Katie Stalin in Riker’s Island


stalin in prison

First of all, for the record: Riker’s Island sucks. Seriously, they make you eat baloney! Then you actually have to write your award-nominated column with crayons on toilet paper because they say you’re not allowed to have anything sharp. All while making you listen to alternative Christian rock. And don’t get me started on having to “spread my cheeks.”

Then the Axes & Alleys/Movable Type Printing lawyer comes in and tells you you can burn in hell, don’t ever call us collect, and something about your expense account being larger than the gross domestic product of Guatemala. Like, that’s not even that much. Guatemala’s pretty damn poor and muddy. So now I have this stupid public defender named, get this, Jack McCoy, who did say that my 1,832 indictments are actually a New York state record. But then this moron says that he wouldn’t smuggle me in any nachos and also that he was going to do me an insanity defense. I’m not even insane!

So I tried to smack him upside the head with a chair, but the guards caught me and shackled me. My arms and my legs. It sucked, because my nose itched and the stupid lawyer wouldn’t even come near me to scratch it. I had to use the table top, but then they tied me up even more because they thought I would be a danger to myself. It was just an itch!

The way these cops and lawyers and judges act you’d think they’d never seen anyone take a stolen tank for a joy ride and crash it into Air Force one. It wasn’t even my fault. Tanks are hard to steer, okay, and it turns out the lieutenant in charge of maintaining the tank had removed one of the control bars for cleaning. Like I know much about braked differential steering anyway.

Then these people are all going off about all these extraditions and outstanding warrants. Like, whatever. There’s no proof I’ve been anywhere.

It’s not too bad though, I guess. I’m gonna try and get President Armstrong to pardon me, because one time he gave me a ride and I think he’ll remember. Plus, you can make a killer drink by mixing bread, orange drink and sugar and leaving it under the bed for a while. Also, this one section of my wall is kinda loose. Think I might be able to pry it loose and escape through the air ducts. We’ll see. If I can just get me a poster of Freddie Prinze, Jr., I’ll be set.

Well, I’ll be sure to keep you updated. Don’t worry, faithful readers, no prison can hold me for long. Not when I’m hankering for some nachos.

Editor’s Note: As of this printing, forty one new indictments have been brought against Ms. Stalin. Pending the outcome of her various trials, Ms. Stalin and the column “Katie Stalin: Out and About” will be on indefinite hiatus.

Ask Montezuma

It’s the Anwer Man from Tenochtitlan


Montezuma is an F-22 Raptor currently stationed at Wright-Patterson AFB.

Dear Montezuma,
My cat knocked over our “Nuts to You Hitler” commemorative Rebo and Zootie plates.
The plates fell from the wall in the living room and onto my husband, who let out a surprisingly cattish yowl. This yowl scared the neighbours who called the police. When they arrived, they attempted to enter the wrong house and were fired upon by the tax protesters down the street, wounding one officer in the leg. This officer was to be the fifth generation of his family running in the Sligo Creek marathon at age 27, the very next week. In his anger, he beat his wife and shot himself using a Luger his grandfather collected in World War II. Incidentally, that grandfather ran the marathon with a gunshot wound to the chest and sold us our cat. Who came up with the idea of the proof of purchase you can send in to get “free” stuff idea?
Mary Herschel
Larry, Armpit, UK

Ms. Herschel, I think that the “Moon Madness” and “The Third Man Never Rings at the Cuckoo’s Nest” Rebo & Zootie commemorative coffee decanter and barbecue lighting apparatus are certainly my favourite collectible Rebo & Zootie memorabilia. I also enjoy
the rare and fun Rebo & Zootie india ink orange fruit stamp. It is positively lovely to have Zootie’s whiskered visage look upon me from the safety of my lunch time orange rind.

