Shakespeared

From the Bunny Droppings files:

Unfortunately younger audiences today, do not have the time or patience to sit through an entire Shakespeare play. To add to the dissonance of Shakespeare from youth, dudes in tights whining about lost love are definitely uncool. Many attempts have been made to reinvent Shakespeare as cool, like Michael Almereyda’s Hamlet or Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet for example. However, they fail to realize the most important concept of being cool. “Hip” is a state being rather than a prepackaged hand me down from an older generation.

Uncool to simply imply that the brand of gun is a sword whereas definitely cool to blaze guns around Equilibrium style and kill fifty henchman in the process. Coolness is not contemplating suicide in front of you computer monitor. That’s what livejournal is for. Being hip is an arbitrary distinction for a contemporary point in time. While I enjoy watching the wash of images from a modern day Hamlet, I know Neo’s awakening from the Matrix is much cooler than Hamlet’s slow thoughtful revenge.

That’s why, as a humor writer, I am going to rewrite Shakespeare’s life to make it more cool with the younger audience. The first thing Shakespeare needs to make him cool is a name change. Shakespeare is a long boring name. Look at Puff Daddy, he’s twenty times more trendy now that he goes by P. Diddy. How can a guy whose name sounds more like a sneeze than an actual name be uncool? Shakespeare’s new name will be Shakez, spelled with a z because it’s close to the streetz.

Another important part of Shakez new fashionable look will be to loose the frilly collar and dress in tight black leathers with shades. This way we know Shakez is a man ready for action. Shakez don’t take shit from nobody and is ready to go Kung Fu crazy anytime. What’s cooler than a black leather ninja that will whoop your cracker ass then write you a sonnet?

Shakez also needs a posse. Stylish present day hipsters always need a modern day rat pack with people that abbreviate their name to meaningless catchy letters. Allow me to introduce Shakez’ posse, Mar Lo the Admiral of Funk, Ben J slapping his east side hoes, and Kyd Rock who bom diggy do something or other incomprehensible. And what posse would be complete without the hot Latina chick? The most important member of the posse, Rosaline, or Rosa as called by her contemporaries, will be the muse of the men and inspire the ladies. Like Queen Elizabeth, she is a strong woman trying to get by in a man’s world.

Like today’s modern celebrities their lives will be fraught with peril when Mar Lo is gunned down like Tupac. I smell a made for TV movie. Let’s see what happens:

Scene I: Bar

Shakez enters.

Shakez: What’s up G Funks! How goes thy bumpin’ rhymes?

Ben J: Word.

Kyd Rock: We bust mad fat wack beats yo. Is thy rock
Guitar tuned to a minor key? Cry forth w’ great
Chords of mindless fury. We shalt henceforth be
Called Pimp Bitchnizt. With rock rap we shalt angst
About ex-girlfriends and cover George Michael.

Ben J: Word.

Shakez: Thy heart is not in thy mind. I think thoughts
About fairest Rosa. She afflicts me.

Kyd Rock: Thy speaketh in riddles. Is not Rosa the
Girlfriend of Mar Lo?

Shakez: Aye that she is…

Kyd Rock: Then release thy pain. You pursue a lost
Cause; that doth hold no bounty. Seek not Rosa.
There are plenty of fish in the London sea.

Ben J: Word.

Shakez: The mind is willing but the heart is weak.

Exit.

Scene II: Park

Mar Lo and Rosa enter.

Mar Lo: Hell hath no fury like a woman shorn.

Rosa: Does thee not likest my gutter punk look?

Mar Lo: I likest thee regardless of thy baldness.
Though methinks that thy shaved head is not
Because thee thinks that punk rock is thy look;
More because thy hast read thou self help book.

Rosa: Does thy take quarrel with Detach the Penis
From The Man, by Dr. Laura Schlessinger?

Mar Lo: No quarrel milady.

Enter assassin.

Assassin: Message for Mar Lo.

Mar Lo: What treachery is this? You think that
I shall confuse thee for a messenger when thy
Character is clearly labeled Assassin?

Assassin: I would not think thy is so dumb so I
Will just kill you now. Due to lacking guns;
In sixteenth century England. I shalt use;
A giant trebuchet. Have a nice day.

Trebuchet kills Mar Lo. Assassin exits.

