5 Ways to Unwind After a Stressful Plane Flight

nightmare at 20000 feet

“I seriously should have gone with Virgin.”

You just got back from a long, stressful plane flight. The stewardess spilled orange juice all over your shirt. The plane slipped into a barrel roll to avoid colliding with a second plane. You got fired from your job via the plane’s convenient wi-fi connection, which, by the way, went dead immediately after the firing so you couldn’t even start looking for new jobs right away.

Suffice it to say: your nerves are a wreck. You need to unwind. But how? Cuddle with a loved one? Meditation? Exercise? Listen to Norah Jones music?

Nah. Those won’t work at all. You want to know the best way to unwind after a stressful plane flight? Keep reading…

5 Ways to Unwind After a Stressful Plane Flight 

1.) Watch one of those airplane disaster movies from the 70’s. You know, the ones where the pilots all fall unconscious and some poor school teacher from Alabama has to figure out how to fly and land the plane? See if you can stream one or more of those movies on Netflix. Afterwards, your own recent airplane experience will seem like much less of a big deal.

2.) Call up the airline you just flew with and see if you can get the full name of the stewardess who spilled the orange juice on your shirt. Look her up online or in the phone book. Dial the number. When she picks up the phone, start screaming at her. Just scream and scream and tell her how clumsy she is. Get it all out of your system. Hang up the phone. You’ll feel unwound.

3.) Call up animal control and inform them of the fuzzy green swamp man you kept seeing out there on the wing (see photo above). You’re probably not the first person to complain about this, and maybe those bastards will finally got off their asses and DO something about this growing problem. Because even freakin’ John Lithgow saw it!

dinosaur twilight zone

“Wow, they didn’t have those LAST time I came to New York!”

4.) Draw pictures of the dinosaurs you saw out the window down in prehistoric New York City when your plane got caught in the time warp. Nobody really knows what real dinosaurs actually looked like (for instance, did they or did they not have feathers?) and your drawings will surely be of interest to paleontologists and Steven Spielberg. The creative act of drawing will help to soothe your nerves.

5.) Inform the scientific community about the Langoliers you saw during the transfer in Bangor, Maine. Most scientists out there believe that there’s no such thing as time, that time is completely relative. But those weird Mouth Beasts you saw masticating each “moment” of time in order to make room for the next moment? It’ll really change a lot of peoples’ minds. This will really improve your mood, because you’ll basically be the belle of the ball.


“Freakin’ Langoliers? The scientific community will want to hear about this!”

Want some more? Read joy post about Airplane Etiquette

Today’s post was a response to the following Daily Post prompt:  After an especially long and exhausting drive or flight, a grueling week at work, or a mind-numbing exam period — what’s the one thing you do to feel human again?

check it out at: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/back-to-life/

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If Cereal Bowl and Toilet Bowl Can Work Together, So Can We

cheerios in milk

“Not quite the bowl we had in mind, but at least we’re out of the box!”

This morning I poured me a nice huge bowl of Cheerios. Cool, right? Except check it out: the milk I used was pretty questionable. Technically it had expired two days ago, but my feeling is: in a pinch, two days is still within safety limits. As long as it doesn’t taste or smell or look funky.

It looked okay, if not a bit pink. I figured it was maybe the lighting in the room. Nor did it smell funky. And I pretty much always have a stuffy nose, which means I couldn’t really isolate any subtle irregularities in how the milk tasted. There it took me a couple of spoonfuls of Cheerios before I started to register the sourness.

But it was barely sour. I refused to believe it the jig was up. I went in for some more. No, definitely weird. Sour. The entire bowl was compromised. But here’s the thing: what the hell was I supposed to do with the rest of the bowl. Not only had I had fixed myself a pretty massive bowl of Cheerios, I poured way too much milk in there too. I basically had me a heavy trench of grade-A horse feed, and no horse on hand to eat it.

“So for a moment I just sat there looking at all that mucky horse feed, stumped. How does one conveniently dispose of a big milky bowl of Cheerios?”

I couldn’t dump the whole works into the garbage; the milk would create all kinds of chaos in there. When I went to dump the trash it would leak trash juice all over the floor and then I’d have to clean that up too.

What about the sink? Well, that won’t work either, for opposite reasons. The pink clumpy milk would drain fine, but what about the mounds of soggy Cheerios. I don’t have a food disposal thingie. The Cheerios would likely worm down into the drain and stay there until half-a-bottle of Draino nudged it onwards. Or I could have drain cap on before dumping the Cheerios, in which case all the Cheerios would have collected in the sink itself and I could have scooped it up myself.

