atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#696: Acerbic


I'm looking over the past several entries and I see that not only am I really sarcastic, but I am swearing a lot more than usual.

In general I don't like to use profanity since it demonstrates a weak vocabulary, and my vocabulary isn't weak. But unfortunately I work with a bunch of people who are not college educated, and if you use words of more than three syllables around some of them you end up having to re-state what you just said, so my non-weak vocabulary is rather out of shape.

*ahem* My eloquence has been ill-used of late, and sadly I find it easier to resort to invective than to use erudition. Also there is no editor here, no book of standards, no nothin', just me and my keyboard--so I can write whatever I want to.

But setting the invective issue aside, I have concerns about the overall fun factor. I prefer that my writing is easy to read and entertaining, and I don't believe that a constant drumbeat of "look at this idiot!" "That guy's got a few screws loose!" and "Check out these asinine spam titles!" is really exploring the entire gamut of what I wish to convey. I want people to read Atomic Fungus and come away feeling entertained (at least) but lately I seem only to be capable of wry humor at best; acrid sarcasm somewhere in the middle; and flat-out disgusted tirades at worst.

I do enjoy a good tirade once in a while. I tried to learn the art of the tirade from watching John Cleese, who's the undisputed master of the tirade. Watch him play Basil Fawlty, for crying out loud, and tell me his tirades are imperfect in any way. But lately my tirades aren't entertaining; they're just irritable.

I mean, heck--it's all good if the readers (all three of you) enjoy what you see here. But if not, it's pretty silly of me to be doing this solely for my own amusement. I can write a lot of other things for my own amusement which would work a lot better (such as the three or four SF stories I have jumbling around in my brain).

So I'm going to do what I can to ease down on the swearing, and I'm going to start trying to think of funny things--actually funny, I mean, to other people, not just my own twisted sense of humor--to discuss here.

* * *

...and so I think, "I can tell the story of the mini fireworks disaster in 1989"--and then I realize that no, the way I tell that story, it's basically, "Here's what that moron did!" And that's the only way that story is funny.


In early 1983 my friend Marcus bought a Commodore 64. He got a cassette drive for it and bought a couple of programs, one of which was Monopole, a blatant Monopoly rip-off. I mean, it had "look-and-feel lawsuit" written all over it.

Anyway, after a while Marcus and I got bored with just playing the game, so we started modifying the code to see what we could do. (It was written entirely in BASIC.) Marcus--being Marcus--made a bunch of changes to the text.

"Go to Jail", for example, became "Go to Hell". "Free Parking" became "Free Fucking" and the image of the car (done with CPM's text-graphic symbols) was changed into a penis.

But the first time we just did the "go to hell" thing. And then played a game, hoping and praying that one of the pieces would land on that space so we could see how it looked. And of course, every time a piece would go past that space it would heighten the tension a little bit more.

Until, finally, a player would land on that spot.

"Go to Jail" played this siren sound effect; the text saying "Go to HELL", the text-graphic image of jail bars, and that siren--coupled with intense anticipation--made us laugh until we almost puked. I was laughing so hard I couldn't fricking walk. Thinking I was going to throw up, I started crawling up the stairs in order to get to the bathroom before I puked. But I stopped laughing before that happened, fortunately.

I never knew you could do that before a New Year's Eve sleepover. Marcus, was sleeping over at my place, and this was about the time that Smokey and the Bandit II was in theaters; and apparently I nailed Jackie Gleason saying "It's the Bandit!" because Marcus started laughing at it. He was laughing so hard I had to do it again: "It's the Bandit!"

"No, stop!" He said, still laughing helplessly.

"It's the Bandit!"

"Stop, stop!"

"It's the Bandit!"



...and he'd had spaghetti for dinner, too. That was pretty disgusting.

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