Rosa: Mar lo, my life, my love, I shalt not rest;
Until thy conspirators are brought to justice.
But first I shall watch new Sex In The City.

Exit.

Scene III: Bar

Enter Shakez and Ben J.

Shakez: And that is the last time I’ll trust a hobbit.

Ben J: Word.

Shakez: Doth thy tongue speak other syllables then word?

Ben J: Budapest.

Shakez: Forget about it, thy knavish speak, rouge.

Enter Rosa.

Shakez: Rosa the fairest maiden in all the world!
How fairs thee?

Rosa: Stuff it Shakez. Draw thy sword!

Shakez: What vexes thee?

Rosa: Mar Lo is slain. Kyd Rock was imprisoned.
Through Kyd’s tortured breath we learn of a plot;
To steal my heart from a cuckold mad man,
Jealous with love. I shall slay thee Shakespeare.

Shakez: How dare thee use my given name vile wench!
Does thou speak Prince when his name is symbol?
Does thou call Gene Simmons: Chaim Witz? Filthy,
Are those that speak in such vile manners…

Rosa stabs Shakez.

Rosa: Save thy soliloquy for death young Shakespeare.

Shakez: Grave are the days when goths scream Brain Warner!
Thou slanders all that is decent and just.

Rosa stabs Shakez a couple of more times.

Shakez: The desperate throws of pop culture’s death.
When real names are uttered on the fans breath.

Rosa cuts his head off. She cuts her pinky in the process.

Rosa: Finally. Oh crap I am dying.now.
For no good reason than everyone is dead;
At the end of a Shakespearian tragedy.

Ben J looks around.

Ben J: Word.

Manly Paint Jobs

One of the distinguishing features of our relationship with my fiancé is my lack of domestication. I am able to preform basic functions such as use the toilet, close doors (sometimes), and dress myself (the last one is questionable). Other duties, such as painting the house, come from a mystical realm of wonderment and awe. When we decided to paint our living room, I envisioned a paint can, a brush, playfully slapping paint on my fiancé, passionate kissing… The reality was a shopping cart full of things I didn’t know even existed, taping everything short of the cat, hours of work, playfully twitching my nose, and a suggestion to leave the smelly house while it dries.

Most of the actual brush to wall work was done by Felicia, my fiancé. Anything in the category of “crafts” is usually mangled by me. For example, we bought a DVD shelf that came in a box. Time for my manliness to shine! I will construct a shelf that can be assembled by a second grader. CRACK! A screw though the wood and a gash in the shelf. Another project, reassemble a table from my grandmother. Called the neighbors on that one. When we were deciding on colors, my fiancé had to cover up the paint sample I put in the wall. Somehow I managed to mess up paint we were planning to paint over anyway! Needless to say, my painting day duties were centered on providing lunch, buying supplies, and making sure the pets did not step in the paint.

The color on our wall is called Arizona Sunset. Felicia jokingly exclaimed, “We should paint a real sunset on the wall.” Lacking sophistication in the humor arts, I thought she was being serious (if she said “Let’s paint poop on the wall!” I would have got the joke). Sensing my hesitation, she laughed at my folly and explained her jest.

Because of my deficit of anything manly with paint, all my man points will come in the form of manly painting ideas. A sunset can be really manly. Simply place a cowboy riding into the sunset. Bonus if there is a buxom woman on the horse. Any number of manly objects can be brushed on the walls: swords, motorcycles, and chainsaws. Your partner will be ready to sleep with you after they see the fighter jet in the living room decor (after the paint thinner of course). For the really hyper masculine schemes, make a mural of the every Manowar album cover. The manliest of manly paintings, however, was one from real life. My friends bought a house with a mariachi band mural on the back wall. Painting is one of those acts that really personalizes a house. For my friends, the Viet Cong greeted them every morning. They changed the guitars into machine guns and sombreros into Nón lá. Thus proving once again that men shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near paint.

Grilled To Your Satisfaction

From my book Free Advice: Just Add Money: (Now with better editing!)

I recently bought a grill for my father. He loves the grill for its ease of use, light the gas then start grilling. Before the gas powered grill, every Sunday my father bought enough lighter fluid to burn down a small country and used it to coat a tiny pile of charcoal. My family had to hide in an underground bunker while my father lit the charcoal. After explaining to the Air Force that the “napalm attack” on our residence was my father lighting the charcoal, we sat down to enjoy nice home grilled burgers. Of course, it became too expensive to feed the fire department, and Air Force. We decided to buy a gas grill. In 1812, if the British owned gas powered grills, they would have never burnt Washington D.C. during their victory celebration.

