How Do You Not Know This?

May 26, 2011

[Oh look: there's a Crafting Society meeting at the Lima Bean cannery. Crafters sit on folding chairs and hold their crafts and talk about their crafts and who’s gonna buy their crafts.]

Crafter: Want to buy this thing I made?

Another Crafter: No. Want to buy this thing I made?

Crafter: No. Want to trade the things we made?

Another Crafter: No. Can I just borrow some cash?

Crafter: No.

[Ann approaches the microphone holding a large a birdhouse covered in bloody thorns.]

Ann: Is this thing on?

Crafter: Yes.

Ann: I’d like to present a new birdhouse. But don’t get too excited, it’s not for sale. It’s too personal. It’s about something going on in my life right now, and like I’ve always said, if you’re not making crafts about shit going on in your life, what ARE you making crafts about?

As many of you know, I have an adopted son, Little Ann. He’s feral. He wasn’t raised by wolves or sewer rats or anything like that. His real mother was some sliz my boyfriend fucked before he met me and when she suddenly died, he took him in. This sliz wasn’t much of a mother. She kept Little Ann tied up in a closet for ten years so she didn’t have to put up with him. He missed out on the aughts entirely.

Crafter: Lucky kid.

Ann: He lived off of Lunchables that she’d slip under the closet door. Can you believe that? Lunchables, in this day and age. Those things contain enough poison to kill a horse. It’s food for robots, by robots. Not human food. Thinking about how my baby was force fed that junk for ten years makes me want to dig up his mother’s corpse and spit on it. My poor baby never knew his mother’s milk. He never felt his mother’s motherly warmth. That’s why my boyfriend and I are trying to give him the best life possible.

The best thing about having a kid at home is all the inspiration he gives you. Many of you were fans of my Netflix-envelope-covered-in-shit birdhouse. Guess who inspired that one? And remember the little-boy-sneaking-gin birdhouse? That was also Little Ann.

[She holds up the bloody thorns birdhouse.]

This one’s about Little Ann, too. It’s about him falling in love. Now, what’s more wild and pure than a feral boy falling in love for the first time? Nothing. That’s why I had to make a birdhouse about it.

Here’s the story: My boyfriend is a sweetie, but he can be such a drunk asshole sometimes. Every Monday he’s supposed to pick up Little Ann from preschool. Monday is his day, and I have EVERY OTHER DAY. But he still forgets sometimes and gets drunk with his asshole friends and poor Little Ann waits and waits all alone until a teacher gets worried and calls my cell phone and says, Your boyfriend forgot to pick up Little Ann again. Should I walk him home? It’s embarrassing.

Two weeks ago he got drunk and forgot, and good thing he did, because it all worked out for the best. This time, Little Ann wasn’t alone. A little girl in his class was also waiting to be picked up. Her name is Nadifa. Na-di-fa. So. Little Ann and Nadifa are sitting on the curb, waiting. Little Ann is twelve; so is Nadifa. You’re probably thinking, WHAT? What are these twelve-year-olds doing in preschool? Well. Little Ann’s excuse is that he was locked in a closet for ten years. He’s a bit behind. As for Nadifa, she’s fresh off the boat from Africa. No kidding! Somalia. And while the teacher says she’s smart, she’s basically at a five-year-old’s level. The sad thing is, her parents are dead or missing, nobody knows, and she doesn’t have any family here. I don’t know the whole story about how she got here, but now she lives in a foster home for girls in Bed-Stuy and sells mangoes in the park on the weekends.

Oh, and she shaves her head. It’s adorable.

So, Little Ann and Nadifa are on the curb, and the teacher’s standing next to them, and Nadifa says:

Nadifa: Why are you bigger than the other kids?

Little Ann: I’m twelve. The other kids are younger.

Nadifa: I am also twelve. I’m from Africa.

Little Ann: You’re black. Gross.

Nadifa: I know. But the first people on erf were from Africa so all people are from Africa, when you think hard about it. So you are black too.

Little Ann: I’m white.

Nadifa: Do you have a girlfriend?

Little Ann: What’s a girlfriend?

Nadifa: Oh man. How do you not know this? It’s a friend that a boy has who’s a girl who he can touch and do stuff with. It can be fun to have a girlfriend.

Little Ann: Oh.

Nadifa: Do you want to be my boyfriend?

Little Ann: What’s a boyfriend?

Nadifa: Oh man. How do you not know this stuff? It’s the same thing as a girlfriend, but a boy. A boyfriend is a friend a girl has who she can touch and do stuff with. And she can tell him what to do and he has to do it. But a boyfriend can’t tell his girlfriend what to do. Only the girl can tell the boy what to do. Those are the rules.

