Saturday, July 22, 2006

ECC Asks; Jack Answers

The above is an artist's conception of what my favorite commentor, a 12 year old named "Evil Con Carne" might have looked like at one stage in his young life.

As you can see, he looks like a pretty decent, wholesome kid. I find it hard to believe he could possibly be a menace to anyone.

Nevertheless, he appears to be a child with no one to turn to in his life. Apparently, he doesn't get the kind of emotional support at home that he deserves. I bet his lousy parents spend all their time doting on ECC's little sister, while ignoring the precious gift that they have in their talented and highly intelligent son.

Which is a shame. Because a nice kid like ECC deserves more from his so-called "parents" than that kind of treatment.

Which is, as they say, where I come into the picture. For you see, gentle readers, ECC has asked yours truly to answer a number of questions that trouble him. It is a cry for help. And while people may say all kinds of things about me, one thing they can not say is that I turn away from the pleas of my devoted young fans.

It's a shame his good for nothing father can't make the same claim.

Nevertheless, I shall try to help you ECC. You are about to be the recipient of the first ever "Ask Jack" post ever devoted to a single readers questions.

It may not seem like much, but if it in any way helps to make up for the lack of love and support you are getting in your home life it will have been the worth the time.

To the questions! (Editor's note..All questions, spellings, punctuation are shown as submitted by ECC. In other ways, as they ought to be in everyday usage anyway, you language geeks.)

1. Why do chimpanzies try to bite peoples fingers off?

Answer: Because, my young apprentice, chimpanzees are foul, foul creatures. I mean, you are talking about an animal species that spends its spare time flinging its own poop at each other.

In other words, they aren't much brighter than little sisters. And turst me, if your little sister had the jaw strength to do so, she'd try to bite your fingers off as well. Remember this lesson, and remember it well ECC: never turn your back on a chimpanzee or a little sister.

Don't ask me how I know this. Just know that I do.

2. Why is my brain so full of questions?

Answer: Because as has become readily apparent in the history of your participation on this blog, you are a very intelligent kid. In fact, not only are you perceptive and insightful, but were I to hazard a guess, i would bet that your IQ is higher than anyone else who comments here.

Now, granted, some might take that as a backhanded compliment. I mean after all Skinbad shows up here. As does Civetta. And Michael isn't exactly helping NASA send satellites into synchronous earth orbit if you know what I mean.

The point remains, however, that you are undoubtably a gifted student. Are you in any accelerated programs at school? I would be surprised if you weren't. The fact that you ask so many questions is just testament to your desire to understand the world around you.

You know who else asked a lot of questions? Socrates. And he's known as one of the greatest thinkers of all time.

So, you have that going for you, which is nice.

3. Why havent you been on lately? My brain fills up with to many questions.

Answer: The life of a noted blog celebrity is not an easy one, my friend. It places many demands upon my time. In between the photo shoots, the television appearances, the newspaper interviews, and the schmoozing with actresses and fashion models in exclusive European resort communities, I seldom have time to dedicate to the discipline that brought me my fame and importance in the first place.

Now, don't misunderstand me. My celebrity status has brought me wealth beyond measure, and the unceasing adulation of my peers. It would be terribly ungrateful for me to even appear to be suggesting that I consider the demands placed upon me to be a burden as nothing could be further from the truth.

It's just that most people ("civilians" as we blog celebrities call them) don't see this side of our lives. They see all the glamour and little of the personal sacrifices that have to be made along the way.

For example, last week I was going to do a post about the current state of affairs in the Middle East. In that post, I was going to use all the wisdom I have accumulated in my years as a worldwide, roving goodwill ambassador to lay out a proposal which would have brough peace and stability to the region once and for all. There is very little question that I would have received a Nobel Peace Prize for this entry.

But before I could post it, my agent called and explained that I had to fly to Cannes to attend
a movie premier with this woman:

Which I dutifully did. After all, if she's good enough for Darth Vader, she's good enough for me.

The Nobel Prize will just have to wait. Chalk it up as another personal sacrifice.

I hope this helps explain my frequent absences, ECC.

4. Do you think about all your people that type questions to you? I bet that they're heads about poped because they couldn't get your therapy.

Answer: Actually, ECC, I do think about the people that write in seeking my guidance. For, you see, I too am all to familiar with what it is like when your have a "poped" head.