But that seemed like so much work.

So for a moment I just sat there looking at all that mucky horse feed, stumped. How does one conveniently dispose of a big milky bowl of Cheerios?

And then it came to me all at once. Eureka. It was so freaking perfect.

Dump the whole mess down the toilet bowl. Flush it. Done.

Because—and I won’t go into details here—worse things have gone down there. Soggy Cheerios should be a relatively routine job for the ol’ toilet bowl. The liquid/solid ratio of my bowl of Cheerios was quite similar to that one time I…

“…dumping a full bowl of Cheerios into a toilet bowl can be a guilty thrill.”

Ah, never mind. But let me just say that dumping a full bowl of Cheerios into a toilet bowl can be a guilty thrill. Something just felt so wrong about it, ya know? Afterwards, just looking down at the little huddled islands of Cheerios in the milky toilet water, surrounded by the porcelain mouth-walls of the toilet itself, I recognized how fitting a resting place I’d found for my refugee Cheerios. It was, after all, a “bowl,” was it not?

I bet those Cheerios saw today going a differently in their minds. I always imagine that all the individual Cheerios, huddled in the darkness of the cereal box, wake up each day praying that the Eater show up and choose them for active cereal duty. That, once chosen, once freed from the box, they’d be ferried by the Eater’s hands into a glorious porcelain heaven of cool, white milk. There they can be what they were born to be.

I’m sure today’s Cheerios probably wished they’d just stayed in box.

Readers: What did you think of my solution? Pretty smart, eh?


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Television is a Vampire That Feeds on Writers

Family gathered around television

“I offer you my entire family. Feast!”

Today, as usual, I procrastinated quite a bit before sitting down to do this post. I ate a bagel, watched a few shaky, grainy teaser trailers captured via fans’ cell phones at San Diego Comic Con (one of them was a brief scene in Ben Affleck’s in-production Batman V Superman. Batman looks fat and slow and his eyes glow white, fyi), listened to some Beatles on my iTunes, which I’m actually still doing as I write this. Past Masters Volume 2.

I guess my preferred form of procrastination is to enjoy the fruits of somebody else’s creative labor. Anything that’ll sort of get me whipped up into geek mode, because then I’m usually primed to do some writing of my own. Sometimes I’ll read a chapter or two from a book, or maybe I’ll just stare at the wall and just think about how much I like some writer or filmmaker.

What I’ll never do is allow myself to sit down in front of a television, even for a split second. It’s a major black hole, the television, no matter if you’re watching the news or a movie or whatever.

I’ve found that the moment I lower my guard and switch to passive “television watching” mode, I lose ALL momentum. I slip into a nose-dive from which recovery is near impossible. I’m telling you, I regard a live, flickering television like it’s some kind of violent, salivating productivity vampire. I can survive in it’s general vicinity for the few moments it takes me to make coffee or have breakfast or something, but, for me at least, that act of sitting down on the couch is sort of like ringing the dinner bell for Nosferatu.

The sitting down, the surrendering, that’s the killer. If someone beckons me to the television with a “hey, you need to see this,” I’ll usually come and watch, but I’ll stand behind the couch. Even if the video in question lasts a whole twenty minutes, I’ll stand there behind the couch like some kind of android in sleep mode. Because once you sit down, the television can smell you.

This is not to say I never sit down in front of the television, but when I do, it means I’ve made a conscious decision to give up all creative productivity for the day, to abandon all  projects, including even reading. I rarely do this. Maybe four or five times a month (including weekends) I’ll give myself permission to idly “veg out” in front of the TV like Homer Simpson.

Please note, I’m not including Netflix streaming here. Sometimes, if I’ve gotten myself hooked on some television show like Breaking Bad, I’ll allow myself to watch an episode or three on my laptop before I go to sleep. Watching Netflix directly before I go to sleep is acceptable, because at that point all live creative endeavors have been, too, put to bed.

What about you, Reader? Do you willingly sacrifice yourself to the Productivity Vampire on a daily basis? Or are you a little more like me—distrusting of the television?

This post was based on a Daily Post prompt from over a week ago, which asked the writer to describe his/her favorite procrastination destination.






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Cold Pizza: Nature’s Alarm Clock

This morning I woke up to the music of Maroon 5’s “Maps.” This song has, for better or worse, been my alarm radio wake-up-call for the past work week. But today, Adam Levine’s high-pitched “castration singing” got my brain booted up just enough for me to realize today was Saturday.