Little Ann: I don’t know if I want a girlfriend then.

Nadifa: Yes you do. I’ll be your girlfriend.

Little Ann: OK. Fine. Now what do we do?

Nadifa: Now you give me a kiss.

Little Ann: No.

Nadifa: You have to.

Little Ann: No I don’t.

Nadifa: Yes you do.

Little Ann: Why?

Nadifa: Because I am your girlfriend so I get to tell you what to do. And I’m telling you to give me a kiss.

Little Ann: Where?

Nadifa: On my mouth.

[They kiss.]

Little Ann: You taste weird. Because you’re black.

Nadifa: It must be the mangoes. I eat mangoes all day because I get free mangoes because I sell mangoes in the park. Do you want a mango?

Little Ann: What’s a mango?

Nadifa: Oh man. How do you not know this?

Ann: And just like that, my little boy got his first girlfriend.

Crafter: But why does your birdhouse have those thorns on it?

Ann: I’m getting to that.



Can You Make Pasta When You’re Drunk?

October 6, 2010

[The couple is lying in bed, in their apartment in Bushwick. She is gluing beer bottles onto a birdhouse, the one about his bacchanalian lifestyle. He is reading My Dad Rocks. He looks up from the book and says:]

-How’s the birdhouse coming along?

[She stays focused on the birdhouse.]

-You know I don’t like to talk about my work until it’s finished. But for you I’ll make an exception. It’s coming along OK. It’s shaping up to be my most expensive piece yet. I just hope it sells.

[He leans over to take a look at it.]

-Why am I so fat in it?

-Because you’re bloated with beer. And it takes place in the future. Your drinking has become out of control and you’re fat from years of heavy boozing. See those circles under my eyes? Those are from all the sleepless years of being tortured by your disease and lying to friends about where you are and having to look after Little Ann even though you said you would. And I’m weary from your infidelities.

-When have I been unfaithful to you?

-You haven’t yet. But you will be. I know it. Ever since I was a teenager I’ve known that any man I would be with would cheat on me. I know it’s coming, so I won’t be too surprised or hurt when it happens. In fact, you might as well get it over with. Get out there and get your dick on. And then tell me about it. And I’ll make a series of birdhouses about you picking up NYU girls at Hey Jealousy by promising them they can work at your hotel that will never exist. And then the birdhouses will get some good press and I’ll make enough money to move out with Little Ann. And we’ll move to grown-up Brooklyn. I’m thinking Boerum Hill, but we’ll see what we can find.

-So what you’re saying is, you want to me to cheat on you so can make birdhouses about it and then eventually leave me?

-Essentially, yes. Ask any young artsy person and they’ll tell you they’re begging for shitty things to happen to them so they can make shitty art about it to make themselves feel better. The art may get them some attention and possibly attract someone new to fuck and then things will go badly with that person and they’ll make more shitty art about it. It’s a cycle: bad life event –> shitty art –> attention –> new person to fuck –> bad life event –> more shitty art. Look at Fleetwood Mac. Not that they’re shitty, but still, all their songs are about the shitty things they would do to each other.

-Why do you get Little Ann when we split up? I found him.

-The boy needs his mother.

-The boy needs to be put down like a sick animal. I don’t think he’ll ever grow up to be a functioning person. And he’s been drinking. The other day when I came home he was watching 60 Minutes and yelling Lunchable at Andy Rooney. And he reeked of gin. I asked him if he’d been drinking, not that he could even understand me, and he burped a gin-y burp in my face and yelled Lunchable again. He’s a sick animal, and he may be better off in a home or something.

-We’re not putting Little Ann in a home, and we’re not putting him down. He’s my son. He may not be your son anymore, but he’s still my son. He’ll like Boerum Hill. There’s more space for him to do whatever kids do – fly kites and chase squirrels and whatever – and there are more children there for him to pal around with. The only kids around here are in gangs, and they call him Boo Radley.

-There are not gangs around here. We live in White Bushwick. And what gang member would ever call someone Boo Radley?

-All I know is that we were walking home from dinner at Roberta’s and a kid, a black kid, called Little Ann Boo Radley. And Little Ann said, Who is that? And I told him that Boo Radley is a famous guitar player and that it’s cool to be called Boo Radley. What else could I say? He was pretty excited about it and started calling me Boo Radley too. He’s a sweet boy. He just needs love. And if you’re not willing to love him, then maybe we’d be better off without you.

-I do love him, but I think he might be better off in a home than in a playpen in our apartment. At least a home would have other messed up kids for him to befriend. They can commiserate together about their shitty parents and have adventures and stuff. The only adventures he has here are when he walks in on us humping and starts cheering like he’s at a horse race. You need start locking the door, by the way.

