TOO MUCH STUFF!

The Biggest Reason Why I Fear Death

by Joe Buonfiglio

I fear death.

No, please. Do not engage me in a debate about the existence of God and have I accepted your deity of choice and your path of spirituality as my only hope for salvation. This isn’t that type of blog piece.

No, I fear death because… I have too much STUFF!

It seems that over the course of my time traversing the mortal coil, I have accumulated and inordinate amount of— well — STUFF!

Oh sure, it all starts innocently enough. Grandpa gives you Keepsake-X from the first time you and he visited Place-X to celebrate Event-X, and then it seems hard to part with said memento after his soul or transcendent consciousness or inner-child reborn or whatever you believe is the driving engine behind our corporeal nature has left the Earth for whatever does or doesn’t happen to us after we depart from this Earthbound plane of existence. And if you haven’t already gone all religious zealot or existential on me, just think about that for a moment. You can probably remember that first thing you “collected” that started you on the path of your lifetime of stuff accumulation. For me, I believe this may have been the oversized Matchbox replica of an antique Model T Ford my Pop-Pop gave me to further stimulate my love of old vehicles. Yes, I still have it… sort of. Not able to part with it through embracing anything remotely resembling an acknowledgement that it is “just some old toy that’s taking up space,” I “gave” it to my son as — well — a keepsake.

And that’s how it starts; an accumulation of junk that gets spread out across your house as if rancid peanut butter across moldy toast. If this mighty assemblage of crap was ever all gathered together and piled item-to-item on top of one another, the stack of memorabilia and other insignificant trifles that mean nothing to anyone but yourself would result in a heap of sentimental rubbish easily compared to the classically clichéd height of the Empire State Building. Throw in a few house moves over the years where attempts to get rid of some of this amassed jumble turns into “The movers are here! Just box it and we’ll sort it out at the new place!” (which you never do), and bingo; the show Hoarders wants to start filming at your home next week.

After a while, you step back and look at what it would take to declutter and downsize your stuff, your life, and it can become more than a bit overwhelming. However, do not allow yourself to be deterred from this daunting undertaking; if not for yourself, for your loved ones. Because if you don’t take on the horrific job of getting rid of all your pointless paraphernalia, it’ll fall on your next of kin or best friend to do it after you’re dead.

So, give the ones you care about most the best gift you can possibly give them; the gift of not having to deal with all your stuff while they’re trying to mourn the loss of your selfish ass. Don’t let “I miss him,” and “What will I do without her?” become “I can’t believe I’m the one who has to deal with all this shit! It’s a good thing they’re dead or I’d kill them myself!”

Remember, they have their own shit to deal with… not to mention death.

 

© 2017 Joseph P. Buonfiglio     All Rights Reserved.
All photos are © 2017 Joseph P. Buonfiglio with All Rights Reserved.

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HERE LIES JOE BUONFIGLIO

WILL YOU MISS ME WHEN I’M GONE?

by Joe Buonfiglio

Let’s say I’m dead.

What? How did I die?

I don’t know. Probably one of the normal ways: slipped in the shower, fell down the stairs, blown up by fireworks, ravaged by disease, rammed by a maniac with road rage, one Big Mac too many, impaled by a pumpkin-carving tool …. I’m an American; we practically live to figure out ways to kill ourselves. This is a hypothetical, so don’t get bogged down in the details of my demise. The particulars don’t matter beyond needing a body to bury for illustrative purposes. No, not being eaten by a T-Rex while hiding on a toilet seat in Jurassic Park; that’s the only lethal scenario that won’t work.

So anyway, I’m dead.

What will people say about me when I’m gone? It makes me shudder to even briefly contemplate how some of you bastards will talk about me behind my back; or to be more accurate, behind my corpse….

“He was a quiet man. Kept to himself. I guess we shouldn’t have been surprised when they found his body surrounded by all those empty doughnut boxes…. So many empty doughnut boxes…. So. Many. Doughnuts. Damn, man, how about a little self-respect!”

“What’s up with the squirrels? No, seriously, he had a thing for squirrels. It was weird…. … … It was fucking unnatural, is what it was.”

 “What can I say? He was an asshole.”

“Good God, the guy could put back some cheese! Cheap store-brand shit, high-end hoity-toity stinky cheese; didn’t matter. He always had some kind of cheese hanging out of his face at all times. Just a cheese freak, really…. … … I’m pretty sure I saw him bang a smoked gouda in high school once.”

“I always thought someone would have shot him.”

