by Joe Buonfiglio

Having walked along the mortal coil in a delightfully self-destructive manner for a goodly number of years now, I dare say that my life as a devout Absurdist has taught me a thing or two.  It is this not-so divinely inspired knowledge that I wish to impart to you.  Profit from it or not.  My love for you prohibits the use of my Scanners-like mental powers, so the choice is totally yours without any undue influence on my part.  Unless you tempt me with freshly fried chicken, homemade-from-scratch biscuits and moonshine just off the still; then I will totally make your head blow off your shoulders with my unearthly brain-laser.

Sorry.  I can’t help it.  That backwoods home-cookin’ makes me both a little joyful and a little nuts.

Now, you are probably well aware of the standard, normal, “Momma didn’t raise no fool” commonsense rules often referred to as the “Dos and Don’ts” of life in the modern world: DON’T use the blow dryer in the bathtub / DO give blowjobs in the bathtub; DON’T submerge a frozen turkey into the hot oil of a deep-fryer for Thanksgiving / DO deep fry batter-dipped Oreo cookies for consumption at the state fair; DON’T engage in unprotected sex / DO have sex with sheep in the back alleys of Glasgow…  You know. That sort of thing.

Wait a minute.  That’s not right, is it?  That definitely shouldn’t be a “DO.”

Deep-fried Oreos aren’t very “heart healthy.”

Anyway, forget all that stuff your parents tried to teach you not to do as they downed the red meat, threw back the Scotch and chain-puffed the cigs.  Your new life-guru is here for you.  Welcome to my world…

Uncle Joe’s Guide to Living

1) NEVER HIDE YOUR SPARE HOUSE-KEY UNDER THE FRONT-DOOR MAT.  That’s way too simple for a would-be thief, axe-murderer or suspicious husband to figure out; thus gaining easy access to your abode.  If my years as a drug mule taught me anything, it is that you should place your spare key in a heavy-duty condom and shove it up your ass.  No nefarious types will ever know it’s there.  And even if they do find out; for my money, it’s still a pretty safe bet they won’t be trying to get their hands on it anytime soon.

2) NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF OWNING A DOG (AKA DOG PARKS ARE THE BEST PLACE TO MEET PEOPLE OF THE OPPOSITE SEX).  Let’s face it, once those “pound puppies” start banging away at each other out there, how can you not get all worked up yourself.  Dog owners are lucky if they make it back to the car, let alone their apartments, before they start going at each other.

It should be noted, however, that if someone approaches you in the dog park carrying a leash and asking if you’d like to pet their “Labradoodle” — but they didn’t actually enter the park with a dog — get the hell out of there.  FAST.

3) NEVER KILL YOUR NEIGHBORS AND THEN TRY COVERING IT UP BY BURNING DOWN THEIR HOUSE.  This also holds true for condominiums, apartments, camping trailers/tents, whatever.  Besides the fact that you might accidentally catch your place on fire, modern-day forensic science is just too damn sophisticated.  You’ll get caught for sure.  It’s better to use the fire itself to slay them.  The percentages are with you that you can make the whole thing look as if a tragic smoking-in-bed accident.

See, if you’ve got one of these fucking neighbors who just won’t turn down the fucking music even though you’ve got a fucking job interview first thing in the fucking morn—

You know this is just a hypothetical, right?  It’s not as if I have plans all drawn up and hidden in my basement behind the hot-water heater.

That would make me some sort of … psychopath.

4) NEVER USE REWARDS CARDS.  Rewards cards just make you buy shit you never would have bought in the first place.  Think I’m wrong?  Think the money or discount or points or miles or whateverthefuck it is with which they’ve lured you into their little web of deceit is worth all the extra crap you don’t need, but WILL be buying?

Go take a look at the poor souls selling stuff on eBay.  They know of what I speak.  I mean, seriously; you don’t think they do that because they want to, do you?

5) NEVER OVEREAT.  High blood pressure.  Diabetes.  A body even a mom can’t love. Greater risk of everything from stroke to cancer to erectile dysfunction.  A lifetime of cookies and ice cream will look pretty fucking stupid if your dick doesn’t work or you get ass-cancer.  Unless you’re talking about the Krispy Kreme triple cheeseburger.  That’s TOTALLY worth the diabetes.

Do not look at me like that.  Have you tasted one of those things?  Damn.  I mean, damn.