Hey Monty,
Why are silhouettes so dark?
Daimly Pattesron
Wayne Shorter, MI

I must admit, Daimly, that I’m terribly vexed. Which Wayne Shorter, Michigan do you come from? There’s the Wayne Shorter, Michigan founded in 1888 by Bantu herders. It’s located in the meta-carpal area of Michigan, is centrally planned, and contains a lovely horticultural park and history of the goat museum. The Wayne Shorter, Michigan founded by Steve Boilerplate in 1997 and located in the thumb area of Michigan has a run-down miniature sawmill statuette in the city center and a reflective paint factory. I do hope you come from the former.

Dear Montezuma,
There are always leftovers. No matter how much food I buy, nor how much I prepare, the damn stuff always has a bit left over. What gives! I just want the right amount of food!
Sami Westwood
London, UK

I find it mildly distressing that your name differs little comparatively from that of Clint Eastwood, a super-star of American cinema in both an acting and directorial capacity. Your surname, Westwood, is merely the opposite of Mr. Eastwood’s, implying that your family comes from dark and depressing roots. People who only look to the sunset. Mr. Eastwood faces a bright future and is ready for the coming days. Your given name, Sami, is only one letter shorter than Clint. Whereas Clint starts with a voiceless velar plosive, a strong sound, Sami begins with a voiceless coronal sibilant. Yuck!

My friend is a lot of fun to be around most of the time. He’s interesting, engaging, good to talk to. That is, of course, until he starts drinking. It only takes a few, but once they’re in him he gets weird. He’ll insist none of us is having a good time, it’s making him unhappy, we should go other places, even when that’s clearly untrue. I love hanging out with him, but only for the couple of hours before it gets like this. None of us seems to be able to say anything about it. Why does Pabst Blue Ribbon have a light aftertaste of peaches?
Marina Ferrer
West Hollywood, CA

MF, alcohol contains a taste molecule called a peachome. With a greater concentration of peachomes comes a greater taste of peaches. For instance, peach schnapps has a peachome concentration rating on the Kurasawa-McClatchy Scale of 4000. Stolichnaya Vodka, the mother of vodkas from the motherland of vodkas, has a KM rating of only 3. Pabst Blue Ribbon rates a 50 on the KM scale. Now, obviously that rating is low, so you would wonder why there’s such a strong taste. I am glad you asked! You see, Pabst’s in-house chemists have worked hard to contain the beverage’s peachome content within a carbon bucky-ball reorganizing of the beer’s carbon content. It’s fairly ingenious. You should see the syringe they use!

Dear Montezuma,
Do you have any tips for me to start my penny collection? I don’t have any pennies yet.
Billy, Age 47
Montauk, NY

I would begin by collecting pennies. Perhaps in a jar. Definitely not in cattle.

Dear Montezuma,
Recently, I was reading a collection of C.S. Lewis’s essays concerning the concept of a Moral Law; the idea that humans everywhere, even if they disagree about specifics, still agree that there are such things as right and wrong. Does this argument of the Moral Law constitute proof for the existance of God?
Florence Henderson
Hollywood, CA

Flo, while written about by C.S. Lewis and others, it should be noted that the Moral Law was never passed by Congress nor signed by the President. Thus it is still only, at this point, just the Moral Bill and not yet an actual Moral Law.

Dear Monteuzuma,
When was the cup holder born?
Al Consequence
Peoria, IL

Al, I am not helping you win the video trivia game at the bar. That’s not my mandate.

Dear Montezuma,
How long does it take for people to get infected with the French disease?
Blemish Plucky
Sordid, Canada

Ish, ennui can take effect in as little as five minutes. A heightened metabolism combined with an increase in cigarette and wine consumption will follow close behind with an oxymoronic arrogant malaise. Productivity will decrease, with the average ability to work barely topping 30 hours a week. Less during the summer months. The desire to work for something will vanish within two hours followed by an increased sense of entitlement. Also, if you happen to own any nuclear powered aircraft carriers, they will become leaky from poor maintenance and the funding will not be available to operate them.

montys hints

Pickle ranching in the home can sometimes be difficult. There are the space considerations, of course, but also feeding and care. I like to use an old closet to house my herd. First, construct a hexagonal lattice arrangement of cubbyholes in your closet. Fill with synthetic sushi garnish to make the pickles feel at home. Once you’ve brought them home from the grocery store, transfer the pickles from the jar to the cubby holes using a spoon. Never use a fork or tongs. These damage the pickles. Once ensconced in their cubbies, make sure to spray the pickles from a mister filled with a 70%/30% saline solution every three hours. Keep the door closed. Pickles hate light. Make sure to exercise your pickles at least two times a week using a standard pickle maze. They love to solve these puzzles.