In fact, I even had my head pop on camera once! Want to see it? I knew you would, so here you go.



Horrifying, isn't it?

Now, I know that LauraW and Mrs. Peel, will say they think I look better in the second picture.

But they are girls. So we can ignore them.

5. Why is it that parents and kids speek English but they're not speeking the same language?

Answer: Because parents are, almost by definition, old. While not being as old as my commenter Retired Geezer (which, let's be honest, no one who walks this Earth is) they are of a completely different generation than you are. As a result, they get stuck using the language they think shows they are cool, when it really shows they are relics caught in the past.

For example...have you ever gone home and said something like "this video game is totally sick."

Your mom probably thinks that means it has a fever or something, when, in fact, it means that the game is just hella cool.

Now, on the other hand, if your mom were to try to express the same sentiment she might say "this video game is phat."

At which point everyone would point and laugh at her for using hip hop words that are 10 years past their prime.

Which would at least give them a new reason to constantly be laughing at her. But we don't need to go into that here, as I am sure that your mom is a very sweet person.

After all, she does put up with your geeky dad. Whereas most women would have just looked at him and his clumsy attempts at romance and lol'd.

6. Have you been sick?

Answer: You know what, ECC? You are the only person that has cared enough about me to wonder if my absence from blogging might be because I was sick, or living through some other sort of personally traumatic experience.

That's how I know you are a good kid. Empathy and compassion all wrapped up in one question posed by an emotionally mature 12 year old. I appreciate you asking, but in all honesty I have been fine.

I think many of the commenters here could stand to learn from your example, ECC. I'm proud of you.

7. Why haven't you answered your blogs and why were you being lazy?

Answer: In part, because when it comes to blogging, I am the world's laziest blogger. But that's not the whole story.

After all, would a completely lazy blogger have taken the time to wage and win wars against both Iceland and Austria?

I think the answer is obviously, "No".

Would a lazy blogger have spent time channeling the cross dimensional spirits of a 4,000 year old extra-terrestrial and the ghost of a dead horse?

Again, "No.".

You see, ECC, some bloggers believe in quantity. They will post any number of things at all hours of the day or the night that no one cares about, really.

In fact, 99% of blog entries make you dumber for having read them. That's a proven, scientific fact.

On the other hand, there are bloggers like me who believe that quality should take precedence over quantity.

So that's what I focus on, ECC. Ensuring that each of my blog posts if a lovingly crafted piece of literary art that will both enlighten and endure.

I blog for the ages, ECC. Everyone else blogs for the moment.

That's why I'm a blog celebrity.

8. Why do teens write on they're selves?

Answer: Because teenagers are monumentally stupid. It's true. It's not my place to talk about all of the reasons for the foolish and self-destructive things that teenagers do, because a lot of it has to do with the physiological changes that young men and women go through during this time. Your mom and dad, if they love you, should be willing to talk to you more about that. Make a point of asking them about this.

But aside from those reasons, young adults also feel a growing need to seperate their identities from those of their parents. So they do things that their parents wouldn't do for no reason other than it's a way of asserting their own identity. They run out and get stupid looking body piercings, or tattoos, or they decide to start following ridiculous fashion trends.

You have probably seen those stupid emo kids, haven't you? The losers who dress all in black and listen to dopey techno/industrial music and cut themselves for attention?

Let me clue you in on one thing, here and now. The only things that should ever be emo are your front and back yards.

Cause if they were, then they would cut themselves and save you a lot of hard work in the hot summer. Don't ever fall into a stupid fashion trend like this ECC.

Trust me. You don't want to spend every day of your life getting wedgies in the locker room. After all, that's how Brewfan went through life and look at how he turned out.

Brewfan is a cautionary tale if ever their was one.

9. Why is it when you'r little syblings are watching little kid cartoons that you get hypnotized and watch?

Answer: ECC, have you ever sung the song "Puff the Magic Dragon"? I don't know if they do that in grade school anymore, but I can remember singing it in the 3rd or 4th grade music classes at my school.

If you have, then you know the answer to this question already. If you haven't, then I'll give you a quick course.

The song is basically about a dragon named Puff, and his best friend, a kid named Jackie Paper. Puff lived only in little Jackie's imagination, but as long as Jackie pretended Puff was real, then for all intents and purposes Puff was a real dragon.