Promptly I decided to go the hell back to sleep. Screw getting up! I swatted my hand in the general direction of the alarm radio, which, due to how my bed rests against the table, sits almost directly on my own head. Sometimes I swat my own head.

It took a few swats but ultimately I got Adam Levine to stop yelping at me, and my bedroom settled again into quiet. My eyelids grew heavy. I started to sink into the mattress like in those Space Foam commercials. I’ll say I was probably three seconds from falling back into a deep deep morning sleep, but then an image, sharp and crisp, flashed across my field of foggy dream-vision. A slice of pizza. Actually two slices of pizza, wrapped up in aluminum foil.

read about my major beef with Maroon 5’s new song

Just like that, the dream world dropped out from under me and there I was back in my bed, wide awake. No Adam Levine needed this time! I was alert, good to go. It was time to get up.

What happened was I remembered I had two slices of pizza left over from last night’s “Pizza Friday” feeding frenzy. This wasn’t Little Caesar’s either. It was the real deal. It was the same place that had Pizza Obama on the window.

Those two slices, I knew, were going to be my breakfast. I’d have them cold too. I am staunchly against reheating pizza for any reason, and especially not in the morning.

Cold good pizza is one of the top breakfasts I can think of. Something about the tanginess of the cold tomato sauce set against the islands of hardened cheese atop the still-crispy, cool crust. It’s the only breakfast that can lure me out of bed early on a Saturday morning. French toast and eggs and sausage and all that? Well those’re good but, apparently, they’re not good enough to get me out of bed. With them, I’ll get out of bed only after a few extra snooze sessions and hope there’s still some left. Which there almost never is.

“Cold pizza introduces a much-needed crisis situation to my wake-up routine.”

With cold pizza, though? I’m out of the bed so fast that if I look back quick enough I can see my own ghost-image still laying there thinking about cold pizza. The promise of cold pizza in the refrigerator, for me, is the best alarm clock ever. Way better than Adam Levine yelping directly into my ear; I can just hit snooze and be done with it. Cold pizza introduces a much-needed crisis situation to my wake-up routine. Decisive action must be taken right away.

Because I know that if I don’t get to the pizza soon enough, somebody else will see it in the fridge and eat it first. It is such a major bummer to launch yourself out of bed, riot down the stairs, and hook your hand into the refrigerator door handle, only to discover you’d been outplayed, outeaten.

Today wasn’t one of those days. My pizzas were right where they were supposed to be: sort of out of sight on the top shelf of the refrigerator, sagging over the ledge in their sleeping bag of aluminum foil. But they weren’t there for long…

This time I got lucky, folks. But what about you? Are you into cold pizza for breakfast? Do you heat it up, or just eat it up?

Read about my discovery of Pizza Obama (Who Also Plays Soccer)

Or, for more practicallyserious pizza action, check out: Upside Down Hamburgers and Folded Pizza Slices

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You’re Coughing Your Lungs Out? Have Some Water!

glass of water cough

“Quick! Before you stop coughing! Chug this water!”

“OMG, Do you need water?”

I think it’s funny how, when you’re smack in the middle of a coughing fit, hacking away in fits and starts, there’s usually someone close by who’s ready, willing, and able to fetch you a glass of water. A glass of water you really don’t need.

Sometimes the heroic water fetcher won’t even wait for your go-ahead. They’ll just run to the faucet and pour you a glass and thrust it into your hand, which, might I add, is in no condition to properly balance a full glass of water. You’re too busy keeling over, hacking up a lung, your knees wobbling, your rib muscles spasming. Yeah, great time to deal with a glass of water.

[A beer bottle of water would be a different story. You can hold that without spilling it all over yourself. In fact I've recently written a whole post on the logic of switching to beer bottles for all of our household drinking needs, but that's another day's rant.]

Yet the fact that a currently coughing man or woman can’t properly balance or operate a glass of water is only a puddle of pee in a junkyard. The real idiocy is this: how are you supposed to drink and swallow water while you’re busy violently exhausting spit and phlegm out of your mouth? Your head is not exactly optimized for intake at that particular moment. If you were to really try and drink water during the climax of your coughing fit, you’d end up blasting it right back out into your “hero’s” face.

Of course, nobody ever actually drinks the water. They’re not stupid, they know what’ll happen. They’ll go through the motions of taking a brief wussy sip, and they’ll nod to their hero in gratitude, but they’re only just going through the motions. They’ve seen other people do this same non-verbal sip/gratitude motion a million times, so they’re doing what they’re supposed to do. Just like the guy that gave you the water. His mother had done that for him many times growing up and now he’s passing it forward.

