I don't want it to wear out. As your physician I recommend you follow suit.

How was it? It fucking burned so hard I had to flinch. I'm used to high proof booze, but this had nothing to do with potency. They used to make booze with a tougher bite. It reminded me of something else. It tasted a lot like Jim Beam Black. Surprise! JBB is 86 proof. Hm . . . The only difference is that what I drank had a sting that the Black doesn't have. The closest you can get to the classic is JBB, though. I highly recommend it.

Remember when booze had a sticker as a seal instead of a plastic ring?

Oh yeah. Those were the days. It's making a comeback, but no one is confident enough to abandon the plastic ring in such situations.

Goddam. That one inch of vintage Jim Beam was fucking awesome. Sorry folks. I was the last to have it. I'm tempted to mention a story of mine from a while back about a similar thing. Ah hell, the magazine is out of print, so it's not really a plug. It was in THE BRACELET CHARM Winter 2010. "From the Vineyard of Eden." A private investigator is hired by a snob to procure a bottle of wine on auction. This wine was made thousands of years ago from the grapes of the literal Eden. This guy had a hard-on for the oldest alcoholic beverage known to humanity. Spoiler alert: when he finally got it, it tasted like shit, but he'd lied to himself enough so that he believed it was the best ever.

But this Jim Beam I'm talking about? It really was good. It's better than I can explain here. I wish you could all taste it.

But it was only one inch, and unlike my friend, I'm pretty stingy when it comes to once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Sorry. But take my word for it, it was fucking awesome.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016


I'm a huge fan of westerns. Those of you who know me know that and probably look the other way. When I was a kid I loved all the classics and GUNSMOKE and RAWHIDE and THE LONE RANGER and all of that. But my interest waned as I grew older. It was practically dead by the time UNFORGIVEN came out.

I saw that one in the theater. Amazing experience. At the time I believed it to be the last great western, and I gave up on the genre. So did most of America. Every once in a while we'd get something like, say, AMERICAN OUTLAWS, but for the most part the western was gone.

Fast forward a few years. I started reading PREACHER by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon. They reawakened my interest in westerns. I looked back at the old movies and TV shows I loved as a kid, and it all came back to me. I loved the genre again, and I desperately hoped for a resurrection.

I think we might be on the cusp of a revival. THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN is back in headlines, and WESTWORLD is posed to become HBO's next greatest hit. Tarantino put out a new Django movie, and THE H8FUL EIGHT was fucking amazing, especially with a score by Ennio Morricone. That makes me so happy.

When I was a kid I didn't read westerns. I only watched them. When I rediscovered the western I started reading them starting with GONE TO TEXAS from BF Carter. (Side note: I recently discovered that Carter was a white supremacist. That came out of left field for me. His Josey Wales books are arguments for the fair treatment of Native Americans. I can't believe a racist wrote those two books. But, well, it's historical record that he was in the KKK.)

I dug into Zane Grey and Louis L'Amour and everything else. Fucking Larry McMurtry, guys. Read LONESOME DOVE. It'll change your life. By the way, if you're wondering I would choose L'Amour as my favorite western writer. Read his nonfiction book EDUCATION OF A WANDERING MAN, and you'll understand why. Frederick Faust, better known as Max Brand, was a beast of a writer. He could write novels in weekends. That's a pulp writer for you. But L'Amour was the best. Interestingly enough, he was a member of the Communist Party for a while with Jim Thompson, my favorite crime writer. Very unusual for a writer so many patriotic readers identify with.

Not too long ago I finished another collection of L'Amour's hard-to-find westerns from his pulp days. It reinforces something I've noticed in a lot of other westerns: many western protagonists have a history fighting for the Confederacy, and very few of them believed in the racist views. They looked at themselves as rebels. They wanted their own way of life. They didn't condone slavery; they just wanted to live free, and they didn't want to be under the yoke of the Union.

Also, just about everyone rode with Jesse James. From Josey Wales to Jonah Hex, they put on their gray uniforms and fought by the side of the boys from ol' Missour-ah. If Jesse James had really ridden with all of these fictional heroes (or anti-heroes, as per your perception) he would have whipped the shit out of the North.