British Soldier: Sir, I think we have a problem.

British Officer: Yes I know, all they have is this “BBQ” sauce. I am sure the crown will send us a fresh shipment of Worchester sauce.

British Soldier: Worse, look.

Washington D.C. is burning.

British Officer: Stupid charcoal grills.

With our new grill, we can enjoy a family meal without breaking any fire laws. During our family meals, my dad would always give me advice about the importance of college so I won’t be flipping burgers the rest of my life. Yet on weekends we always flipped burgers. Of course, I have a degree in theatre so I will have no choice but to flip burgers. Update: I have a Masters Degree in Theatre now, though the statement above still applies. This piece of advice is very valid because without a degree you will be so sick of burgers that once the weekend rolls around you will not want to flip burgers.

However what if the youth today did not want to be doctors but wanted to flip burgers? College education can still play a vital role in the burger career choice. In effort to give accurate advice, I did some research. I called a few universities to find out what burger-flipping curriculum they offered. They usually hung up on me or referred me to the theatre department. Since most people wouldn’t want to go through all those theatre classes to be a professional burger flipper, I decided that once I can raise enough funds (through careful placements of mints in restaurants), I can start my own burger flipping school.

In the school, we will teach all sorts of interesting material about not only flipping burgers but about the business as well. For those who want a life long career in the field, we will teach you how to keep your zits for the rest of your life. We will also teach how to let your voice crack when you say, “would you like fries with that?” My school will also provide night classes to fit the schedule of people who need to get mugged at midnight on the shady end of town when they leave from work. I think I will call it the University of Albuquerque so I can locate it in Phoenix.

We will also reveal the big secret to burger flipping that is used by fast food chains around the world. Since I trust all of you to keep it a secret, I will tell you it for the first time in print. Before I tell it to you, I must stress that this is a secret kept for generations of burger flippers dating back to a Neanderthal named Granorak. He invented the McMammoth. Trust me, not telling anyone the secret will help you later on in life. For instance you can use this secret when you apply for a job at a burger-flipping joint:

Manager: To begin this interview, I must first ask you one question. What is the secret for flipping burgers?

You: There isn’t one.

Manager: Your hired.

The secret to flipping burgers is: not to actually flip burgers. It is that simple! Ever wonder why you at home with your Char-Broil grill do not get paid to flip burgers while corporate fast food chains get paid millions to do it? You can microwave them, steam them, boil them; use a flamethrower, and even flame broil them (a combination of all of the above), just so long as you do not actually flip them! Please take this information to the heart for I fear for my own safety. With that I have go, I think I hear the McPolice coming.

The Nobel Pieces Prize

The Internet is nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize this year. While I wish I made this up, because of the inherent comic nature of such an idea, the truth is sometimes funnier than the comic. If the Internet wins the Nobel Peace Prize, who will get the prize? The telecoms industry, Apple, Al Gore? Presumably, the 1.4 million dollar prize could be split up among every website on the internet (.000000000000000000001  cent here I come! Wooh!).  However, the less peaceful websites would receive the money too.  What are some of these less peaceful websites? I’m glad I asked! Here are a few that shouldn’t get peace money:

1. Earn your online drive by diploma from University of The Phoenix Killa’s. Take online classes in window tinting, finding arms dealers, and bullet-house penetration. Learn where to aim, how fast to drive, and how to maximize each clip from your Uzi. University of The Phoenix Killa’s also offers certificates in Playa, Bling, and Drug running. We also work with local gangs to ensure that all our graduates have access to job placement. Don’t tell the cops, we will cut you.

2. The KKK website. Their website proclaims that they are trying to spread “love not hate.” Maybe we misjudged them, and these so called lynch mobs were “love” mobs. Or burning crosses on people’s lawns is a friendly “howdy” to the neighbors, like baking an apple pie. These people can’t even afford real uniforms. They have to use bedsheets. Maybe to “spread the love” we can start clothing drives and do charity work for them. I can picture the commercial now.