But do any of this water bearers ever stop and think about what the water’s supposed to do? How’s it supposed to help a guy who’s coughing his face off? Is H20 supposed to be some kind of natural,  cough suppressant or something? No. Just no.

Maybe it’s supposed to somehow drown the tittering Cough Demon who lives in your mouth. No. (one little glass of water is simply not enough to drown such a creature).

Perhaps the act of drinking the water is supposed to somehow distract you from further coughing, like how getting scared is supposed to cure the hiccups. No. After all, the act of drinking water from a glass does require a considerable share of mental recourses. The rest of your body might not have enough CPU remaining to process further coughing.

Hmm. Nah.

Actually, it’s pretty easy to imagine how this whole thing got started. Once upon a time, some dude was choking on something. Or maybe half-choking. A morsel of food was taking the scenic root down the dude’s throat, and the guy desperately motioned for somebody to go get him a glass of water to help wash the thing down into his belly. The water rescue was mounted and everybody was happy.

But the village idiot happened to be there too. He was a spectator in the room, and after watching the whole thing play out he simply made the wrong association. For him it wasn’t the choking, per say, that had been remedied by the glass of water. It was the “random head distress.”

The village idiot spread his newfound wisdom with the rest of the village and soon everybody was treating all loud head disturbances with H20. This, of course, included general coughing. The rest, folks, was history.

Reader: Are you a “water bearer?” Or do you just let the person cough away?

Check out article about swapping out all drinking glasses for empty beer bottles.




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The Wake-Up Song From Hell: Maroon 5’s “Maps”


Whatever you do, don’t set your alarm radio to a radio station that has this song on rotation. You won’t like what happens next…

I’ve got some beef with the new Maroon 5 song, “Maps.” Before I get into it let me just say I’m not a fan of the band. I would never let that happen, though I suppose there’s a little bit of 90’s nostalgia that comes in play whenever one of their songs shows up on the radio.

This new album of their’s is the first new music they’ve done in a while, and somehow it helps me feel a little younger to know that Maroon 5 is still making new music and that that music is actually on the radio in heavy rotation. This isn’t like a Backstreet Boy reunion album that nobody cares about. Maroon 5 is somehow still relevant…to someone out there.

So I guess for me Maroon 5 is sort of a good thing. It’s got nothing to do with their ability to write or perform or record music. I don’t even want to pass judgement on their general music catalogue, because I’m not even close to their target demographic in the first place (I think, I hope). Instead, it has to do with the fact that I remember back when they first came out. I remember what I said and what I did pretty clearly. I said “Not another freaking band with a number in it’s title” and I did an eye roll.

“I actually looked forward to hearing the song again just to verify I wasn’t hallucinating.”

Back in the 90’s when Adam Levine and co. were trying to decide on a name, there was this trend where bands indiscriminately popped a number—any number—into their name as a sort of garnish. Matchbox 20, Blink 182, 3 Doors Down, Third Eye Blind. Incidentally all of these bands kinda sounded alike—not in any way you could really put your finger on, but in a strange corporate way. Sanitized. I guess you could say they all sounded a bit too “by the numbers.” Anyway, the Numbers virus eventually ran its course, and almost all of those Number bands have become extinct.

I sort of thought Maroon 5 was no more. Gone the way of the dodo. I knew Adam Levine had significantly extended his five minutes via being on The Voice, but I’ve always thought being on a reality show meant giving up on yourself as an artist and/or person. Because thereafter you’d be “the guy on the Voice” or “the dude from Survivor” or whatever. You’d lose whatever mystique you had.

Not this time. Levine got the band back together and they’re putting out a brand new album. At least one of the Numbers bands had managed to come back from extinction (perhaps with the aide of frog DNA). They’ve a single tearing up the popular radio stations called “Maps.”

And here comes my beef. For reasons described above, I was pleasantly surprised the first time I heard “Maps” on the radio. Not pleased with the song, but pleased at the successful revival of one of the Numbers bands. Again, made me feel just a bit younger.

“He sounds like each time he’s singing the word “youuuuUUU,” he’s also abruptly and violently adjusting his tighty whiteys.”

Now I don’t go around listening to popular radio stations all the time—in fact I never listen to the radio at all, except briefly in the morning. I have my alarm clock tuned in to one of them “popular” stations and I’m too lazy to change it. Plus they do funny prank call skits every once in a while. Prank call skits can be a real trip when you’re still halfway dreaming.