As the song goes along, Jackie gets older and starts to forget about Puff. He moves on to other things, and Puff's life essentially comes to an end. It's a very sad song.

The movie Toy Story is based on a similar theme. Remember when Woody the Cowboy Toy was ignored by his owner when the Buzz Lightyear toy showed up?

Well, inside every man are the memories of himself as a little boy. That little boy never fully goes away, but as you get older you tend to lose site of those memories on an ever more frequent basis.

Cartoons, however, give that little boy a chance to come out, if only for a few moments. They let you be silly and goofy at a time when you are increasingly taking on more important responsibilities.

I hope you never reach a point where you feel embarrassed or silly about watching an occasional cartoon, or playing with some of your old toys. It's good to keep those little kid emotions in a place where you can access them later in life when you need to do so. After all, one day a cool kid like you will probably be a father himself. And as long as you remember what it's like to be a kid, you will be able to have fun and relate to your own.

Now I've typed enough. Go and watch whatever the popular cartoons are these days. I think I have a comic book I need to go read.

That's it for this very special edition of "Ask Jack". I hope it helps you, ECC. If you get a chance, drop me a note in the comments and let me know how things are going for you.

Saturday, July 8, 2006

These boots were made for blogging...

so that's just what I'll do.

Last night, I had a disturbing dream. In that dream, I was married to Jessica Simpson.

Now that isn't the disturbing part. In fact, so far that doesn't sound all that bad. Except that in my dream, I never got around to any of the "honeymoon activities".

Oh my dream, Jessica spent the entire time we were together asking me to help her record her cover of Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots were Made for Walking". There are times when I curse being a guitar player. Who sleeps.

So, I woke up this morning, and my first thought was WTF? My second thought was "how the hell am I gonna get this song out of my head?". My third thought was "damn, maybe this is my subconscious telling me that I own too many pairs of cowboy boots."

Because, in fact, I do. I own ostrich skin boots, crocodile skin boots (sorry Sobek), snakeskin boots (python), boots of spanish leather (cowhide, I assume), and boots made from the tanned human skin of runaway hitchhikers who I have strangled and buried in my basement.

OK..I'm kidding about the last one. Just trying to keep you paying attention. Anyway, after I got done mulling over my selection of cowboy boots, I had another thought. What if I combined my dream about Jessica Simpson, my boots, and my favorite women of the blogosphere?

So I present to you: What would life be like for my cowboy boots if I was married to....

LauraW: I think that all my boots would be arranged in ascending order based on which animal could eat/kill the other animal. For example, the cow would be furthest on the left, as an ostrich could kill him. The ostrich, in turn would be killed by a croc, which in turn would be killed by the python. Finally man, as apex predator, would be furthest to the right. Further, I think the refrigerator would have an occasion poem written about my boots held up by Martha Stewart brand magnets.

Again, just kidding about the whole human boot thing. Maybe.

Mrs. Peel: I think that my closet floor would see my boots arranged either by taxonomic order or by DNA tracing to determine which creatures were most closely related to one another. Then again, she's an Aggie, so I guess I shouldn't complain as long as she doesn't insist on me wearing spurs.

Civetta: Heh. Do they make boots out of Penicillin? No? Well then I guess my boots would probably include a pair made out of Velvet with 6 inch combination see through heels/goldfish bowls. I'd wear them, but only when I felt it necessary to remind her of the strength of my pimp hand.

Lipstick: I'd be self-conscious about wearing my boots in public, as her boots would probably be 2 sizes longer and at least one size wider. I'd probably have to tell people that this was attributable to her having a rare condition in which 6 webbed toes grow on each foot. I just can't see this ending well for anyone.

Sweet Jayne: I think Sweet Jayne wouldn't care how they were arranged in my closet, as long as they matched my suits. And I think she would always have something nice to say about them, even if she truly hated them. She's sweet that way.

Elzbth: I think my boots would end up neatly organized in a Shoe Tree. Only it wouldn't be a "shoe tree". It would have a hand made embossed label that said "Sh Tr" on it. And each distinctive slot on the "Sh Tr" would be labelled. There would be an "Strch Bts" slot, and a "Crcdl Bts" slot and a "Strngld Htchhkrs" slot, etc.