-It’s my responsibility to lock the door?

-I turn off the lights, you lock the door. I thought we went over this. Couples need to be teams, you know, and if someone isn’t doing their part, the whole production falls apart.

-Having sex with you is like filing my taxes. It’s not fun or spontaneous. It’s a process, with rules and procedures. You say, I turn off the light; you lock the door. And then it’s: I remove your bra while you kiss my arm and I touch your hair while you say something stupid like, I am in love with you, Ann Gibbard, and then you move toward the bed and I start taking off your belt but it’s always too tricky for me so you take over and shimmy out of your pants and then look at your limp dick and back at me and back at your dick and then back at me as if to say, Are you going to do something about this or should I do it myself?

-What do you want, fireworks in bed? Should I pick up some sparklers for next time? Or food, maybe? Want to be one of those couple who fucks their leftovers? What can I say? It gets old after a while, fucking the same person. But it’s not like filling out taxes. It’s more like you’re a pasta chef. You have make the same exact pasta every day for your whole life. When you were a young apprentice, it was hard and fun and thrilling all at once. It was new. But after you’ve been making the same pasta for a few years, it becomes a bore. So you think about making other pastas, new and exciting pastas. But that will only get you in trouble with the owner because he doesn’t want new pasta. No one will eat it, and it would be a waste of ingredients. You would be fired, and your job is your life. You couldn’t imagine living without it. So you continue making the same old pasta, but you find ways to make it fun. You see how many pounds you can make in a day. You see if you can make it with only your left hand. You see if you can do it with your eyes closed. Can you make pasta when you’re drunk? Stoned? The nice part is, you don’t have to worry about anything else, only that one type of pasta you have to make for the rest of your life. And there’s no limit to the fun you can have with it. Maybe you can make into different shapes. Like stars. Or little dinosaurs.

[She enjoys this speech of his. She sets her birdhouse on the nightstand and says:]

-I wanna see what’s up with your little dinosaur.

[And she does. But he’s exhausted, so it’s a quick one. Afterwards, he continues reading and she continues working on the birdhouse. He says:]

-So you really want me to cheat on you for the sake of your shitty art?

-Yes. Honestly. But there have to be rules and procedures. I’m not setting you loose on all the sluts in the Northside. I know how you like sex rules, so let’s make cheating rules. 1. It can’t be anyone I know or anyone who is friends with one of my friends. That goes without saying. 2. She can’t be significantly more attractive than I am. She shouldn’t be gross, either. That would be embarrassing for our family. She should be in the middle. A girl who looks cute in a dark bar but when you sit next to her at brunch the afternoon after you wonder if she’s the same person you slept with. 3. This is the most important one. I need to be in the room. During.

-Wait. What?

-I don’t want you fucking behind my back. I want to be there. If you’re going to cheat, I’m going to be watching you. I’m not going to join in or anything. But I need to see it so I have an image burned into my brain for the shitty art I’m going to make about it. That’s the most important rule. If you break rule number 3., then Little Ann and I moving out.

-But you said you were moving out once I cheat on you anyway.

-We might move out, maybe we won’t, but we will for sure if you break rule number 3. Women can be fickle. If you haven’t learned to deal with that yet then I feel sorry for you.

-I don’t know if I could convince a girl to have sex with me while my girlfriend watches. She might be nervous. I might be nervous. It’s already nerve-racking enough to perform adequately with one person. Put another person in the mix and you’re asking for a panic attack.

-I could hide under the bed or in the closet so you wouldn’t see me. You wouldn’t even know I was there.

-This is getting too weird, even for me. How about this: I don’t cheat on you.

-Oh just think about it. It could be good for Us. It could make me want you more, seeing you with another woman.

-This is getting weird, man. Let’s just relax. Effing artists. Jesus H.

[He picks up My Dad Rocks and says:]

-OK, here’s an exceptionally awesome part. He’s talking about how his dad coins phrases. The chapter is called Shakespeare Dad. [he reads from the book] My dad is a wordsmith. He does the crossword every day and always corrects my mom when she uses incorrect grammar. He says this is one if the things she couldn’t stand about him when they were married. But he couldn’t help doing it because she would say the most idiotic things sometimes. He is such a wordsmith that he’s always coining new words and phrases. Ideas just come to him; he can’t help it. When he was in college he coined the acronym M.O.S.T. It’s something you can do with a girl. It stands for “make out, suck titties.” Here’s how you would use it: So you’re hanging out with your bros the morning after you had a wild night with a lady. One of them asks you, So, did you guys fuck last night or what? And you say, Nope, we just mosted for a while and called it a night. I was really tired. This means you made out with her and sucked her titties. Dad says it’s a great thing to do if you’re super-drunk. Or maybe the girl is kinda gnarly-looking. Say you see three girls at a bar and none of them are anything special, but one isn’t half bad. You’d say, If given the chance, I would most the shit out of that one. You can most in a bathroom. You can most a friend and it wouldn’t be as weird the next day if you had fucked her. Dad says mosting is the sex act of the ’90s: casual, fun and there’s little chance of spreading disease. Mosting: Get hip to it, Dad says.