Anyway, I woke up one day to the new Maroon 5 song, “Maps,” and, though happy for the band, I soon started writhing around in my bed like a freshly demented Linda Blaire. “This song freaking sucks!” I held my ears, growled into my pillow.

“Maps” definitely has that same corporately polished feel I’ve always associated with the Numbers bands, though it has one daring moment of dapper doo. When Levine sings and repeats the lines “the map that leads to youuuu” he kinda weirdly flings the final note upwards at the last possible “u.” He sounds like each time he’s singing the word “youuuuUUU,” he’s also abruptly and violently adjusting his tighty whiteys.

Listen to the song and you’ll see what I mean. Actually watch the video, it’s pretty ridiculous. It’s heavy, man. Real heavy.


I didn’t hit the snooze button immediately, and that was my big mistake. I was too busy squirming around like a snake with its head cut off. I listened to the whole song. I let it sink in. God I hated that underwear-adjusting “you” note. When the song was over I was like: Did he really do that? Did I really just hear that, or was I still dreaming?

I actually looked forward to hearing the song again just to verify I wasn’t hallucinating. And hear the song again I most certainly did… 

This is one of those radio stations that unapologetically plays the same song multiple times per hour. And, sure enough, “Maps” was again my wake-up song the next morning. And the next and the next. And each time I writhed a bit less. Soon I wasn’t writhing at all. Each time I looked forward the the “you” note in the same way a kid looks forward to seeing Optimus Prime when watching a Transformers movie.

Soon I was literally waking up with a fully realized fist pump, as if I had been dreaming I was at a rock concert and simply transitioned the dream fist pump into a real-life fist pump. “The map that leads to youuuUUUUU!” I’d go from morning grogginess to actively and enthusiastically singing along to “Maps” in the blink of a crusty eye. I’d been compromised by a Numbers band.

And so its been for the last few weeks. Every morning: “The map that leads to youuuUUUU!” Fist pump. Singing along. By having this song blasted into my ears every morning—when my defensive linemen are scattered and sluggish—Maroon 5 has somehow weaseled through for a touchdown.

Their stupid stupid song has been fused into my brain by sheer repetition and weird “you” singing. I’ve been reprogrammed against my will, like Malcolm McDowell in A Clockwork Orange when they had to prop his eyes open and make him watch all those videos. I made a similar face each time I heard “Maps.”

So what’s my beef with Maroon 5’s new song?

I like the damn thing, is my beef.

Acceptance is the first step toward recovery. Or so they say.

So, in answer to today’s Daily Post writing prompt, which asked us to pick a song that will forever after remind us of Summer 2014, I didn’t even have to think too hard about it. This has been the easiest post I’ve ever written.


Check out the writing prompt at the Daily Post: Musical Marker. Maybe I’m not the only one whose been compromised by this friggin song. 

How about you, Readers? Anyone else get reprogrammed by “Maps?”


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Airplane Etiquette: What To Do When The Person Next to You Won’t Shut Up?



Pop quiz hotshot. You’re on a six hour plane flight and the dude next to you just won’t stop going on about his dreams and schemes. What do you do?

If you ask me, there’s nothing worse than being trapped next to a Chatty Cathy or Loquacious Louis when you’re on a long plane flight. Nothing worse. Honestly, I’ve played out some scenarios in my head and nothing else really even competes. Meteors pattering your city? A massive lizard whipping your house to cinders with its tail? A mini-blackhole, courtesy of the Large Hadron Collider in Cern, slurping up your entire country while you’re off on business? Nothing. Nothing is worse than being talked at for hours and hours up in an airplane.

Not to sound all anti-social or anything. I’m happy to exchange in all the typical pleasantries when the plane’s on its final descent. Where you headed in Los Angeles? What line of work you do? Why have you been staring at my crotch-region for most of this plane flight?

You know, all the typical “we’re about to land” chit-chat. Because that’s what normal people do: they wait to open the can of worms until they know the plane’s about to land, so even if the other person doesn’t know when to shut up it’ll all be over soon enough anyway.

But what happens when the person next to you opens up that can of talk worms when you’re still sailing over the country with nothing but time on your hands, or, much worse, before you even take off in the first place? How can you get out of that cluster-f-ck gracefully, respectfully? Unless you’re the kind of person who don’t take no BS and would have no problem just telling your talkative neighbor to shut the hell up before you pop him in the face, you’re in quite the pickle.