“He was a hoarder. Oh yeah. A lot of people didn’t know that about him. He hoarded stationery goods. Paper, pens, pencils, Sharpies, Scotch tape, address labels, Post-it Notes, index cards, glue, paperclips, et cetera. Mounds of the stuff. He claimed it was because he was a writer, but we all knew the truth. The crazy bastard loved getting deliveries from the office-supply store. It was his only form of social interaction, really…. … … He carried around a picture of Lucrezia Borgia naked eating a baloney baguette in his wallet, too, but that’s a story for another day.”

“HE FUCKED A MONKEY ONCE! I SAW HIM DO IT! … … … Okay, he just cupped its balls, BUT IT WAS STILL PRETTY DISGUSTING!”

“Joe was a gentle and kind soul, and he will be missed…. … … Okay, he was a rageful lunatic and we’re ALL gonna piss on his grave as soon as the service is over!”

“In college, he purposely ran over a cyclist with his old Ford pickup and just kept going. The fucker should be in prison. No, seriously, I don’t care if he’s dead; he should be locked up!”

“He enjoyed licking the icing off of cupcakes and then putting them back in the box. What kind of animal does such a thing?”

 “I once saw him shove a kaleidoscope up a bus driver’s butt.”

 “I once saw a bus driver shove a kaleidoscope up his butt.”

 “I once saw a bus shove him up a kaleidoscope’s butt.”

 “He picked his nose. A lot. I mean the guy LOVED picking his nose. Anybody’s nose really. He wasn’t beyond shoving his pinky finger up the nostril of whomever was sitting on the barstool next to him. Weird. Caused all sorts of problems…. … … Come to think of it, he still owes me bail money.”

“In the small of his back, he had a little tramp stamp. Quite literally. It was a tat of Charlie Chaplin…. … … You don’t want to know where on his body Laurel and Hardy were tattooed.”

“He drank coffee through a straw … up his ass.  Tried it out as a Vegas act, but it never really caught on.  He was pretty big in Seattle, though.”

 “He’d take money out of the collection plate at church. Any church. EVERY church. The guy went around town stealing church money every Sunday to fund his all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet habit.”

“You sure he’s dead? No, seriously, poke him with a stick or something. I need to make sure that prick isn’t coming back…. … … Not like last time…. … … Oh, Jesus, not like last time.”

Yeah. That sounds about right.

Oh well, you can’t take it with you. And with the friends and “fans” I attract, why would I want to.

Now where did I put that box of doughnuts?

 

© 2017 Joseph P. Buonfiglio     All Rights Reserved.

BREAKING NEWS: DONALD TRUMP DEAD!

(Crushed by the Weight of His Own Ego)

The “Basket of Deplorables” Mourn The Loss of Their Political Savior.

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by Joe Buonfiglio

In a stunning turn of events, 2016 presidential candidate Donald J. Trump’s ego grew so uncomfortable by the confines of Mr. Trump’s corporeal being that it squiggled out one of the last healthy follicles on Trump’s head in a desperate attempt to escape and create its own lifeform. Unfortunately, its self-induced narcissistic rage caused it to immediately have the equivalent of a cosmic cardiac-arrest and it fell back down upon its former host; crushing him instantly.

As KKK icon David Duke openly wept, the nation’s “Basket of Deplorables” honored their political savior by tracking down as many protesting Progressives as possible and punching them all in the face. Funeral services will be held in Moscow hosted by Vladimir Putin who immediately imprisoned most of his governmental hackers for not predicting Trump’s death in time to blame it on the DNC.

The RNC gave tribute to its fallen knight in sullied armor by introducing a bill in Congress allowing Russia to “annex” Texas as it did Crimea. Surprisingly, US citizens across the nation seem okay with this, especially Texans who immediately executed everyone on death row in celebration.

While it will not become a reality now, Trump supporters say, “The wall will forever be built in our hearts.”

In related news, Jesus is quoted as saying, “Look, I love you kids, but you’re on your own this time.”

NEXT WEEK: Hillary Clinton force-feeds her home server tons of Ex-Lax in attempt to induce the biggest data-dump of all time. Guinness World Records is on hand to observe with rolls of cyber-TP.

The ghost of Donald Trump is said to retort, “My dump is ‘huger!'” and is immediately reincarnated as a failed Austrian painter.

 

© 2016 Joseph P. Buonfiglio     All Rights Reserved.

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AM I … DEAD?

death bench

by Joe Buonfiglio

The wind has gone still.