[he sets the book down. She says:]

-I hate it when you read me that book.

-I hate to admit it, but I’m kinda into it now. And it’s fun to learn why Z is so fucked up. So. You wanna most or what?

-Fine. But we’re getting some sleep after we most.


[And they most. Little Ann quietly opens the door and watches them most.]

NEXT: She Says That Him Is Not Worth Talking About

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The Top 5 Why Reasons ABC Is the Worst Channel

September 14, 2010

Ann: Is this thing on? Pop. Pop. Hot mike. Quiet please.

I called this meeting to discuss something that has been bothering me. Thank you for taking time from your knitting, whittling, geranium-making, whatever your craft is, to come here tonight. I’ll try to be brief. I’ve had a few lattes so it might be hard to keep this short, but let’s dive in. We need a new charter, real bad. The charter Steven wrote in February is a mess. Sorry, Steven, but it’s true. I’m not the only person who feels this way. I would like to propose my ideas for a new one, but before I do that I will read our current charter. [she unfolds the charter and reads from it:]

What is the Bushwick Crafting Society? We are not a club. We are not a guild. And we are not a social group. We didn’t form the Society to find people to fuck, or to fight loneliness. We are crafters; we fight loneliness by crafting and giving our crafts to friends or to people whom we would like to be friends with, not by sitting around and talking about crafts.

The Society was formed as a protest. We are an affront to what urban life has become. Walk around the city and you will be bombarded by advertising and electronic messages and ugly machinery. You will be bombarded so much that you may not even notice it. The bombardment has become what you believe life to be, and it’s sickening to us. If you live with your eyes closed you may not realize that your environment is one of messages, and these messages are lies. The lies are made by people – people who work in the media and advertising. Most of them are not evil people. They  are simply doing their jobs so they can make money so they can eat and drink and thus forget about the miserable way they make money. They don’t DO anything. They don’t make anything. They don’t produce food, and for the most part they don’t produce babies. Only few of them are selfless enough to be parents.

We are not above these people. Rather, we are these people.

We are part of this non-making, non-farming world. We spend our time in ways which didn’t exist twenty years ago. We write online updates about our lives which few will read. We enjoy products of a garbage culture, a culture that has become our God. A lengthy commentary on a mediocre TV show that no one will remember in ten years: this is garbage culture. An article entitled The Top 5 Reasons Why ABC Is the Worst Channel: this is garbage culture. Most of the culture we consume is garbage, and the worst part is, we know it. We revel in it. We laugh about how terrible it all is and then we read an article with someone else’s thoughts on how bad it all is and we laugh some more and then send the article to friends so they can see that we have read the article that reiterates how we all felt when we consumed the piece of the garbage the first time around. The culture individuals make as hobbies is even worse. The average personal website is a garbage heap: pictures of famous people, pictures of pets, pictures of an unusual meal someone ate at a restaurant, commentary on commentary. Nothing is new, nothing is real, nothing lasts.

This why we began crafting. We are affront to the garbage culture. Our sweaters and birdhouses and dioramas protest Tumblr and Foursquare and TV show recaps. We are not anti-internet or anti-machine. We use machines to make crafts and we use the internet to sell them. We are however anti-delusional creators. That is, the people who think they are creating culture when they curate garbage. It used to be that everyone was a critic; now everyone is a curator. And their galleries are landfills. It would be impossible for us to turn the landfills into meadows. We’d have to buy or destroy the media. But we can rage against the landfill with needle and thread and balsa wood. We can use our hands to build tiny bombs that will damage the landfill. Our tiny bombs will explode in people’s brains and remind them that humans can make things: new things, heartfelt things, things that will be passed down to sons and daughters. Who would pass down to their child a Tumblr of pictures of obese dogs? What child would like to inherit a blog full of pictures of Back to the Future tattoos? We will give our children things they can hold, things that will keep them warm. Whereas reading the average blog only makes you colder, wearing the socks your mother knitted for you makes you warmer each time you wear them.

This is why we founded the Society. We want to help people see what their culture has become. We want to help garbage-culture curators get offline and step into the studio and create something new and real. This city has as many talented young people as any city in the history of cities. But they’re broken and aimless. They’re using their talents to make the garbage smellier and the noise noisier. They should be using their talents to make their future children’s feet warmer. The Bushwick Crafting Society will help them do that.