For nice and polite sorts, getting seated next to a motormouth on an airplane can be very much like Chinese water torture. Is he going to keep talking? Is this really happening to me? When is he going to talk next? The suspense is killing me! Oh crap, here he goes again!

For all those people out there who are more afraid about this particular scenario than the plane actually crashing, I’m here to help. I’ve been there, folks. I’ve got ways to handle this situation.

What to do when the person next to you in an airplane won’t shut up

  • Make yourself look and sound very tired. Keep yawning into the other person’s face until (s)he comments on your obvious tiredness. Then, shrug your shoulders as if to say, “Heck, it’s only a matter of time,” and then, abruptly, let your head slump forward as if you’d just bit hit with a knock-out dart. Pretend to be knocked out for the entire six-hour plane flight. Don’t “wake up” until everybody else has already de-planed.
  • Whip out your cell phone and pretend like you’re checking an important message. Every time the talkative person looks like (s)he’s gonna try and say something, raise your finger as if to say, “Hold on, hold on, just let me finish listening to this.” Do this for the entire six-hour plane flight. If the flight attendant comes by and tells you you can’t use your phone, give her the “Hold on, hold on” routine too until she goes away. Don’t put the phone down until everyone else has de-planed.  
  • Just be a terrible conversationist. If the talkative person asks you a question, answer as if you didn’t understand the question. If he goes, “How old are you, if you don’t mind my asking?” Just say, “No way pal, I prefer cats. They’re so much easier to take care of, ya know?” You do enough of this and the talkative person will to think either you’re completely crazy, or (s)he is, and will promptly go into a sort of “safe mode” in order to sort things out. You’ll have the rest of the flight to yourself.

This post was written in response to a Daily Post writing prompt 


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Why “Easter Island Head” Would Make a Better Batman Than Ben Affleck

Ben Affleck Batman Easter Island

Ben Affleck’s chin is going to make an amazing Batman, but why did Hollywood settle for second best?

Don’t get me wrong. Ben Affleck as the new Batman totally makes sense to me. Mainly because I believe, like the brilliant producers of the upcoming film Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, that “he’s got the chin for it.” Which is all that matters. His chin is solid. It’s got a cleft and everything. Little bit of stubble, not too much. And it’s big. Hell, the thing’s so massive it freaking weighs down Ben’s entire jaw. That’s why he never quite closes his mouth after delivering lines.

I mean, playing Batman can’t be so hard in the first place. Doesn’t exactly require method acting. It’s pretty straight forward stuff for an actor. I’m pretty sure you just have to be able to jut your chin forward at the right moments. Like when you’re about to say a line or something? Jut the chin. And make sure it’s fully lit by the lights behind the camera.

Seriously, that’s about it. There’s nothing complex about Batman. There’s nothing in his backstory that would require any kind of nuance or finesse on the part of the actor. He’s a straightforward guy, Bruce Wayne—what you see is what you get. As long as the actor can jut his million-dollar chin, stand with good posture, and avoid laughing during takes, everyone involved in the production will be happy.

But here’s the thing. As much as I agree that Ben Affleck has the chin for the job, I also believe that there are even better choices out there. Why not shoot for the moon, right? There’s actors with just a little more acting range than Affleck, and with even better chins.

Yes, that’s right, I’m thinking about the Easter Island heads. Basically any one of them will do. Drape a bat cowl over one and freaking roll cameras. Easter Island Head has quite a few advantages over Ben Affleck when it comes to playing Batman. Check it out…

Advantages to Re-Casting Batman with an Easter Island Head

  • Easter Island Head was never in Daredevil.
  • Easter Island Head doesn’t leave his mouth open after delivering lines.
  • Easter Island Head has similar acting range to Ben Affleck.
  • Easter Island Head wouldn’t complain about the batsuit being too tight.
  • Easter Island Head is 43% more threatening than Ben Affleck.
  • Easter Island Head was never in Gigli
  • Easter Island Head doesn’t command a big salary
  • Easter Island Head doesn’t mistake a Boston accent for “acting.”
  • Easter Island Head is always available for reshoots.

See what I mean? Ben Affleck’s good, but Easter Island Head is better. And, in light of Ben Affleck’s recent complaining on set about being slightly too fat for the batsuit, perhaps it’s not too late to nip this thing in the bud and recast the roll. I’m sure at least one of the Easter Island Heads will take the call.

What do you think, Readers? Who would make the better Batman? Ben Affleck or Easter Island Head?


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The Heartwarming Tale of A Man and His Lightning Bug

Lightning bug in bottle

Philip the Firefly clinging desperately to his bottle cap life raft.