Buying Tips for Children

buying tips 1

A friend told me recently that he felt obligated to take his mother out to dinner. He had increased his salary since last seeing her through a higher-status job, moved to a nicer apartment, and generally felt the burnished brass button glow of the newly-minted “successful” son. I disagreed with him strongly, saying “Your parents should have to keep buying you dinner until you can afford to buy them a house.” The same goes for plane tickets.

You might think that Mom has done so much for you and that Dad couldn’t have been more supportive. This is not true. They can do more for you and support you more. For instance: by purchasing nutrients for you well into adulthood whenever you or they come for a visit. (This is of course not true if your parents weren’t there for you. In this case, feel free to stock up on free motel toiletries and give them to your parents as a gift.)

As a productive, self-supporting adult, it’s only natural for you to think you owe your parents dinner. After all your mother went through the pain of birthing you (double points if cesarean section) and your Dad had to deal with figuring out whatever it is Dads are supposed to do after ejaculation. They fed you (most obviously) and gave you clothes. Probably even sent you to school for an education. Sounds like they did a good job right?

But it wasn’t altruism. At the other end of life there’s an expectation that you will take care of them. You’ll have to feed them and clothe them, wipe their bottoms; generally pass through all the indignities of life as a reverse parent. Of course the analogy to childhood isn’t lock tight. Right off the bat they probably weigh at least six or seven times what you did as a baby, slightly less as a toddler.

On top of that, if there’s something wrong with their brains, its usually not learning, it’s forgetting. If there isn’t that big, stinky, baby of yours is embarrassed by defecating uncontrollably, and will tell you so. Probably in good English. At least you could be considered cute while learning to use the potty. Not so funny now that Mom can’t remember how.

When it gets to this point, there’s a huge investment in money, too. If they were good, your parents probably planned for retirement, but like a lot of people they probably didn’t plan on becoming senile pod people who only resemble the parents you knew. Think you don’t recognize them? They certainly no longer even recognize you. I’d guess they couldn’t remember what peas were, whether they were tasty, or why in general they shouldn’t be thrown against the wall.

Let’s be reasonable, most people (myself included) don’t or can’t conceive of their own death. This even truer of their own decrepitude. In which case, they just don’t plan for it. Medical science will get them through it, or it will never happen to them, they think. Meanwhile they’ve boarded the express train to foggy fogey town with no hotel reservations or baggage.

buying tips2

You might make the argument that your parents should spend all of that dinner money on money market accounts and mutual funds, but it’s never going to amount to a lot of dough on their part. Certainly not enough to offset the cost of 24-hour in-home nursing care or an end-of-life run in a retirement community. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, two thirds of Americans aged 18-34 live more than 500 miles away from their parents. For the same demographic, parents see their children an average of twice a year.

Let’s assume you have modest taste and the reunited family of three goes out for steaks at a reasonably-priced chop house. A blooming onion, three porterhouse steaks with the trimmings, and a bottle of pinot noir (a cheap one from Uncle Louie’s Winery) will run you roughly $135 with tip. With the other scenario, you shell out that change and your parents put that money in a basic savings account for twenty years.

What do they end up with at the end? Slightly more than $8000. That’s certainly a nice chunk of money, but when you compare it to the annual cost of nursing home care ($70,000 according to the American Association of Retired Persons), it’s pretty much a given that spending that money on a good meal with you is a better investment.

When it comes down to it, they’ll need that investment of good memories to stack up against all the bad ones they’ll make as incontinent imbeciles for the last ten years of their lives. I’m not sure what the interest rate is on family dinners these days, but they definitely bring in a better return than the alternative: lonely, desperate, uncared-for old people going quietly insane as the prison of their decrepitude decays around them.