[she folds up the charter and places it in her purse]

I carry this with me to remind myself how much we need a new one. I read it on the train and become furious. Sometimes I can’t even finish it without breaking out into a sweat and crumpling it up.

What needs changed, you ask? For one, there is nothing in this charter about the history of crafts. We need to emphasize our connection to early Americans who passed the time by making things. Just as they were pioneers moving westward, we are pioneers in this neighborhood. We need to forge a lineage. I have other ideas, too.

I’d like to put it to a vote. If you believe we need a new charter, please raise your hand. If not, keep your hand down.

[four of the fifteen people in the room raise their hand.]

Four. Only four of you think the current charter is bullshit? Were you even listening to it? Listen. I will write the new charter. It won’t be a burden on any of you. OK. How about this: who thinks the current needs at least heavy editing? Raise your hand if so.

[five of the fifteen people raise their hand.]

I see. And you all wonder why no one comes to the openings. It’s because the Society is joke. It’s a joke society with joke members and a joke charter. [she steps away from the microphone] You know, Steven, why do you even bother bringing a microphone to these meetings? There’s only sixteen of us. Everyone can hear me perfectly fine right now. It’s like you bring a microphone to make the meetings more legitimate but really it’s just a pointless prop. Just like the charter.

A voice from the back says: The microphone was here before we started using this space. Chill out.

NEXT: She’s Made Many Mistakes But She Learned The Most From This One



Ann’s Artist’s Statement

July 1, 2010

I make birdhouses for birds. I make art for the people watching the birds eat.

My work is participatory. The bird eating the birdseed is present in the piece. Another bird waiting for its turn to eat is also present. The person admiring both the decorative elements of the birdhouse and the bird(s) is present. A seed and the transfer of its energy to the bird are present. Above all else, my work comments on energy.

Does the viewer focus on the animal as it feeds? Or does the viewer focus on the art? Which is more transfixing: the animal or the art? After the bird is finished eating and it flies back to its nest, will the viewer follow it and watch as it feeds its family?

The bird is unaware that it has eaten artwork, and we envy its unawareness.

My work is autobiographical yet unsentimental. As a teenager I suffered from Internet addiction. I was always online, checking and updating and lying and posting. I was overweight; my hands were smooth. I’d never created anything before and yet I considered myself to be an artist. But I wasn’t an artist. The brutal truth hit me hard one day and I ran crying into the basement where I found a box of artwork from my childhood. In it was a birdhouse I’d made in Girl Scouts. My first birdhouse. It is a self-portrait: I’d drawn my own face on the front panel. My mouth is the feeding hole, and the feeding hole is shaped like lips. Finding this piece awakened me and reminded me of who I was supposed to be. I said goodbye to my Internet friends and immediately drove to Michaels to buy birdhouse supplies.

As I explore this medium I strive to make a birdhouse as pure as that first one.

NEXT: You Let That Cat In The Clubhouse, Didn’t You?



Typical Wildly Ambitious Ann, Putting People On The Moon

June 29, 2010

[Ann is shopping at Michaels. The one in the city, not the one in Queens. She approaches a Michaels employee.]

-Hi. Do you carry tiny decorative martini glasses?

-I don’t think so, sorry.

-What about tiny beer cans or bottles?

-We might. Let me check.

[Ann follows her down the aisle and they turn into another aisle.]

-If we had them, they’d be right here. But I don’t see them. Sorry. We have small wine glasses. Would that work?

-Yeah, I think so.

-They’re right over here. Are you throwing a party for Barbie or something? [she laughs a lot]

-That is very funny, but no. I’m actually making an artisanal birdhouse for a crafting competition.

-A what for a what?

-It’s a birdhouse, but it’s art. The piece is a critique of my boyfriend’s bacchanalian tendencies. On one side he’ll be partying with beautiful people on the moon, and on the other side I’ll be breast feeding a baby in front of the TV. Or maybe there’s no TV and it’s just me and the baby in a white space. The hole in which a bird sticks its head will be where his liver is, so his liver will be getting pecked at. God I hope I can make this happen. Typical wildly ambitious Ann, putting people on the moon.


-One time I tried to make a birdhouse depicting the scene in Blow Up when David Hemmings’ character finds the dead body in the park, and I must have spent like three hundred dollars on it but I just couldn’t make it happen. It looked like two buffalo grazing in a meadow.

-So here are the wine glasses. You need anything else?

-What do you sell that most resembles cocaine?

-You could use powdered sugar for that.

-You’re absolutely right.

-Sorry again for not having the tiny beer bottles. We usually do, but we must have just ran out.

