Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Hugging and Monkey Love

Hello everyone. Sorry for the radio silence here on the blog. I've been busy writing and getting together a project that I'm going to be announcing here in a couple of days.

However, rather than leave a gaping hole of not-blog, I've decided to post up some back-in-the-day writing. Specifically, a satirical advice column called "Your College Survival Guide" that I used to publish in the local paper. It was a delicious blend of demented ravings, bad advice, black bile, with just a tiny garnish of truth.

Fair warning: The tone of the College Survival Guide is different than what you might be used to here on the blog. It's different than my novel too. Different audience + different purpose = different style. So don't assume that I've had a psychotic break.

And if you don't know what satire is, you might want to look it up before you read the column. It might help prevent confusion....

Anyway, here's one I wrote a couple years back. Enjoy.

*****
Hello Young Rothfuss,

How you do amuse me from time to time with your silly column... it really is the best read I've come across in a long time.

I've been wondering about men lately. In particular, boyfriends. I've been asking my gaggle of girlfriends why women have attachment issues. (That's not your question) I want to know why most males in a relationship like to play games with their bitches (i.e. "I'm not gonna call her for a couple of days to see if she cracks and calls me first... A HA!") OR if they just deal with distance better than us women.

My friend and I call our condition, the "Kiss and Cuddle" syndrome. The only reason we go back to our loser boyfriends is cuz we want to hold them and kiss them and squeeze them until their heads pop off "wike kwazy widdle cutie pootie wootie puppies!" I'm rambling now, but why why why does my boyfriend (who lives in Minneapolis) NOT CALL ME, GODDAMN IT!!!????

-- Anitra


Well Anitra, I have a good answer to your letter. Actually, I have two good answers. Luckily, due to psychotic break brought about by midterm stress, I have two fully-formed personalities willing to give you their opinions on this issue.


Evil Pat's Response.

So, why are guys thoughtless, callous, game-playing jerks? Simple, Anitra, because that's what you women have trained us to be.

Let me explain this with a story. Imagine that you're a young boy, and like most young boys, you're a Nice Guy: innocent, polite, and considerate. You meet Julie. She's smart, funny, and pretty. You become friends and slowly but surely you realize you're in love with her.

So you join forensics because she's on the team. You cheer her on when she tries out for the swim team. Soon you're talking on the phone for hours at a stretch, really getting to know her.

But while you're investing time and energy into building an emotional and intellectual bond with Julie, some basketball player asks her to the prom. She says yes, because he's a junior, and he has his own car. Plus he's got an ass you can bounce a quarter off of. Let's call him Chad.

Then Chad proceeds to treat Julie like crap, because he doesn't know the first thing about her. But for some reason she clings to him like he's the last life preserver on the Titanic. And all the while, there you are, her friend and confidante. Every night you're on the phone, listening while she cries about how obnoxious and thoughtless he is. But she forgives him because she's in love, right?

Then it slowly dawns on you. Julie will never be your girlfriend. Why? Well, given the overwhelming evidence, Julie doesn't want a boy who listens to her thoughts and feelings. Julie wants a cretin with a nice ass. Guys like Chad get all the lovin'. Guys like you are the equivalent of an emotional tampon. End of story.

Now if you're a Really Nice Guy you move on with your innocence intact. Then you meet a girl called Erica. Lather, rinse, repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

And after you slide down this emotional razorblade about a dozen times, you know what you get? You get me. I'm not nice anymore. Over the years I've molded myself into an arrogant bastard of such vast proportions that women find me irresistible. And you know what? It works great. You can get radiation burns from the amount of raw animal magnetism I throw off.

And now you're complaining that your guy doesn't call you? Get bent, chicky. You women have made your collective bed, and now you have to lie in it. Alone.


Nice Pat's Response.

Well Anitra, your letter reminded me of a conversation I had with a friend about a week ago. She told me that she liked getting massages. More than that, she considered them essential for her emotional well-being, especially when she was in-between boyfriends. She went on to explain that she thought touching and being touched was a vital part of being a primate.

Which means, in a nutshell, that she feels like her inner monkey occasionally needs to be loved.

Personally, I couldn't agree more. I think that deep down we all have basic monkey urges. Do you remember that experiment we all learned about in psychology 101? The one where the baby monkey had to choose between two fake mommy monkeys? Given the choice between a non-cuddly chicken wire mom that had milk, and a furry fake-mom that didn't have any milk, the baby monkey always chose the furry mom. It goes to show how important this cuddling impulse is to us primate types.

So to answer your question, Anitra, I decided to perform an expanded version of this experiment. I added a balsa-wood monkey with a cookie and a handgun; a sheet-metal monkey that gives out bong hits; and a monkey made entirely out of Cool-Ranch Doritos that gets drunk and burns you with cigarettes.