Mrs. Geezer: I know one damn thing for certain: all my boots would be thrown out and replaced with custom made Italian footware. Thank god for Retired Geezer's Life Insurance. It's for a good cause though. After all, If I'm gonna be married to Idaho's answer to Ann-Margret I have to look good.

Mrs. Michael: I think she would be so thankful that she finally had a man who didnt need Velcro to fasten his shoes, that she would probably offer to regularly shine my boots. And by shine my boots, I think you know what I mean.

Mrs. Brewfan: Why buy the cow when you are already getting the milk for free? I foresee no changes to the current boot status.

Anyway, those are my thoughts. Feel free to chime in with your own.

Thursday, May 4, 2006

It's Ask Jack Thursday!!!!!

This is a rare personal photo of Deborah Harry from the Jack M. historical archives. Ignore the fact that someone else (Mick Rock?) has copyrighted it. I lost the rights to most of my rock and roll memorabilia during a 1981 cocaine and heroin showdown/bet with Keith Richards. There's no telling where any of that stuff is now.

Which should serve as a lesson to you kids at home. I was a noted blog celebrity even before the Internet was invented! Do you think that's an easy trick? Oh no. You have to work hard to convince people that when an as yet undefined future technology is made readily accessable to people in their homes, that you will rise to dominate it based on your innate talents that have, as of 1979, not yet been given an outlet. That's a hard feat to pull off, my friends.

Is it any wonder, then, that my life became one of random encounters in alley ways with punk rock women? Or that the booze and the drugs were a necessary escape from the burden of my own stardom?

In other words...don't try this at home. If Jack M. can teach you a life lesson it's that Celebrity should only be attempted/wielded by Celebrities. But I don't want to get all preachy, here.

Seeing this photo after so much time brings back so many memories of that long, hot summer of 1979. And in reminds me that there are too few words to describe the rapturous bliss that will forever be associated in my memory with that summer.

But try I will! It is Ask Jack Thursday after all, so if you ask I will answer (provided you get your question in prior to Haloscan Midnight on Saturday).

After all, it's what I do.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Ask Jack Weekend

Vatolu wants me to give you morons and retards another chance. She tends to see the good in you, whereas I can only see the abysmal. You bunch of freakin' Pony killers.

So, to test Vat's faith in you, I'm giving you a 3 day weekend! That's right, from now until Haloscan Midnight on Monday you can ask Jack the questions that will help to bring peace and quiet to your troubled lives.

Ask away, my cultish followers.

The answers are waiting.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

You Asked, Jack Answers

So you put me in a bit of a quandary this week.

As I was reviewing your increasingly inane questions (and wondering why I go out of my way to help such pitiful wretches) Skinbad revealed that a couple of the questions on the list were posed by his 12 year old son.

Which means, of course, that I have to be on my best behavior, lest I inadvertantly scar the poor kid for life.

And, let's face it, scarring children for life is more a "Michael" thing anyway. I'm betting that if someone took the time to dig up the crawl space under that guy's house, one would find the skeletal remains of milk carton kids clad only in rusty handcuffs and tattered Robin costumes.

So, I must answer these questions in a way that is suitable for a 12 year old to read. Which, really, shouldnt be too hard since the only one of your losers with a vocabulary exceeding a 12 year old's is Geezer...and he only knows the big words 'cause he's been on this planet for such a very, very long time. the questions!

Questions 1-5 from LauraW:

1. It appears we in the Northeast are having an early, mild Spring. Do you think we're done with frost and I can plant my annuals now, or should I wait another couple weeks?

Answer: One word. ASTROTURF. No more mowing, no more watering, just lush green ballpark quality goodness. Trust me, your husband will thank you. He might even forget you have that hideous hump.

2. Is fried chicken the world's most perfect food?

Answer: No. The rise of Avian Flu has cost fried chicken to lose its place atop the chart of culinary pleasures. The new most perfect food? Double stuff Oreo Cookies.

3. What was the name of the actor who played Rerun? What's he up to now?

Answer: Rerun was playes by Fred Barry. Since he died in 2003, I'd say he was decomposing right about now.

4. The lead singers of REO Speedwagon and Tears for Fears both looked like they spat a lot while singing. This wasn't really a question.