-Sorry is a word for the unmindful. I try to avoid saying it.


-Have a nice day, Fortuna. [she says after inspecting Fortuna's name tag. she walks towards check-out]

NEXT: Ann’s Artist’s Statement



The Bill Murray Bourbon

June 28, 2010

He comes home drinking a flask. Ann and Little Ann are on the couch. Ann says:

-What have you been up to?

-Guess who gave me this bourbon.

-I don’t care. Z?

-Way better than Z.



-I don’t care, it’s three o’clock in the morning. Where have you been?

-My friend Bill. Bill Murray. HEARD OF HIM?

-I’m going to bed. Tell me about in the morning.

-So me and Z are this dude’s place. Not sure if I’d call it a loft but it was loft-y. Super-high ceilings. And the dude had drums everywhere. Like, EVERYWHERE. Bongos, a few drum sets, fucking maracas, a gong. All sorts of drums. He must’ve been a drummer. And there so many chicks there, Ann. I recognized one of them from the Hudson. She always drinks alone at the bar, maybe she’s a hooker.


-What was I saying? Right. Bill Murray. So Z and get there around two, two thirty, and it’s super-crowded. I have to piss so I get in line for the bathroom, and it’s a long line, and everyone in line is drunk and kinda pissed off, and this old lady behind me, well, she wasn’t old old, but older, 60-something, this old lady says, I thought you young people pissed fast. She said to no one in particular. And then Z turns around and says, They’re not pissing, they’re being careful with their drugs. And she’s like, I see. So I’m in pain here because you kids need to get high in private. You know. Years ago, we always did it out in the open. Nobody cared. I don’t understand why everyone has to go in hiding nowadays. The kids today are so-anti-social. We all know what’s going on when three ladies hang out in the shitter for twenty minutes. They’re not comparing their turds. It’s not like: “Oh Tiffany, your pellets are so elegant. Just like you.” She said something like that, I don’t remember, but this lady was hilarious. She double-dared Z to piss in the sink. Oh! So she keeps talking about coke, right, and she says she hasn’t done drugs since 1990. She’s like, So I’m on a dig in Turkey and — oh, right, she said she teaches archeology or classics, or maybe both, at CUNY, I think. So she says she’s on a dig in Turkey, back in 1990, and all these students are driving her insane.

-Just tell me tomorrow.

-Real quick. She’s on this dig and the students won’t do any heavy lifting. All they want to do is sit around and drink. But she’s there to dig. At night they’re allowed get hammered, but they have to work during the day. But the kids never want to work. She said our generation is so fucked up because we never had to fight in a war. And you know what, she’s absolutely right. She is absolutely right about that.

-Good God, what are you talking about? I’m going to bed.

-Wait. It gets good. So the kids won’t dig and the professor is pissed. She says that it was easily the least productive dig she’s ever been on. But the silver lining was that she’d invited her friend Bill. Maybe you’ve heard of him. He’s an actor. Bill Murray. That’s what she said, for real. So ridiculous: he’s an actor, maybe you’ve heard of him. At night on these digs she and Bill would party with the students. Isn’t that awesome?


-Can you imagine? You go on this dig to get a few credits or whatever and you’re digging shit, you’re digging shit, you’re digging shit, and it sucks, it’s hot, and then at night your teacher’s like, alright, kids, it’s time to get fucked up with Bill Murray. That would be crazy. So that one time, the time she was talking about, Bill Murray brought coke. And she said, Jesus, Bill, how’d you get that coke through customs? Bill Murray doesn’t say anything. He just points to his butt. He brought coke to Turkey in his asshole. She said, The man has timing. He’s bastard and a liar and a lousy fuck, but he has timing. Z’s losing it, I’m losing it, the professor lights a cigarette. No one else is smoking, mind you, but no one bothers her about it. The line’s not getting any shorter. She said one time in Turkey Bill Murray made out with a girl, a student. Outdoors. Like, on the ground, in the dirt, and all the kids were watching them. Isn’t that insane? Imagine that, you’re a chick, and you sign up for a dig, and you get there, and you’re digging, you’re digging, and then at night fucking Bill Murray starts hitting on you and the next thing you know you’re making out with him on the ground while your professor watches. Isn’t that insane?

-I guess so. I’m going to bed, for real. Come on, Little Ann.

-Wait. I didn’t even get to the best part, the part about Bill Murray giving me the bourbon. So we’re in line, and all of a sudden the front door opens and this dude bursts in carrying two huge garbage bags. Guess who it is. Guess.