I’ll have a side of steamed broccoli.

The Historigon: Clauduary 2008

The Historigon

This Month in History:

2008 AD- A monster attacks New York City, but no one notices this time.

2004 AD- Television show Futurama has no idea it’s about to be canceled.

2003 AD- High school sophomore Kayla Dobbs of Scranton, PA, fears that senior Michael Allen knows she likes him.

1995 AD- After six disappointing weeks without a single sale, Roscoe’s Pumpkins Filled with Tuna goes out of business.

1972 AD- In a discussion about the Imperial Japanese attack on Nanjing, feminist Gloria Steinem declares that all invasion is rape.

1938 AD- The Japanese and the Russians have a tea party on the border of Manchukuo and Mongolia. Many thousands do not leave the party.

1918 AD- As commander of the Rainbow Division, General Douglas MacArthur leads the charge into No-Mans-Land armed only with a feather duster.

1824 AD- Sailors aboard the H.M.S. Pigeon use the tortoise’s shell as a bowl to serve a meal of fresh tortoise stew.

1754 AD- Avant Garde artist Jizumo Nakamura creates a confusing and troublesome 18 syllable haiku. The shocked and astonished Shogun has him executed.

1555 AD- Several people engage in sexual intercourse. Two couples have a good time. One couple vomits from the smell.

1443 AD- King Sejong takes credit for inventing the Korean alphabet and has the entire group of linguistics wizards killed so they don’t blab to anyone.

1105 AD- Alfonso VII of Castile dies after being choked by sapient truffles sent back in time by King Desregar or the Plotuthnan Kingdom located in the same geographical area, but 400,000 years in the future.

1066 AD- Australian aborigine Topath has no idea that the crucial turning point in English history has occurred.

800 AD- Pope Leo III is given a dirty look by Charlemagne as the former accidentally steps on his foot whilst crowning him Holy Roman Emperor.

700 AD- Stephen and John of Glastonbury invent the world’s first commercial while acting out messages for pay from local shopkeepers at the town tavern during saga night. Some grog is thrown.

600 AD- The Mayans begin the only period in history where native Mexicans can feel themselves superior to anyone except the French.

500 AD- A raving Sterolab fan is accidentally transported to the past and dropped in Wei Dynasty Northern China. He is promptly killed after playing the neo-lounge act through his iPod for the local magistrate.

400 AD- The Roman Empire lets out a small fart.

320 AD- Chitartha goes one better and invents the super-zero, which is three times greater than zero, but fails to catch on with his fellow mathematicians.

89 BC-Another year goes by without Meso-Americans inventing the wheel.

207 BC- Someone in Sparta decides it’s about time to have some fun.

530 BC- Cyrus II orders a fig pie. He dies shortly afterward.

622 BC- Seriously, some guy whose name you can’t pronounce defeated this other dude you don’t care about and went on to do some rad stuff for his people that had no effect on you at all. Really, history doesn’t mean much, does it?

753 BC- Those Romans liked to say their city was founded in this year, but it was really Poughkeepsie.

1203 BC- The Olmecs figure a big head on the porch ought to look pretty cool.

1492 BC- A large massing of weevils in the future Ohio causes lightning and cloud formation.

1666 BC- The first drunk dial occurs when Sham, son of Norath, uses his small bow to let his girlfriend know he’s horny.

2545 BC- Seven brothers marry seven sisters, but each sister is really their own sister. It doesn’t end well and we don’t really feel like going into it here because it’s too depressing. Ask about it again later.

3820 BC-Shaduthusha is voted as having the worst reedmanship of all the scribes in Uruk.

17,456 BC- Sparklegirl108 Smith, the world’s first time traveler, goes off course and crashes her time ship, inadvertently killing her ancestor and erasing her existence, and thus causing time travel to never be invented in the future.

43,257 BC- Poga becomes the last person ever killed by a giant ground sloth.

4, 007, 373, 387 BC– A self-replicating protein begins creating copies of itself on a clay surface, beginning the long march toward the existence of James K. Polk.