The outdoor cacophony of neighborhood lawnmowers and leaf blowers and barking dogs and rumbling delivery trucks forming annoyances in and distractions for my otherwise imagination-engaged brain are suddenly silent.

The office clock that incessantly ticks in the background is conspicuous by its abrupt muting.

The labored breathing sounds of this perpetually allergic man aren’t just alarmingly shallow; they’re imperceptible.

In addition, I have writer’s block.

No, you don’t understand. Yes, I am a writer. No, I do not get blocked. I NEVER get writer’s block. To the contrary, I don’t know when to stop writing, not find it difficult to start. “Killing my darlings” editing down is my problem, NOT struggling to fill a page.

Any one of these by themselves is not cause for concern. However, taking into account the simultaneous manifestation of each event, it begs the question…

Am I … DEAD?

At this moment, I gaze upon the framed $25 check I received for the first story I had published in which I was bestowed with actual payment to write. (No, it was not my last check, smartass.) It was many years ago from the publisher of Skylight magazine out of St. Augustine, Florida, for a fun little piece about fictional theoretical formulas relating to the physics of cats titled, “Feline Physics.”

Now I sit in my chilly little office on an unseasonably cold spring day staring at the blank digital page …. dead. My brain appears to have seized up even on the most instinctual level, let alone giving way to any higher functions such as creativity.

Is this the end of the line?

Oh, I could resort to mindlessly pounding on my computer keyboard and banging out some fart jokes, throw out the word “FUCK!” every other sentence or once again flirt with the notion of the masturbatory practices of the Emperor penguin. And believe me; I’m certainly not beyond ANY of that should the spirit move my Muse in such a direction. However, at the moment, those don’t offer any inspiration. It would only be a forced march that you’d all see through instantly.

Even my fallback monkey-fucker witticisms don’t seem to offer a hope of bringing a smile to my face.

An emotionless face.

A face reflecting an impotency of thought.

Artistically dead.

Dead.

But if I’m dead, where am I?

Am I in Heaven?

No, there’s no beer and pizza.

Hell?

No. There’s no reality TV.

Am I in New Jersey?

No, it doesn’t smell bad.  Well, no worse than my office usually smells.

So, am I really dead?  I must be, because I never, ever get writer’s block.

Wait.

Did I just finish my blog post?

Never mind.

Oh, and the office clock’s batteries are just out of juice … … … as, apparently, am I.

© 2016 Joseph P. Buonfiglio     All Rights Reserved.

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IS IT TIME TO THROW IN THE TOWEL?

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by Joe Buonfiglio

THROW IN THE TOWEL.

That’s kind of an odd phrase, don’t you think? Meaning “to quit,” this idiom originates from the world of boxing.  From the side, a boxer’s “cornerman” coach or trainer can literally throw the towel used to clean blood and sweat off the pugilist’s face during the course of a prizefight into the ring to signal the fighter has had enough.  He quits.  The fight is over.

It used to be a sponge in the old days. “Throwing in the sponge,” however, seems even weirder to me … and significantly more disgusting.

Anyway, I’ve been wondering of late if it is time for me to throw in the towel, idiomatically speaking. No, I’m not talking suicide here (although, with me that is never completely off the table).  I’m talking professionally.

Has my literary vocation simply run its course?

Empires rise. Empires fall.  Is it time to take my writing quill and lay it to rest beside the bones of Caesar — or perhaps more appropriately, the bones of Douglas Adams?

I used to feel as I imagined God did; creating something from nothing, out of not much more than the spark of an idea and the sheer force of my mind.

But now?

Is there more pain than pleasure derived from starting my day staring at the blank page? Is writing becoming more selling than literary craft?  What if I just woke up one day and stopped doing it.  Quit.  Threw in the towel.

Would anyone care?

Would anyone even notice?

This isn’t merely a pity party. A person reaches a stage of his or her life where, with more days behind them than in front of them, they wonder if they’re on track or so far off the mark that a course correction may be out of the question.

Too many bad decisions.

Too many vices and self-indulgences.

Too many doughnuts.

And that got me to thinking; what other things could I be doing with my life if I wasn’t writing … this … this blog, right now?

Sure, I could be out on the road in search of coffee and doughnuts, or even circumstance that rewarded my shaved primate fetish. But, is that enough?  Wouldn’t it take more to get me to abandon the calling of a lifetime?

I suppose I could hunt down, torture and ultimately murder Beppo, the clubfoot circus clown. That might not only be fun, but serve to end the tortured nightmares that have plagued me since the days of my youth.