-It’s Bill Murray, and he’s in sweat pants, like, sweatshirt-material sweatpants. He reaches in one of the garbage bags and pulls out a handle of Svedka. Fucking Svedka! He reaches in again and pulls out another bottle of Svekda. And then another one. He brought ten bottles of Svedka to this party, and he started walking around the loft filling people’s cups with Svedka. He’s saying, You can’t spell Bushwick loft party without S-V-E-D-K-A. And the professor’s like, Oh, there you are Bill. Get over here. He walks over and kisses her hard in front of all of us. Later on, Z and I decided that is was heaven must be like. You die and the next thing you know you’re in line to piss at a party and Bill Murray comes in with ten handles of Svedka in garbage bags and he Frenches the eccentric classics professor you were bullshitting with. Man oh man, what a night. So he gets in line with us and we start chatting about which girls at the party Bill wants to fuck. He only liked the short ones. So he could toss ‘em around. The professor plays along with it but we could tell she was getting jealous. I showed him a picture of you and he said he’d give you a poke. He said he’d even poke you sober.

-Great, thanks.

-So he’s coming over tomorrow. I’ll take Little Ann to the park for a hour and you will pleasure Bill Murray. Do whatever he wants.

-As long as he doesn’t have toilet paper on his dick it’ll be a step up from what I’m used to.

-Look at you, making jokes and shit. He’s not actually coming over later. But the professor did say that Z and I are invited to her book launch next weekend.

-What’s her book?

-Statues something something. Whatever. Open bar, right?

-Sounds fun. Goodnight.

-So. The bourbon. Bill sees that I don’t have drink and he’s like, Have some vodka. He starts pouring me a cup of Svedka. But I say that I don’t like vodka. So he pulls a flask of bourbon from his pocket and he says, No one goes thirsty around me. I won’t abide it. And he gives it to me. THIS WAS HIS PERSONAL BOURBON. The bourbon he was going to drink himself. He gave it to me. Crazy. So I’m not gonna finish it. I drank most of it at the party.

-I can see that.

-But I’m never going to finish it. Never. You can’t drink it either. It’ll be our special little thing, the bottle of Bill Murray bourbon we keep in the freezer. If we ever have a party we’ll have to hide it. I’m thinking years from now we’ll drink it together and remember the night I partied with Bill Murray and the professor.

-Good God, you’re an idiot sometimes.

-Why am I an idiot? Why is little Ann still awake? Where are his parents?


-Hey, Little Ann. If I catch you drinking this Bill Murray bourbon I’m going to kick the shit out of you.

NEXT: Typical Wildly Ambitious Ann, Putting People On The Moon

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Cool Dads

June 19, 2010

[The couple is in bed, about to get nasty.]

-So I’m out drinking with Z tonight and he tells me the funniest story.

-Here we go.


-Why does our pillow talk always have to be about Z?

-What does it matter what it’s about?

-It’s just. Nevermind, what’s the Z story?

-I’ll tell it real quick and then we’ll have sex.

-GREAT. I’m looking forward to it.

-So Z’s dad’s a TV producer slash writer. He wrote a few Cheers episodes and he’s done some other stuff and when Z was 2 he decided to write a parenting book. It’s kinda like a memoir but it’s written from the point of view of his son. So, Z’s point of view. And it’s all about how cool and alternative his dad is and how the other dads in LA are squares.

-Wow. That’s dumb.

-I know. It gets better. It’s called My Dad Rocks and it somehow sold tons of copies in the late ’80s. Look, Z gave me a copy. [he gets out of bed and grabs a copy of My Dad Rocks from backpack and gets back into bed] Growing up, Z was known as The Kid From That Cool Dad Book. He thinks it’s the dumbest thing in the world but it paid for his college so he can’t complain.

-OK, enough about Z, come here.

-Just let me read a bit first?


-OK, here we go: My dad listens to music a lot. In fact, music is his favorite thing in the world. Well, after me, of course. He plays me all his favorite records. One day he sat me down and said, “Son, are you ready to be enlightened? I hope so because today’s the day you join the proud ranks of Who fans. Behold: Quadrophenia.” He put on a record and turned the volume way up. And it was the most mind-blowing music I’d ever heard. Now I think of my life as being divided into two stages: before Quadrophenia and after Quadrophenia.

-So hacky!

-There’s more: My friends’ dads have played them Beatles and Rolling Stones records, I’m sure. What sort of dad wouldn’t? But my Dad plays me the weird stuff. In high school when my friends and I are talking about music during lunch, I’ll get to say that when I was 2 my dad played me Quadropehnia and it changed the way I heard sound. Man, my dad rocks.

-This may be the most narcissistic book on the planet.

-One more?