Answer: Good. This isn't really an answer.

5. How much would you expect to pay for a middle-of-the-road guitar amplifier?

Answer: Nothing. I already own two.

Questions 6-8 from Skinbad:

6. Should I put up a "Red Alert" at Innocent Bystanders? Or just see which of the true believers/stalkers shows up?

Answer: What's Innocent Bystanders?

7. Is that a pointless question because by the time you answer it, it will

Answer: There are no stupid questions. There are no pointless questions. You have, however, succeeded in asking the world's first stupid and pointless question. For this, I salute you!

8. Does this mean your days of grieving for Pony are over?

Answer: Pony's loss is a wound that will never heal. Vatolu tells me about how much pleasure she gets feeding Pony apples and sugar cubes on the Astral Plane, but that just reminds me of how much I miss the guy. I mean, sure, he had terrible taste in women and I got tired of having to constantly replace my couch, but all in all he brought a vibrant spirit to this sad and decrepit blog. I tell you this, though.....sometimes, when the world is still and the dawn is breaking, I hear a gentle braying on the morning air....low at first and then escalting to a Kiefer Sutherland like "urgent whisper"....and I could swear I hear Pony gently braying "Civ-et-ta...Civ-et-ta....Don't put Pony away wet"...and I wonder if, at these times, death wasn't the best thing that could have happened to him.

Question 9-10 from Steve in HB:

I will be attending a wedding in Bardstown, Kentucky in early August.

9- What airport should I fly in to?

Answer: I'm pretty sure there is a direct flight into Pettycoat Junction. I'd check that out.

10- What are the seediest, most disreputable places within a 30 minute drive?Please devote most of your response to the second question.

Answer: Have you ever been to Bardstown, KY? Cousin Kissin' Capitol of the World. Here they measure "upscale" and "seedy" by the number of teeth in your, ummm, "hostesses", head.

My recommendation? Ask for the "Ace O'Spades Suite" at the Bardstown Motel 8. If you are lucky, he might even be there with enough Val-u-rite Vodka to help you forget you are stuck in freakin' Bardstown, Kentucky. And if you are unlucky? He'll be there with his collectors edition DVD of "Brokeback Mountain" and a strange habit of calling you Ennis.

Question 11-13 from the 12 year old Evil Con Carne:

11. Why and how does Red Bull give you wings?

Answer: Finally, an intelligent question. ECC, you must realize that the phrase "red bull gives you wings" is what the literary types call a metaphor.

Remember in English class when you learned about similes and metaphors? A simile is a descriptive phrase incorporating the words "like" or "as". An example, "when Skinbad is mad at me, his lisping pronunciation of the letter "S" sounds like a rattlesnake".

A metaphor is similar, only it is not as direct a comparison. As an "energy" drink, the thought is that the drink will make you feel so full of energy that you could fly. So, metaphorically, it "gives you wings."

Now, how do they manage to do this? It's quite simple. The makers of Red Bull realized that nothing is richer in vitamins and nutrition that the fresh blood of newly clubbed baby seals. So they whack a few seals, drain the blood, mix in a couple of preserving agents and boom: bottled vigor.

Drink up, my young apprentice.

12. Why do little sisters bawl like they are dying when you barely touch them?

Answers: OK, this is some advice that your father should be giving you but since his parenting skills are obviously lacking, I will step in and help you learn a lesson early. All girls learn at an early age that they can get a man to do almost anything they want simply by crying.

It's a trick. It is meant to play upon your feelings of guilt. After all, boys aren't supposed to hit girls. Boys aren't supposed to pull girls pigtails. Bib brothers are supposed to take care of their little sisters. Husbands are supposed to actually "love" their wives. The last thing we ever want is to see the object of our protection/love hurting and crying. And the evil girls know this.

It's all emotional blackmail. Now I'm not here to encourage you to do anything mean to your sister. But now you know what she is trying to do....she is trying to make you change your behavior by shedding a few tears. So the next time she starts acting like a drama queen, you just look at her and say "Sis, I love ya, but you gotta get over yourself. Now leave me alone before I give you a reason to cry."

She will be so shocked by your willingness to stand up to her tears that she will stop pulling this trick. Trust ol'Jack on this one. just a few years she will be using it to guilt her future boyfriends. And you will have fun watching her manipulate all of them.