I could fulfill my dream of selling fresh bait out of the back of a 1972 Dodge Dart to help out needy anglers on piers and docks across this great nation of ours.

Practicing my erotic massage technique on the corpse of a clubfooted circus clown I just happen to be in possession of could be good for a few hours a day.

I could spend hours and hours and hours on social media such as Facebook and Twitter.

Wait.

I do that now. And that’s writing, technically, so I’d probably have to stop doing that.

I always thought being a baker might be nice. Perhaps I could become a Danish pastry chef.  That’s a Danish-pastry chef, not a Danish pastry-chef.  Not to knock the Danes, but I’m not moving all the way to Denmark just to get a flakier crust for some culinary hobby I engaged in on a whim in order to—  Oh, fuck it.  I can buy goddamn pastries in bulk at Costco, for Christ’s sake.  It’s certainly not a valid reason to give up writing.

What if I took an artistically tangential approach and became an urban-wildlife photographer. I could waste away hour after hour taking snaps of statue-defiling pigeons and their various defecation methodologies, or thoroughly exam squirrel nuts in all their nuanced—

I just wrote a whole blog, didn’t I?

I just wrote a whole blog piece based on the premise that I would no longer write blog pieces, didn’t I?

SON OF A BITCH!  This isn’t a vocation, it’s a goddamn addiction!

Well, no sir!  Not me, brother!  I’m no literary junkie.  I can stop anytime I want.

ANYTIME. I.  WANT.

Just because I wrote this damn thing, doesn’t mean I have to post it. That’s right. I’m in control of my destiny.  I simply won’t allow the fucker to see the light of digital day.  Let it lay fallow, for all I care.  Let it rot on the vine.

Nope, I am simply not going to po

 

© 2016 Joseph P. Buonfiglio     All Rights Reserved.

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THERE’S INTELLIGENCE BEHIND THIS DESIGN?

Intelligent Design - Earth Eye

by Joe Buonfiglio

When did I start to look like Uncle Fester from The Addams Family?

It was this troubling thought as I glanced pre-coffee into the mirror this morning that sent me spiraling down the metaphoric rabbit hole until I arrived at this ultimate conclusion: God — if He/She/It exists — may be omnipotent, but cannot be omniscient.

I know. As soon as those of you who are of the religious-devout ilk pick yourself up off the floor, put a nice, cool wet-washcloth compress on your forehead and get the “blasphemous ringtone of the damned” out of your mind’s ear, let me make my case with evidence that goes beyond my disappointment in the loathsome physical features that seem to accompany my inevitable slide down the mortal coil … or at least seem as if authentic before my morning cup o’ joe kicks in.

Here is my proof — six simple observations — that there may be “Design,” but there is an utter lack of “Intelligence” behind it.

PRAISE FROM SPORTS HEROES AND HOLLYWOOD TYPES: So you’ve won the big game; maybe even the Super Bowl. Perhaps you’ve just added an Oscar or an Emmy to your long list of entertainment accolades. What do you do on national television in front of millions of viewers who cling to your every word?

Why, thank God, of course.

So the Big Guy in the Sky lets the Hutu majority engage in the genocidal butchering of the Tutsi en masse in Rwanda, seems to be too busy to stop the Ebola virus as it claimed thousands of lives in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, and allows a devastating meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power complex in Japan without so much as lifting His celestial finger to abate the sweeping misery, yet he took the time to make sure you had enough speed to score the winning touchdown or the acting chops to deliver the year’s best performance. Do I have that right?

He’ll help a pimple-ridden teenager pass his driving test, but will allow madmen to fly planes into the World Trade Center towers?

Tell me again about Intelligent Design. Am I missing something here?

Is there a problem prioritizing in the Hotel Afterlife? Is that it? Does God have ADHD?

“What are those crazy humans doing now? They’re gonna blow the whole damn planet up by tomorrow if I don’t— Ooooooh. Pretty comet trail.”

INTERGALACTIC NARCISSISM: Our personal worlds don’t just center around us. The planetary world doesn’t just center around the collective “we.” No, most of us puffed-up humans believe this expanding universe in all its wonder and glory was created by The Alpha- and Omega-Man for the sole purpose of balancing out all the cosmic forces banging about out there in the astronomical absurdity of existence simply to sustain this insignificant blue planet for us in some benevolent, but probably misguided attempt to fulfill the promise of generational preservation of presence for we water-drinking air-breathing clan of the apes that got ahead of ourselves, evolutionarily speaking.