Famous Middle Aged Actress: Many white supremacist separatist villages lack the essentials they need to survive. For only thirty cents a day, you can provide these villages with clean drinking water and health care. Many white supremacists drink impure distillery water (moonshine) deteriorating their naturally poor genetics (inbreeding). White supremacist children often lack sufficient education (ie any at all), as the teacher is Old Teddy Boy, Southern Civil War veteran who mainly babbles incoherently about the “go’ ol’ days.”  Please help these disadvantaged people. Your thirty cents will double their salary.

3.  Any website offering the secret to money making. They usually begin with a story about how Ed wanted to quit his job so he bought a gun. His friend Terrence (after visiting Ed a few weeks later in prison), got very rich because he discovered “Buzz Word.” Usually “Buzz  Word” sounds like a new hip economic trend, like micro licensing, market cash sharing, and flux caparisoning, when in reality Terrence made up the word while sitting on the john.  Meanwhile Terrence will give, you the visitor, the secret for only $29.95. What’s a life time of wealth, good looking pool buddies,  a short body guard name Tree, and a large body guard named Tiny (they also preform vintage comedy routines on request) compared to a mere thirty dollars? However what Terrence didn’t disclose is the scheme is for him to get rich and nobody else. As for Ed, he really only brought the gun to make sure the boss would listen.

4. Carrot Top’s invent your own comedy prop contest. Really? REALLY? REALLY?!?!!? No need to fight the war on terror, they already won.

Since every website on the internet couldn’t possibly be helping peace as much as say, Coke Rewards, the only option is to give the prize to the consciousness that will emerge from the Internet. If all the users of the Internet were neurons, then the Internet will eventually be a hyper intelligent construct. Basically, if each person on the Internet functioned like a cell in the Internet’s Brain, then I would be a damaged one. More importantly, the Internet would be a conscious being  and could probably use the money. Right now, the Internet is kind of a mooch, sleeping on the couch in our office, eating our food, but does it pay rent? No, we pay for it to come to our house. The Internet needs to get out on it’s own. Go through a self discovery process; Figure out what it wants to do. As long as it doesn’t start hanging out with Skynet, I’m pretty sure the Internet will grow up to be a well adjusted being. If it does hang with Skynet, duck.

Cervical Cancer

Sometimes the best humor spawns from real life. Before I spread any rumors about me having cervical cancer, this moment of life was designed by an advertising firm. My fiancé and I fell for the hook of the commercial. Normally we don’t fall for gimmicks, being that we both pride ourselves for our academic achievements. Two people with master’s degrees should be leading the intellectual charge. We are educated! We know what’s up! A free vacation! You only need my credit card and I can watch this time share video while I wait! Let me get my credit card!

We were watching television the other day. During the commercial break, there was an ad with a romance novel dressed woman. She followed these glittering, floating objects. Because of the fairy tale atmosphere my fiancé said, “Watch, it’s going be about make up or chocolate.”

We began to guess at what this woman was chasing. We laughed at the different objects that might be at the end of her magical adventure. Like the cat food commercials where the cat wanders through the turkey wonderland, we thought this woman would prance into flavor bliss, when a romance novel leading male presented flowers and candy. We laughed harder when a perfume bottle materialized before her eyes. Finally the product revealed!

Our laughter turned from laughing at the commercial, to laughing at ourselves. All our whimsicality shattered when the perfume bottle finally came into focus with the words “Cervical Cancer.” Touché advertising execs. Touché. Neither of us ran out to get tested for cervical cancer (although, I did consider it).

Me: Test me for cervical cancer.

Doctor: But you’re a man.

Me: The commercial said it’s never to late! I want to be tested NOW!

Doctor: (sighs) Fine, we will test you Mr. Frale.

Me: Could I also get some Yaz?

Even though we did not rush to the hospital for our diagnoses, the ad was a success. We were snapped into attention by the puppeteer of marketing. The creator of the cervical cancer wonderland knew that we were literate in commercials. We believed that we were watching a Russell Stover plug. The key to good advertising, the customers thinking exactly what the firm wants. As consumers we should support companies with good ads, and boycott those that make breaks painful to watch. This is an altruistic cause to enhance life for all humans! So watch my favorite ad on television: The Old Spice Guy. Now, where’s my check. Ahem… Old Spice… you can start paying me now.