13. Why do some teachers hate kids?

Because many "teachers" are in fact failures at what adults like to call "life". And they look at all you kids, with so much potential and promise and your whole lives ahead of you in which you can aspire to do great things and they are filled with sheer envy.

They look at you and they think to themselves, "where did it all go so wrong? I was a smart kid like ECC once, and now I'm a bitter, burned out shell of a person with a job in which I am a glorified babysitter for 6 or 7 hours a day."

There is a wise old saying, ECC. It says "those that can do, do...those who can't do, teach."

There is a lot of truth in that expression. Although, I'd keep it between you and me. If you ever tell one of your teachers that you will reach a whole new level of hate. And one last word of advice: be a doctor. Or a professional golfer. You'll thank me for this career planning lesson when you are 18.

Questions 14-17 from Harrison:

14) Can you describe red?

Answer:'s like blue only much, much hotter.

15) What do you think the "next big thing" will be?

Answer: My cameo appearance in "Snakes on A Plane".

16) How will it end and what's the moral?

Amswer: Hmmm...probably when the Sun becomes a red giant and engulfs the inner planets. The moral? The Democrats, even with 5 billion years of advance warning, can not be trusted on matters of national security.

17) Can it get done on time and on budget?

Answer: Yes. For example, I finished this edition of "Ask Jack" on time and on budget. Now whether it can be done well "on time and on budget" is a whole 'nother question.

Question 18-21 from our favorite Geezer:

18. Are you proud of us that we didn't all scatter when you *left*?

Answer: I suppose I take the same kind of pride that the Captain of the Titanic did knowing that some of his passngers made it into lifeboats.

It's a hollow and thin source of pride, but when you are slowly drowning in the frigid arctic waters of post-Pony life you take what you can get.

19. Do you ever visit your acolytes at Innocent Bystanders? (I mean the All-Ace All-Stars)?

Answer: Me? Nope. But Vat's been.

20. Hay Zeus has had some pretty good answers for his Mailbag feature. Did you loan Vatolu to him temporarily?

Answer: Nope...the last time I loaned Vatolu out, Ace wrote his "Wonkette-Sexathon" post and Vat was so traumatized that she wouldn't let me channel her for about 3 months. Never seperate an artist from his muse, is the lesson I learned that day. Which I , in turn, modified to "never pimp out Vat unless Ace pays you cash money in the form of a security deposit up front".

21. Can Vatolu talk to Pony's Ghost?

Answer: Yes she can. She is capable of all forms of interaction with Pony on that plane of existence, with but one exception. Pony claims that Civetta has spoiled him with regard to all other women, so until Pony figures out how to do the whole "cross dimension channeling" thing, my little stud is no more than a gelding.

Question 22-23 from the lovely and talented Elzbth:

22) Do you think it is rather bizarre that we didn't all scatter when you went on hiatus (in search of the wild bikini or mai tai or whatever?)

Answer: No...desperate times call for desparate measures. And I can't think of any more desperate measure than finding comfort and solace with Michael. Especially for a woman of your considerable wit, intelligence, and obvious charm. [EDITORS NOTE: The same sentence applies to Sweet Jayne and Mrs. Peel as well. Cast the net wide enough and you'll eventually catch some fish as my dear old dad used to say.]

23) Do you miss taking on Graz and Iceland?

Answer: Nope...been there, done that. I seek new challenges, and new adventures. Besides, those places are freaking cold. From now on I'm limiting my conquests to places like New Zealand and Australia. You know...places where the beaches are sandy, the drinks are frozen, and the bikini tops are optional.

Question 24-25 from Brewfan:

24. Can you invite Bill over to ban michael?

Answer: I would but then he might never leave. Besides, I already banned Michael. I figured if I was going on hiatus, I might as well get it out of my system. And brother, it felt good.

25. When Bill is done banning michael, can I ban Bill?

Answer: ban is enough. Although if he ever shows up at Desperate Jaywalkers or whatever the All Ace All Stars are called, feel free to ban until you can ban no more.

And there you have it! Another week of answers to your pressing life issues. Until next time, this is noted blog celebrity Jack Michaels saying "keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars. You'll never grab them, but you will look damn stupid trying, and I need a laugh."