In other words, The Supreme Creator willed the universe — the ENTIRE fucking universe — into existence just for us. All of that Big Bang billions of galaxies planets stars black holes dark matter singularity comets solar flares orbits balancing act was done to make a house for us to live in.

The Big Brain Behind It All, in essence, builds the cosmic equivalent of Las Vegas to support the cosmic equivalent of one minibar-fridge to keep in it the cosmic equivalent of one “nips”-size bottle of peach schnapps so that it doesn’t get too warm.

You may call this Intelligent Design; but if I did this as a final project, I don’t think I’d get a passing grade for even “Intro to Engineering” at MIT. “Overkill” is an understatement. It’s like using a dump truck as a bowl in which to make a banana split for a toddler.  The kid is going to love it until she drowns in a melting mountain of lactose goo.

PERIOIDS: No, I don’t mean punctuation or eras of historical significance. I’m talking menstruation here. What Celestial Brain Trust could possibly have thought this one up?

Even after all those “Be fruitful and multiply” instructions, the female of the species didn’t get pregnant again? I know! Let’s have her discharge blood and other fun things from the lining of her uterus at intervals of about one lunar month from— Oh, I don’t know. Let’s say from puberty until menopause kicks in decades later. And for some of them, we’ll throw in Premenstrual Syndrome for good measure just to keep it fun. Sound good?

Intelligent Design?

A preschooler that eats his own crayons and still pisses the bed could come up with a more intelligent design than that one.

DEATH: So your idea of The Almighty Smarty-Pants comes up with a system of population control whereby not only are his beloved children hyper-cognizant of their eventual nonexistence from a very young age, they are painfully aware that most us don’t simply “not wake up” one chilly November morning, but will probably suffer at the hands of and eventually succumb to some unforgiving disease, debilitating circumstance or horribly violent incident. Yet, through all the ramifications of this mentally traumatic nightmare, we’re supposed to remain civil within polite society and be grateful to the One for providing what He must simply view as the definitive character-building exercise.

What a great idea! I wonder why Stephen Covey didn’t think of it. (Go ahead. Google him. I’ll wait.)

Intelligent? Be honest; even the most spiritually zealot amongst us wonders why we aren’t all running around naked, completely insane, engaging in all manner of experimental masturbatory technique-enhancement involving predatory reptiles and inanimate sundry products from the bowels of a tacky-tourist shop in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

And speaking of that…

SEX: In the grand scheme of things, this is probably the big piece of the big puzzle for most of us when it comes to Intelligent Design since, as I’m sure a good number of you will agree, it occupies such a large amount of our cognitive activity on a nearly daily basis.

Whether you believe in the Theory of Evolution or the more biblical explanation for humankind’s appearance on the scene, there is no doubt that sexual tension is such a big driver for most of us, it must be part of the big picture of human existence.

Let’s use heterosexual men as our guidepost for understanding the sexual-blueprint factor imprinted upon — no — engraved into our DNA.

Now, if we straight guys catch the slightest glimpse, even shrouded in clothing, of the female body part whose sole purpose is to create, store and deliver nutrition to the babies of our species, we cannot function on the most rudimentary of levels for want of sticking our protruding, non-spherical genital into a woman’s copulatory “pocket of delight.”

This is supposed to be Intelligent Design in action here, mind you.

Additionally, men are determined to utilize their wanking-apparatus “Master of Ceremonies” by impaling it into the ladies’ orifice designed only for the removal of the most-foul end-product of the digestive system out of the body. The Heavenly Horticulturist made this completely absurd bucket-list desire vastly seductive and absolute in its devastating ability to overwhelm our better judgment, yet He seemed sincerely surprised that the Garden of Eden fell into utter chaos.

Remember, Big Man, this is YOUR Intelligent Design. Adam’s male descendants’ longing to stick it into anything from rotten watermelons to sleeping sheep is on your head, my friend. DNA is Your bailiwick, no?

And while this is probably a downright outrageous generalization, You created woman to appreciate romance, passion-stimulating ambience and the beauty of the courtship process, while infusing man with an appreciation of “There’s a hole! I’m gonna stick my dick in it!”

Intelligent Design? Yeah, if God is Batman’s archnemesis The Joker.

And speaking of anal…

POOP: Need I say more? Sustaining life is dependent upon consuming plants and fellow creatures sharing the Earth, saturating it all with high-fructose corn syrup, trailing their demise down our gullet with the liquid remnants of distilled potatoes and the like; and then bingo-bango, shitting the byproduct organic refuse out a hole in our ass.

