Cease and desist

If my faithful readers are perplexed by my most recent post, Volga P, it’s because I got my first Cease and Desist! Sort of. Let me explain.

A little while back a disgruntled reader sent me correspondence to the effect that she did not at all like having information about herself “in the public domain”, and demanded that all references to her be removed immediately. Apparently she felt that a series of stories I had posted were about her.

This put me in quite a bind, as, although I hate to disgruntle anyone, the stories in question formed the backbone of an arc spanning several years of my younger days. Without them other stories would make no sense. Removing them would leave a giant gap and—how shall I put it—fuck everything up. Not only that, but I would be throwing away months of hard work typing with my eyes.

In the end though, I grudgingly deleted the offending posts. The plaintiff’s shrill emotional tone (while attempting to sound as lawyer-y as possible) led me to conclude that I don’t have time for this shit. I hit DELETE.

Once my anger wore off, I got to work on a little “patch” of a post, the almost entirely fictitious account of Volga P. I ended up having much more fun writing it than I did the earlier posts even, and I sincerely hope it entertains, if not outright gruntles you.

Thank you for your continued support.

Mark

Portland II: The Hell Cows house

Winter 1991

Eddie and Annie’s House of Flying Toasters had been a slice, and I had learned valuable lessons about humanity there. But I needed to regroup after the zaniness, and also I looked forward to living with people closer to my own age. Fortunately, there was attic space available at The Hell Cows house.Read More »

Should I pray?

Good question! But first a joke.

Q: What do you call a paralyzed shark?
A: A quadri-pelagic.
[sardines applaud]

So there you are, plunging off a thousand-foot cliff, and miraculously you have the presence of mind to text me this important question. Not that impressive as far as miracles go, since by now you are either a comical you-shaped pancake lying on the canyon floor, or you just went ahead and prayed and your life was spared. Hosanna! In any case, I’m flattered that you thought of me. Maybe not flatter than you though. (Get it?)Read More »

Portland I: 47th & Flanders

Fall, 1990

Portland, Oregon was both a big town and a small city, and that made the move easier. On the one hand, I couldn’t wait to get the F out of the grimy little town I was from. On the other hand, I’d been in a few big cities during my travels, and while they were fun places to visit, I never wanted to live in one. Portland felt just right. Soggy maybe, but I thought I could get used to that. Plus, my older brother Nathan lived there, so I figured the transition would be a snap.Read More »

Should I go to church? Pt. 2

In Part 1 we discovered that if good vibes, free pastries and threat-free socializing are your thing, you’d better get your ass to church! We also learned of a couple of downsides for the youngsters, and here in Part 2 I’ll let you in on a few caveats for the adults. Otherwise known as…

Things that are SO BOGUS about church
While these are not necessarily deal breakers, the following are definitely worth knowing before you go in!Read More »

Should I go to church?

Good question! But first a joke.

Q: Are God’s farts pretty bad?
A: Not just bad. They’re omni-potent.
[deafening applause]

Recently I was perusing breasts on the Internet, while clacking my teeth together and emitting high-pitched mewling noises (how we quadriplegics express ourselves sexually), when I was distracted by this important question. I immediately closed all 23 browser windows and began formulating helpful insights.

SHOULD I GO TO CHURCH?

The answer is YES, definitely! There are several reasons this is a terrific thing to do, which I will outline below.Read More »

The Netherlands, part 3

My year abroad wasn’t all drinking and going to shows and eating butterhams. I also took some trips. Here are my travel notes.

Rotterdam. A historic seaport city from the glory days of the Dutch empire. Amazing harbor. Impressive mix of grandiose stone architecture and grubby industrial monstrosities. Lots of public urination, old men mostly. Strong contender for dogshit capital of Europe.Read More »