Unless some of these guys are talking about the bank/train robbery days. In which case Jesse James would have beaten the daylights out of the Pinkertons. Never mind fuckin' Robert Ford.

If all of those protagonists existed in real life, Jesse James would have been Al Capone before Al was even born.

Something to ponder for those who give enough of a shit about the western.

PS: The character of Jesse James has been portrayed maybe a thousand times in books and cinema. My favorite, however, is the movie version of THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD. I haven't read the book, but from what I understand the movie is probably the closest we will ever come to the truth. If you haven't seen it, you should. Check out the masterful score by Nick Cave and violinist Warren Ellis. It's my second favorite score of all time. #1 is Ennio Morricone's THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY. #3 is THE DARK HALF from Christopher Young. #4 is . . . I'm not going to sit here all night. Just fucking watch the movie. Enjoy the score. Remember the western. 'Cause it's coming back, and it might be here for a while. The blues and the birth of rock and roll. And the western. True American art forms.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016


Good evening from the Suburban Prairie. Yeah, I'm not giving up on that. There will be the Thames Delta, and there will be the Suburban Prairie. Get used to it.

Having lived on the prairie my entire life the sight of a hawk on the wing is not a strange one. Yet . . . yet! I have never seen a hawk up close. Not in real life. Sure, in pictures and movies. But not before my very eyes.

Last week I was in the drive thru at Taco Bell, which is unfortunately a common thing for me. As I was waiting in line I saw a GIANT FUCKING THING glide down from the sky and land between bushes off to my right. It took me a moment to realize that it was a hawk. It looked as big as a Canadian goose. It was not fucking around. I watched it, fascinated as I always am by nature. I barely remember handing over my money and receiving my Crunchy Cheesy Core Burrito. I watched that fucker as closely as I could. Usually I eat my fast food on the road, but I decided to park as close to the hawk as I could without frightening it off, just so I could watch it and see what the fuck it was up to.

I parked at a close but respectable distance. It didn't get spooked. It sat still, not so much as turning its head. And then it pounced into a bush. A flock of sparrows fled for their lives. The bush rustled a lot, and the hawk emerged with its prize. It sat there right in front of me, like it knew I wanted a show, pecking at whatever it had caught. Then more birds flew into the bush, and the hawk went back to work. He's a doer. He doesn't wait for shit to come to him. He goes out and gets it.

Except this time the sparrows seemed to have outnumbered him. He took to wing. DIRECTLY FUCKING AT ME.

For a moment I could swear this fucking guy was going to dive-bomb my windshield. He wouldn't be the first bird to do this. But at the last second he pulled up, and I got the perfect view of an ascending hawk, mere inches from my face. If not for my car I could have reached up and snatched him from the sky.

But he would not have liked that. Nor would I, after he'd had his way with me.

I sat there with my heart beating, my mouth full of burrito. And then I realized, fuck, I should have had my camera. That would have been a wonderful shot.

But fuck that. This one's just for me. It's special. Sorry, folks. That's just the way it's got to be.

Monday, September 12, 2016


I'm a weird bastard when it comes to writing. Very few of you know of my literary pieces. It's a shame that THE BRACELET CHARM Winter 2012 isn't available anywhere because one of my stories in there is germane to tonight's GOODNIGHT, FUCKERS. Anyone ever read "The Hand That Shook the World?" It's the story of a WWII soldier who comes home at the end of the war and tells a bunch of lies about what he did overseas to get free drinks. He was really just a paper pusher. He saw zero action. And then he sees an ancient man in a wheelchair who told him a story about being a drummer boy at Gettysburg and having actually seen Lincoln deliver his famous address. Later in life, our soldier realizes that the old man was just as full of shit as he was.

I kinda-sorta based it on a supposedly true story I'd read in READER'S DIGEST about a Civil War soldier meeting with someone who fought for George Washington. The major thing to take away from this is that both scenarios I have just described are POSSIBLE. Keep in mind that former US president John Tyler still has grandchildren alive today. He was the 10th president of this nation. He was a Whig, for Christ's sake.