A hole … … … in our ass.

Let’s reexamine that little tidbit of Intelligent Design, shall we?

The big plan — the very best a Supreme “Thy Will Be Done” Creator can come up with to sustain life — involves feces, defecation, assquake, the bad brownies, butsin’ a grumpie, a dookie howitzer, a loaf pinch, porcelain bus ride to the Browns’ win at the Super Bowl poo. This — as renowned physicist Stephen Hawking titled his book in relation to how the universe works and NOT human waste — is The Grand Design?

Seriously?

No matter what you think about the credibility of any of my other evidence or assertions, this — THIS — is the fucking deal-breaker for any uncertainty. Our reliance upon the ordure machinery affirms my position beyond a shadow of doubt.

With Mister All-Seeing All-Knowing running The Big Show, the Snake in the Garden must have felt as if it was all-too easy.

How ’bout them apples?

We’re all nothing but walking, talking poop factories who reach out to grope each other unto our deathbed, begging for it as if a perverse senior citizen in a Fellini film until we drop and are transported to whatever divine comedy laced with otherworldly indignities God has waiting in store for us on the next station platform of relative existence … or, we simply fade to black.

However, what the fuck do I know? If hipsters can turn cheap-ass Pabst Blue Ribbon beer into the ultra-cool PBR by the sheer force of their collective will, maybe all this raging bullshit we call life can be part of some Grand Plan of Intelligent Design.

Whether it’s knocking boots, making a deposit at Banco Baño, or the need for a Higher Power to be a part of our lives, there’s always some hole out there that needs fillin’.

 

© 2015 Joseph P. Buonfiglio     All Rights Reserved.

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MY LAST TWILL AND ESTIMATE

Wait.  What?

 hand-229777_1280

by Joe Buonfiglio

Okay.  When you’re as frucking dunk as I spam, putting your Last Twill and Estimate down on paper may not be the beastest—  uh, beattiest— bestest—  BEST!  BEST idea in the worbed.  WORLD!  Admittenabably, putting back 5 or 6 or 23 Manhattans when you’re a diabowlatic—  Diane bowling tick—  DIABETIC!  That’s not a—  See, that’s probababababubbly not a very God—  GOOD!  Not a GOOD idea.  So—

Hold on a minute.  Let me put a pot of Goofy— COFFEE!  A poot of Krupke on the—  Just hold the fuck on.  I’ll be back in a cupola whores— HOURS!  Back in a couple of hours.

Holy fuck!  My hangover has a hangover!

Where was I?

Oh.  Right.  So, let’s get on with it.  I’m overdoing the “hair of the dog” remedy more than a little bit, so I could easily slip back into a state of intoxication at any moment….

THE LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT OF JOE BUONFIGLIO

You may be wondering why I’m drinking so heavily at such a critical juncture in the annals of my legal documentation.  The truth is that just thinking about this shit gets me fixated on my own death … which depresses me … which sends me deep into both the resources and recesses of my liquor shelves.  In other words, contemplating the inevitable conclusion to my journey along the mortal coil first fucks me up, and then gets me fucked up.  Having the Grim Reaper pull up a barstool next to mine just isn’t something with which I can deal in any dignified manner whatsoever.

I have no problem accepting other people’s deaths.  Hey, that’s just how it goes, right?  But my own?  The thought leaves me slumped over on the floor having shat myself and mumbling some sort of bizarre negotiation for a “Get Out of Death Free” card with an invisible and conspicuously unresponsive Almighty.

“Just grant me immortality and I will go to church every Sunday, stop drinking, lay off the cigars and never masturbate again…. … … Okay, how many extra days can I tack on for just backing off the smokes?  You know.  Kind of ease into things.”

All right, goddamn it!  Let’s get this over with!

TO my son, I leave my pet monkey, Cyril.  Quite frankly, he’s a horny little prick that can teach him many things.  The monkey is, not my son.

TO my beloved wife, I bequeath absolutely nothing.  After all the shit she has had to put up with from me over the years, my death is enough of a gift.  Enjoy, honey.

TO the town in which I reside at this moment, I leave my ass.  That’s right, my ass.  Just have it surgically removed at the time of my death as if part of some kind of warped organ-donor program, and present it to the mayor and town council sitting in power at the time of this writing.  They’ll know why.  They.  Will.  Know.  Why.

TO my church, I leave my signed copy of Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.  One good book of fiction deserves another.