Anyway to make a long story short, I never got around to finding a baby monkey to experiment on. Apparently you need a permit or something for that. But I CAN tell you that my favorite was the razorwire monkey with a tazer that dispensed sweet, sweet, methadone. I still sleep with it at night.

So what's the moral to the story? Shit. I have no idea. Scientists hate monkeys, I guess. There's your moral. I'm outta here.


pat

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posted by Pat at 32 Comments



Tuesday, January 8, 2008
The Great Zombie Debate

About a decade ago, I started writing a humor column for the local paper. It started as a fake advice column, and over the years it became.... I don't know what. Somewhere for me to make crude jokes about monkeys and pontificate on whatever subject was currently holding my attention.

I can't say why I started doing it. Boredom and ego, I guess. Plus I liked writing and making people laugh. What makes even less sense to me is that after almost a decade, I'm still writing it. I don't get paid for it, and over the years the column has landed me in more trouble than anything else I've ever done. That's the problem with satire, if it's done properly, it pisses people off.

Here's how it works. I make fun of clowns, and you laugh. I make fun of frat boys, and you laugh. Then I make fun of Buddhists. But you're a Buddhist. Suddenly you're not laughing.

Have I suddenly become unfunny? No. It's just that now I'm poking fun at your personal sacred cow. But that's my job as a satirist, I expose that which is ridiculous in the world. I'm a sacred cow tipper.

Anyway, I when I was out at the Fantasy Matters conference a couple months ago, I had do do a reading directly following Neil Gaimain. I knew that I couldn't hope to match him in sheer mythic storytelling awesomeness, so I decided to go for some cheap laughs instead. To this end, I read a column I wrote a couple years ago called The Great Zombie Debate.

Surprisingly, people liked it. So I thought I'd post it up here for those of you looking for a cheap laugh or two.

Dear Pat,

My social group is fiercely locked in the fast zombie vs. slow zombie debate. While I'll admit that 28 Days rocked, I still think slow zombies are much scarier than their faster counterparts. Can you shower us with your wisdom? I fear this debate will cause a schism in our group that may never mend.

John S.


Thanks for the letter, John. It's always nice to hear from a guy who's not afraid to use the word "schism."

Though not many folk know it, the fast vs. slow zombie debate goes all the way back to the early days of the church. It was part of a disagreement between James the greater, and Paul, formerly Saul of Tarsus. You see, James believed in salvation according to works, slow zombies, and that watching two women kiss was, in his words, "wicked cool."

On the other hand, Paul believed in salvation according to faith, fast zombies, and the fact that women were "kinda icky" therefore two kissing would be, "double icky."

Now normally when there was a disagreement, they turned to Thomas. But Thomas thought it should be faith AND works. And he'd never actually seen two women kiss and didn't believe that sort of thing really happened. As for zombies, well... the thought of people getting up and moving around after they were dead was just too much for him, and he told the other disciples that he had better things to do than sit around and listen to them tell silly stories.

And so the issue remains unresolved to this day, stirred up by recent fast zombie movies like Dawn of the Dead and 28 Days.

So let's lay this to rest once and for all, shall we?

Now to a certain extent whether you like fast or slow zombies is simply a matter of personal taste.

It's like sex. Fast sex is different from slow sex. But they both have their good points. A quickie is fun. It's a romp. It's exciting. Slow sex is different. It's an experience. It's an adventure. It's an African safari which necessitates the use of a special type of hat.

But while they both have their selling points, the fact remains that slow sex has a lot more style. More room for finesse. More opportunities to wear exciting hats.

The same thing is true with zombie movies. Everybody who isn't all a total tightass enjoys a good zombie movie now and then, fast or slow. But ultimately, a slow zombie movie has a lot more style. More finesse. The purpose of a zombie movie is to scare you, and ultimately, slow zombies are more frightening.

Now before all you fast zombie advocates get your knickers in a twist, listen to me. Slow zombies are frightening. Fast zombies are startling. There's a huge difference, let me explain.

You know the part in the horror movie when the young co-ed is looking through the attic with a flashlight? It's dark, the music gets real dramatic, then BAM! A cat jumps out from behind a stack of boxes.

Pretty scary, huh?

No. No, that was not scary. It was just startling. It's cheap. If you don't believe me, just think of a whole movie full of nothing but cats jumping out at people. Would that be a scary move? No. It would just suck. The same goes for a movie full of nothing but fast zombies jumping out at people, or, come to think of it, relationships full of nothing but fast sex.

That is, unless you're having a relationship with a slow zombie that wore an exciting hat when you had sex with it. That might work, I think.

And with that bit of wisdom I will leave you for now. I'll be back soon, and posting more consistently now that the holidays are past. I'll tell y'all how the Boston Signing went, and I'll be making those announcements I promised you a couple weeks ago.

Plus, I have some delicious fanart that I've been dying to show you....

Later all,

pat

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posted by Pat at 19 Comments



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