-On Thursday afternoons Dad takes me to me to the park. Thank God he doesn’t have a typical 9-to-5 job or else I’d be in day care. Or worse: at my mom’s house. At the park we see all types of dads. Most of them are wearing khakis and Polo shirts. They’re clean shaven. They’re ready for a business lunch. But not my dad. My dad wears sandals and only shaves once every two weeks or so. He never tucks in his shirt because he doesn’t have to. He says his style is surfer-entrepreneur.

-Oh God.

-A leetle more: My dad loves to eat sushi and when I’m older, I’ll eat sushi, too. We like to go to a sushi place in West Hollywood that only a few people know about. The chef there will make food for kids and I always get the PB&J (no crust, please!). My dads usually gets sea urchin and all sorts of other weird stuff because he’s weird and adventurous. The owners there know him as the Mr. Cool Dad.

-This is painful. Hey. How many times do I have to say fuck me before you fuck me?

[They start. And then stop. He says:]

-What’s wrong?

-What is that?

-What is what?

-On your tip? Is that paper?

-Oh. Maybe.

-Why do you have paper–is that tissue paper?

-Oh man, that’s embarrassing.

-Is that from? Did you jack off earlier today and forget to clean the semen-y tissue paper off your tip?

-Seems like it. I got most of it off. [he peels it off] There, it’s off now.

-I’m… disappointed? I don’t even know what to say. That is pathetic.

-Maybe a little pathetic.

-No. A lot pathetic.

-Is it THAT pathetic?


- Why? What does it matter if my girlfriend sees some–actually it was toilet paper–on my dick before we have sex?

-It matters.

-Is our relationship that fragile that a tiny square of t.p. could shatter everything?

-It’s not about our relationship, it’s about respect. Respect for me. [she's upset]

-Here we go. What. The. Fuck?

-How often do you jack off?

-Once and a while. Is there anything wrong with that?

-Not at all. Jack off until the cows come home. But don’t do it on days that you know we’re gonna have sex. And at least try to destroy the evidence.

-How can I predict when we’re gonna have sex? Are you gonna start texting me yes or no before I come home from work?

-I LOVE how you’re laughing about this.

-Maybe you should be laughing about it, it’s funny.

-It’s not funny. It’s not. You know what sort of message this sends to me? When I’m grabbing your dick and I’m about to put it in mouth, it’s like your penis is saying: Hi Anne, how’s it going? Earlier today while you at work dealing with assholes who complain about not getting fried chicken and daydreaming about coming home and making love to your man, he and I were getting it done without you. And it was great, we don’t need you. And yeah, we left the semen-encrusted toilet paper on there for you to find later because we don’t give a fuck. Now say aah.

-My penis isn’t that big of an asshole.

-Well YOU’RE that big of an asshole and it’s your penis so yeah, I’m pretty sure if your dick could talk, it would be that big an asshole.

-Well if your pussy could talk, this is what it would say to my dick: Hey buddy, long time, no see. But don’t blame me, the queen only likes to bone after a rough day at the pizza shop. If it were up to me, we’d get nasty every night. Also, don’t blame me for being so huge. I’ll have you know,  I wasn’t born this way. She’s fucked some pre-tty large things in her day. I never thought I’d be able to accommodate a softball bat but boy did she prove me wrong. I’ll never forget: it was the summer of ‘01 and the whole team was having a sleepover. We’re drinking in the basement and all of a sudden Sarah goes outside and gets a bat from the trunk of her Ford Focus and comes back and double-dares oh, stop crying. Stop. Anne.

-That is the meanest thing anyone has ever said to me.


-You’re such a retard. You seriously don’t know anything about anything. The whole “girls can get loose” thing is a myth.

-No it’s not.

-Yes it is. It’s genetics.  It can only permanently change after giving birth.

-I don’t think that’s true.

-That’s definitely true. Guys just think they can get stretched out to make themselves feel better if they’re dicks don’t fit snugly. And yes. I fucked a softball bat once. But it didn’t make my pussy loose, you dumbfuck.

-I’m not sure I believe you.

-Also. Honey. If I were you, I wouldn’t be… throwing stones… in a… genital-size glass house. If you know what I mean.

-Wow. And THAT is the lamest thing anyone has ever said to me.

[she gets out of bed.]

-Where are you going?

-To watch TV with Little Anne.


NEXT: The Fourth Laundromat Hang

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Published Work

Page 1: The Fox in the Garage

How I Started a Family

Do We Need Cynar?

Gary 1 and Gary 2

I Work at a Fashionable Hotel Called the Hudson

C.O.D.Y. the Robot Who Hangs Out

Ann and Her Birdhouses

Luke and His Bobber

The Fox in the Garage in 3-D

105 Stories About Ohio


The Slugman of Herbert Street

Harold and the Purple Women


Dos Factotum

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