Aaaaaaand here come the emails and letters.  It’s a joke people, just a joke.  If God — should He/She/It exist — doesn’t have a sense of humor, we’re all fucked anyway; so calm the hell down, okay?  Geez!

TO my former life in Los Angeles, I leave my soul.  Oh.  Wait.  LA took that from me years ago.  Never mind.  Enjoy it nonetheless, Tinseltown.  It’s not as if I’m using it, anyway.

TO my non-New Jersey friends and relatives, I bequeath my “Seaside Heights Special” sausage-n-peppers recipe.  Quite frankly, you all need some Jersey Shore in ya’, you loveable bastards!  (On a sub roll?  Of course, you fuckin’ heathens!)

TO my New Jersey friends and relatives, I leave—  Oh, wait.  You pricks all died years before me.  Fuggetaboutit.

TO my cable company, I bestow a stack of unpaid bills.  Ha-ha, you fuckers!  Try to collect now that I’m worm food.  What’s that?  You want my next of kin to pay you.  Well, your call is important to us.  Please hold for the next available representative.

TO the collective known as Humanity, I leave—  That’s it.  I just leave.  Glad to be gone before having to live through whatever cataclysmic apocalypse you dumbasses are incessantly marching yourselves toward with reckless, feckless abandon.  I will miss you, though.  The Human Race’s propensity for self-destruction is the only thing that overshadowed my own lack of self-preservation to the point that I looked fucking brilliant by comparison.

Rock on, you indomitably suicidal Humankind.  Rock on.

Now, af yoob axe booze me, I think I’m getting sly knee titsy— TIPSY!  Slightly tips— ah, fuck it.  I’m dead.  You’re on the phone— on your bone—  OWN!

Boo crow what I spleen.

 

© 2015 Joseph P. Buonfiglio     All Rights Reserved.

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JUDGMENT DAY

Dead End

by Joe Buonfiglio

It’s the proverbial “end of the line,” folks.  So long and thanks for all the beer (with apologies to Douglas Adams).

My self-destructive personality is killing me … quite literally.  The “Day of Reckoning” for yours truly apparently comes courtesy of spoiled cocktail weenies wrapped in crescent rolls left over from my Super Bowl party.  When I consumed these mini “pigs in a blanket,” I didn’t realize they were the official finger-food of the Grim Reaper himself.  The damn things are loaded with so many chemicals that I assumed they came with a post-cooked shelf life of infinity.

I assumed wrong.

Okay, that’s a lie.  I KNEW they had gone bad and I ate them anyway.  Don’t ask me why.

They were there … and then they weren’t.

Thus, my inability to engage in any act of self-preservation finally caught up with me.  And this?  This is…

JUDGMENT DAY FOR JOE

“Where am I?  Is this Heaven?”

“What?!” blurts out the bearded man in the flowing, white robe just before he laughs quite loudly.  “No, Joe, that’s Heaven just beyond this pearly gate behind me.  This is—”

“Heaven is a gated community?  I thought God was all about ‘the least of you’ and flipping over the tables of the moneychangers and shit.  Are you saying He’s just another member of the cosmic 1%?”

“Don’t blaspheme here.  Now is certainly not the time to—”

“I’m not blaspheming.  What are the HOA dues like in a place like that?  Is the Big Guy all ‘Cough up the frankincense and myrrh’ every month?”

The old man stares at me for a moment before he coldly asserts, “You really are a dumbass, aren’t you?”

He has me dead to rights.

“No, Joe, this is your Judgment Day; where we shall analyze the plus and minus columns in the Book of Life to determine whether you shall join the choir of angels in never-ending bliss … or spend Eternity tormented in the Lake of Fire.”

I stand here thinking.  The old man looks puzzled.

“You know this isn’t a choice you make, right?” he queries.

“Can I get in on some of that 72 virgins action?”

“Wrong religion.”

“Damn!”  My disappointment is impossible to conceal.

“I thought the same damn thing!” comes a voice from beyond the massive gate.  “When I found out that it didn’t apply to me, I screamed ‘What fuckery be thiseth?!'”

“Sorry about this,” the old man says to me before he whips around to abruptly address the soul interjecting itself into our conversation.  “Keep out of this, Shakespeare!  You’re still on probation, you know.  I can burn your ass any time I like!”

“Oh, bullocks!” the great Bard of Avon exclaimed before buggering off in a wispy fit of pique.

“For such a brilliant writer, he’s a bit of a twat, don’t you think?” the old man asks.  “Oh well.  Now, let’s get back to your fate, shall we?”