The point is, history is never far behind us.

I was reminded of this recently when my grandmother found something in the backyard. She showed me the badge in the above photo. She thought it was from the Indian Wars. She thinks it was from a US soldier, who left it behind after they raided the Potawatomis in the area. However, if memory serves correctly, Elmhurst is one of the few areas around here that wasn't stolen from the Potawatomis (or anyone, for that matter). There never was a settlement here. In Oak Brook? Yes. Not here. It's possible that they passed through here, as it is possible that the US Army passed through here. Every once in a while the neighbor finds some arrow heads in her backyard, and they didn't just come out of nowhere.

But this? This is different. I looked this thing over and over, and I very quickly surmised that it never belonged to a US soldier from that time. Look at that gun. They didn't have weapons like that back then. But then something else caught my eye, and I almost wished that it *had* belonged to a US soldier. It would be so much easier to categorize, then.

Look at the eagle on top of the thing. Then look at what it's holding in it's talons.

That's right. A motherfucking swastika.

It would be so much easier to explain if it was a US Army badge. But a Nazi badge? That's a bit harder to figure out. That leaves me with an interesting mystery. I love mysteries, but unfortunately I can never solve this one.

That leaves me with speculation. What are the odds that it came from an actual Nazi who moved to the states after the war? It's possible, I guess, but it's wildly improbable. Maybe a WWII memorabilia collector lost it back there. Again, unlikely. But here's a very real possibility, and it's the only explanation that makes sense.

It was lost there by a WWII vet, and it was taken off the freshly killed corpse of a Nazi rifleman. Possibly the vet who dropped it was the one who killed the Nazi in the first place.

But who could that vet be? The house has only had one owner besides my family in its entire existence. There was a very old couple who moved in when the house was built in the 'Fifties, and they sold to my grandfather when I was a kid.

The man who lived here was EXACTLY the age of someone who would have fought in WWII. It matches perfectly. But . . . well, he's no longer around. Neither is his wife. There is no way for me to track them down and ask about it. I don't know if they have kids, but I don't think it would matter much. WWII guys just didn't talk about the shit they did over there. They needed their loved ones to think that it was a noble war, and that they were heroes. Real heroes in war are very, very rare, no matter what our government says. Why do you think so many soldiers become drunks or junkies or they commit suicide?

On a side note, before I get people complaining about what I just said, I *do* believe WWII was a noble war, but I'm not stupid enough to think that our guys didn't do a lot of scary, awful shit overseas.

If I'm right, this story died with him. I'm never going to know how that Nazi badge wound up in my hand. And I would love love LOVE to know. I'm a huge fan of history, and I would love the story behind this.

History is never far behind us. Only recently did the last WWI soldier pass away. The Greatest Generation is not quite as plentiful as they once were. Vietnam soldiers are old men, and Desert Storm soldiers aren't getting any younger. I held a piece of Nazi history in my hand, and it isn't the first time. My step-grandfather gave me a lot of old coins, and quite a few of them have swastikas on them. To say nothing of the arrow heads I've found since I was a kid. I have a bullet from the Civil War (unfired). I have a hunk of fossilized shit. Who knows what lies a mere foot under your lawn? Where I sit right now used to be a sea millions of years ago. I've held the fossils of trilobites that were found here. I touched the bones of a woolly mammoth from millions of years ago. It's all within our grasp.

But it's slipping.

Without history we have no future. #NeverForget has been applied to a lot of atrocities in our past, but it should be applied to everything. Even something as silly as the founding of Facebook will be important to the generations that come after us. I wonder what the future archaeologists will think of us. When I was in high school I used to joke that they would find all of these McDonald's golden arches, and they'll assume that these fast food restaurants were our places of worship. Maybe it's not so much of a joke than a pretty good guess.

Which is why #NeverForget is so important. If we forget, there is no reason for us to relearn. Let's make it easy on our descendants, huh?

This is the 200th episode of GOODNIGHT, FUCKERS. Thanks for reading, and I hope we're around for #300. Hugs and kisses to you all.