“Free Willy Philly”

If you stopped by yesterday, you learned that an errant lightning bug had somehow managed to navigate its way all the way from my back patio to my bedroom, where it then dive bombed my head and settled onto my computer desk. On the desktop, I noticed how his left wing twitched—he tried but he couldn’t seem to get airborne again. Figuring he was damaged goods, I scooped him up and named him Philip and dropped him into an empty Poland Spring bottle, all in that order. I was too lazy to take him back outside, and figured I’d see how he was doing in the morning.

As promised, I will now update you on the situation with Philip. The update is: I set him free! It was such a tender moment! There was heartwarming music playing and everything. I laughed. I cried. Remember the movie “Free Willy” when the whale jumps over the kid in order to escape captivity and the kid’s all happy about it? That was me when Philip crawled slowly onto the patio table and, after a pregnant pause, fluttered his wings and ascended a whopping four inches to find the bobbing leaf of a potted fern, where he remained for hours.

You want details? Here’s how it went down. I unscrewed the bottle cap, and, with Philip clinging to it, I placed it on the table. I pretended it was like a little escape pod for him. At first I didn’t think he was going to fly.

And he didn’t launch, not at first. He climbed out of the bottle cap and took a stroll on the table top to stretch his legs. For me, it felt like when you take a cat outside and let it just sit there and soak in all the mad chaos of the colorful world beyond the screen door. Philip didn’t seem to know where to go or what to do.

lightning bug on table

At first, Philip seemed stunned from the sensory overload of being free for the first time in…24 hours!

It’d been a full 24 hours since he’d last seen the outside. He’d gotten so used to his Poland Spring condominium, I wasn’t sure he could ever reintegrate into the real world. He was like Morgan Freeman getting released from Shawshank prison—lost and scared and possibly considering hanging himself. It could have gone either way. To be honest, I was kind of happy. After writing a whole blog post about him yesterday,  I felt like me and him had something going on. It was easy to imagine a whole week, or even month, of blog posts related to our computer desk adventures.

After he launched and landed on the fern, I knew that I’d be losing a dear, dear friend. In denial, I scrambled for excuses to keep him anyway. Perhaps he was away from his lightning bug clan for so long, they would no longer recognize him when he showed back up into familiar airspace. They would beat him and cast him out in the same spirit as when a mama bird kills her own baby bird once she smells some human on it.

Yet I knew he’d live far longer bobbing and weaving on the cool breeze of the summer dusk than he would in the hollow, humid silo that was his Poland Spring condo. Plus, I liked the idea of him getting “back in the game” and finding a mate and having kids, and then his kids having kids. And in this way his DNA would probably even outlive my own.

The story of his brief encounter with the Giant would be passed down orally through the generations. This same story, btw, would likely be the thing that got him laid in the first place. In which case you could say that I’d helped Philip get laid, probably many times over, with many different lighting bug babes. I was his wingman.

Anyway, once Philip landed on the fern, I hung around for a while waiting for the big moment when he launched again, this time disappearing into the vast expanse of the yard. I never happened. Not on my watch. What he did was he just stayer there on the leaf. Didn’t move. It was as if he was too sad to leave his new mama. I went inside and did some things and I came out an hour later and still, there he was! Hadn’t moved a muscle. I had to jostle him to see if he was still alive. He was.

firefly on leaf

This is what lightning bugs do during the day: sit around on a leaf somewhere and wait for night.

And then it occurred to me. What was going on was real bonafied science! There was nothing wrong with Philip; he was doing what all lightning bugs do during the heat of the day: hanging out on a random leaf somewhere waiting for the coolness that comes with the night. Philip was literally going to sit there on his ass until it started to get dark, and then he’d take a shower and brush his teeth and go try and get laid. Exactly like an unwed human male!

Science! I had always wondered how lightning bugs occupied themselves during the day—and Philip’s parting gift was to finally give me the answer: they boringly wait for the dark!

At some point, a few hours later, I came back outside to check up on Philip, but he was no longer there. He’d flown the coop, likely in search of an even better, more well-shaded leaf on which to wait out the daylight. I looked off into the yard and gave a John Wayne-esque “goodbye” nod to the trees, and I went back inside to do what I always do on the weekend: sit around and wait for the night, just like my pal Philip.

Philip is free. He’s out there right now, waiting for later. Waiting for the night. Waiting for his time to shine. He’s thinking of what he’s going to wear, what he’s going to say. He’s had quite a life, has quite the story, he’s positively glowing with confidence. I’m pretty sure he’s going to pull some really bright firefly tail tonight.