I shrug my shoulders and we get down to business.  The old dude explains to me that he will first read the things working against me, and then he’ll counter this with all the good things I did while air still entered my lungs.

Seems simple enough.

“So, let’s begin.  Now, there was the time you genetically modified endangered Venus flytraps transforming them into organic sex toys—”

“Whoa-whoa-whoa!  You know about that?”

“— and then you sold these hideous abominations to the perverts who hang around the fringes of park playgrounds.”

“Well, I— uh … um…”

“Yes,” the old man says with a scowl on his face and in his tone.  “I’m waiting.  If you have any justification or clarification, now would be the time to voice such things.”

“You see, it’s like this …”

“Yes? … Well?”

“I got nuthin’.”

“All right,” he continues. “How about the time you cashed out your kid’s college fund and spent the entire thing on peanut butter-filled chocolate bunnies bought at a discount-warehouse store’s after-Easter sale?”

“You say that like it’s a bad thing.”

“What about when you drank away the rent money?”

“I have to admit that was a little fucked up.  But—”

“… as well as the grocery money, the gas money, the money for the utility bills, not to mention the money for the family vacation.  Your wife and child saved pennies for years just to—”

“Okay already!” I blurt out.  “Again, it would appear completely reprehensible on the surface.  However, in my defense, how many trips to Disneyland do you need in one lifetime?  Do you know what I’m sayin’?  That fucking It’s a Small World song over and over and over and over!”

“And you drank away the money for your wife’s surgery.”

“Granted, that was a bit selfish on my pa—”

“And the money entrusted to you to cover funeral expenses in the event of—”

“All right-all right-all right already! … What can I say?  I get thirsty.”

The old man puts down the Book of Life.

“Do I really need to go on,” he says.  “I think we both know where this is all heading.”

“Don’t be so melodramatic.  It’s not like I’m Hitler or something.”

“Why does everyone in your circumstance always bring up Hitler?!  That’s setting the bar pretty damn low, don’t you think?  If you’re Hitler, there is no question that you get in the E-ZPass lane to Hell.  That’s a given.  But just because you’re not a mass murderer on an unfathomable scale, it does not mean you get a “Get Out of Jail Free” card if you’re still a major douchebag to your fellow travelers upon the Earth while you walked said aforementioned planet.”

“Jesus!  It can’t be as bad as all that.”

“Oh really?” he declares as he again looks in the Book of Life.  “The rest your activities involve such noble pursuits as unnatural experimentation with barnyard animals and infecting your employer’s entire East Coast computer network due to your incessant need for Internet porn during working hours.”

“I can’t help it.  I can’t afford the Internet at home.  Remember how I drank away all the utility money?”

“You stole a car.”

“I was young.”

“It was last week.”

“—er.  I was young-er.”

“The car belonged to an orphanage.”

The old man pauses to glare at me in a manner that clearly expresses his disdain toward me.

“What?  Don’t look at me like that.  Why does an orphanage need a car anyway?  It’s not like the little bastards can drive.  They’re kids, for Christ’s sake.  Kids without parents to boot.  Who the fuck is going to teach them to drive, right?  Am I right? … I’m right.”

The old man shakes his head in disgust.

“Come on,” I plead.  “What about all the good stuff?  There has to be some good things, too.  Try breaking out that side of the celestial ledger book, okay?’

The old man inhales deeply, and then exhales abruptly.  He opens the Book of Life once more and examines it closely.

“No,” he announces.  “No redeeming qualities or acts of kindness whatsoever.  Nothing.”

“Nothing?”

“Nothing.”

“Nothing at all?  Not one damn positive?”

“Nope.  ‘fraid not…. … … Weeeeeeeeell, almost nothing.”

“See!  I knew it!  Come on.  Out with it, you old bastard.”

Okay,” he says as he draws the Book in closer to his eyes.  “It appears that once — once, mind you — you served food in the soup kitchen of a homeless shelter.”

“SEE!  I KNEW IT!  I’m not such a bad guy.”

“No.  Wait.”

“What?  What wait?  Wait for what?”

“No, sorry.  My bad,” he says almost smiling.  “I misread that.  It appears you once stole food from the soup kitchen of a homeless shelter.”

In the background, I can hear some angelic prick playing AC/DC’s Highway to Hell on a lute.

Oh well, it could be worse; I could be a Hindu.  Then I’d probably be reincarnated as a cocktail weenie … that’s gone bad.

© 2015 Joseph P. Buonfiglio     All Rights Reserved.

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