6) NEVER CONFUSE THE MOVIES WITH REAL LIFE.  Being a cowboy looks like fun in the movies, doesn’t it?  Get along little doggies, my ass.  Have you ever actually slept out under the stars with a herd of cattle?  Do you know what a steer smells like?  Do you know what a steer’s buttcrack smells like?  Do you have any concept of what a herd of cattle’s collective buttcracks smell like?

“Pray for death!” is the only way to adequately describe it.  It is beyond the comprehension, let alone the vocabulary, of even a lifelong Absurdist as myself.

If you ever wanted motivation to become a vegan, just ride the range with cattle pissin’ and shittin’ all over the place for a while.  That should do it, cowboy.

7) NEVER START A SENTENCE WITH “WHEN I WAS YOUR AGE…”  What the hell is it with people who think they were so great when they were teenagers, but their kid is a pain in the ass.  This SMOY syndrome (Selective Memory of Youth) must be generated by the same cruel hoax of Intelligent Design that makes women forget all the horrible, painful shit they went through during childbirth.  Because if they remembered, nobody — NOBODY — would ever have more than one kid … and no parent would ever lecture their teenager about how much more respectful and hardworking they were when they were teenagers themselves.

Teenagers are just hormonally driven assholes.  It is true now and — get used to it you old fart — it was true then.

Even so, you still can’t borrow the car tonight to go out with your friends.  Why?  A) I’m a prick; B) It’s my car, so my rules; C) I’m a prick.

Did I mention I’m a prick?


YOU: “Being a writer seems fun.  You get to stay up late, work in your underwear, be creative and edgy, live a Bohemian lifestyle…”

ME: “Blow me.”

9) NEVER BE GUILTED INTO ANYTHING.  Guilt is for suckers.  Period.  Anyone who tries to use your shame or anxiety or fears or need to be loved or anything else to their advantage in order to get you to do their bidding is a wanker who deserves a kick in the genitals, NOT your precious time and full attention.

For example, the infamous “You never call me,” or “You never visit,” or “You’re never around when I need you.”

WRONG ANSWER: “Oh my God; I am so sorry.  I’ve been super-busy.  I’ll try to be better about it in the future.  I promise.”

RIGHT ANSWER: “You’re a cunt.”

And finally,

10) NEVER BANK ON SOMETHING BEYOND YOUR CURRENT LIFE.  Working your ass off until you retire?  What makes you so damn sure you’re going to get to “retire”?  What if you have a heart attack working so hard for all those years just so your corporate overlords can pad their profit-coffers off the sweat of your brow?  401K?  Fuck it.  Take that trip to Italy you’ve always wanted … now.  Do it now.  Life may literally be too short.

Oh, someday I’m gonna be a movie star … a famous football player … a world-renowned author … a Wall Street mogul … a,a,a—

Puuuuuuuul-leaze!  Wake the fuck up, my friend.  The sweet dreams of youth turn into the shitty grind of reality for most of us.  I don’t care if you have the ass of a Kardashian or are a self-described gift to both women and society now, you’re still going to wind up working at Macy’s helping 90-year-old motherfuckers find white shoes that fit their smelly, swollen feet or rotate the tires on your 30,000th Chevy like the rest of us.  Learn to be happy with the occasional cold beer and chicken wings at your favorite sports bar.  And if you’re lucky enough to still have wiggle room on your credit limit at Christmastime, consider that an added bonus.

As for the so-called “Afterlife,” that’s the worst of all.  It is a delusional vision induced by a paranoia of our own ephemeral timeline spawning a trap designed to get us to live our lives in a manner that will be rewarded after we’re dead if we just put up with nonstop bullshit now.

Think I’m full of it, my religious friend?

Imagine how you would live your life if you had proof — absolute proof — that the Afterlife was a load of crap; that when you’re dead, that’s it.  You’re dead.  The silent Big Blackness of Forever.  Time to feed the worms and be relegated to a digital scrapbook that a someday-relative will accidentally come across and say, “Who the hell is that? … … … Delete.”

There is no overwhelming joy in the Eternal Cloud City; no raging torments in the Lake of Fire; no golden roads leading to mansions in the sky; no eating all you want and not getting fat; no 72 virgins to do your bidding; no becoming one with the Creator or the Universe or the Whatever.  None of it.  Just…


Dead.  Gone.  Finito.

So, if you knew for a fact this was a complete verity, would you still live your life the way you do now?

I didn’t think so.

Now, get the fuck out of here.  My supersized doughnut-burger is getting cold.


© 2014 Joseph P. Buonfiglio     All Rights Reserved.

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