Read my first post about Philip here: The Lightning Bug That Tried SO Hard to Get Captured 


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Philip: The Lightning Bug That Tried SO Hard to Get Captured

lightning bug in bottle

Philip in his private condo.

I found myself trapped in a car with nothing to do but talk about bugs. I initiated a nice conversation with my fellow riders, total strangers btw. About lightning bugs. More of an argument, I think. I had a strong opinion. My point was that they were the absolute best kind of bugs. Besides the fact that they can actually light up, they are slow (and therefore easy and fun to catch), friendly, and they have an interesting signature look. Even not-lit-up, they’re fun to look at.

At least this is the case with the kind that live by me, which have a sort of orange head-plate with a small black dot in the middle. It’s like the back of their head is a big orange eyeball always glancing at the sky above them. Or, you might say their bodies look like little tubes of lipstick and their orange head plate is the actual lipstick peeping out. Flying, glowing lipsticks—that’s lightning bugs.

Anyway, not two hours after I had engaged my captive audience in a random discussion about lightning bugs, I was sitting at home at my computer reading emails or watching cat video and suddenly I felt something small flick off my head. I caught it all in my peripheral vision: something had come in for a crash-landing, bounced off my head, and was then flailing around upside down on the desk. Turns out it was a freaking lightning bug.

I don’t live in a barn. Bugs don’t normally fall from the ceiling and bounce off my head. You’ll have to trust me when I say this little guy’s journey from the backyard all the way to my bedroom must have been a rather wild, confused time in his short life. And no, he hadn’t come in through the window, because I checked the whole bedroom and there were no open portals through which he could have come. He came to me via channels and valleys and mountains of the entire apartment building. Came through my door, past the foyer/living room, hung a hard left into my bedroom, and then suddenly ran out of gas and put her down right there on my desk. He was cool and collected when he did it, I bet.

This event was, interestingly enough, the first time I’ve ever known a lightning bug to find its way inside a house/apartment. It had always been a point of curiosity to me that, unlike spiders and earwigs and ants and this and that kind of home invader, lightning bugs never show up in your house unless captured and brought in for study. This guy must have been drunk on leaf-nector or plant mites and simply got himself way lost. It just so happened that I had an empty bottle of Poland Spring on my desk. You can guess what happened next.

Philip—as I’ve come to call him—found himself the proud new owner of a big tall condominium. All expenses paid. It’s got two microscopic air holes, and little mini-baths of water caught in the grooves at the bottom. As for food, apparently adult lightning bugs, which can lives for months and months, don’t eat very much. If I end up keeping him for a while, I’ll probably roll up a juicy-looking leaf and tap it down into the bottle. If for no other reason than to give Philip something to look at.

Don’t worry, I’m not a monster. I would have taken Philip outside and freed him right away, but he didn’t seem able to get his wings to work. Which is how he came to dive-bomb my head in the first place. Poor Philip seems to have had a major malfunction which promptly resulted in an end-of-mission (to borrow from NASA-speak). Fear not! I will give him another chance to fly later on today. If he can get himself airborne I’ll just say goodbye and watch him fly away toward the trees. Beforehand I’ll make sure nobody’s watching, in case I cry.

But if he can’t fly? Then I might just have to Cathy Bates him, a la Misery. Actually no, that reference is all wrong. Philip is a good friend of mine. I guess this is more like Mac and Me. Or, better yet, Batteries Not Included.

A lightning bug that can’t get airborne isn’t going to live very long, I’d wager. The food chain’s got all kinds of wild beasts out there that will swing by and gobble him up before he even realized he’d been evicted from his condo. Without flight, I’m going to say that Philip would have a longer life hanging out on my computer desk.

Aw. Looking down at him, we just shared a moment. Via random antennae wiggling he sent me a message. Philip seems to want to be set free. Either that or he’s looking for a date. He keeps staring at me with those little black dots set in the orange head-plate, wiggling his lightbulb butt at me. He could be a she. The name’s Philip either way, but there’s a 50 percent change he’s a girl. I know nothing of such things. I’m an equal opportunity captor, either way. All I know is that Philip’s a fine-looking bug. Not gross in any way. Lightning bugs rule, what else can I say? Long live Philip!

Come back tomorrow to see if I ended up setting Philip free. Gee, I must say, this story has really captured the hearts of Americans. It’s something special for sure. Don’t miss out!

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