Saturday, July 30, 2011

Overheard at Table 2:

and it really got her down, you know, it's so sad, I mean, he left her, like, with two kids and another one on the way . . .

is she pregnant aGAIN?

yes! and you know he just took off - BAM! gone! - and she's wondering how she's going to make the rent, because she can't even find him now, he's not answering his cell, all she knows is he took off with some spic hairdresser from Queens!

how does she know that?

because it was HER hairdresser!


well, anyway, maybe she really should've seen it coming, like, you know, she DID catch him making out with her half-sister in the foyer of the church the day they got married.

definitely a snapshot of the future, sure enough!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Overheard at the Counter: Why even the homeless would vote Republican

Lucky Moran, sitting at the counter with Niall Carter and John Steppenwolf, says, "When I think about times like these, with the debt ceiling about to come crashing down on us and all, I'm reminded of something I learned all those years I spent working next door at Second Hand Rose . . .

"I'll never forget, this guy came in, typical indigent, smelling bad, clothes rotting right off his body, bandage wrapped around his arm where he'd just donated plasma, and you could see every missing and rotted tooth in his mouth, because he was ranting about something (and this was the 90's, so it was probably about Lewinsky), but he said, 'I will NEVER vote Democrat! I will ALWAYS vote Republican, because the day I make my millions, the Republicans won't take it away from me!'

"And it was so sad, to see that. And me, still being a young man at the time, and a little mouthy, just shot back at him, 'Dipwad! They already HAVE!'"

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Overheard at the Counter: Norwegian Psycho-Killer Christian or not?

Niall Carter: Now I know the world's ending.

John Steppenwolf: Why's that?

Niall Carter: Because I actually agreed with something Bill O'Reilly said.

John Steppenwolf: That's not too surprising. Evil CAN speak truth when it's convenient for the overall goal.

Niall: True, I suppose. O'Reilly was saying that the Norwegian Psycho-Killer couldn't be a Christian, because Christians do not commit mass murder.

John: Not good Christians, anyway.

Niall: That's what the Progressive radio channel was saying, they were all up in it on Bill O'Reilly, making the claim that the American Christian Conservative movement is just one step away from unloading bullets on a bunch of kid campers themselves.

John: Sad. Just like the Americans to take a human tragedy and use it to cement their own political agenda.

Niall: Sometimes I'd just like to take the Right and the Left and boink their heads together. Knock some sense into both of them.

The Barista (bringing more coffees): Or at least give them the decency to respect the tragedy of others.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Overheard at Table 2: Norwegian Psycho Killer and Fox News . . . Arctic Fox?

Billy: Heard some guy on Fox news yesterday.

Joe: That Bushie who was backtracking from "The Muslims are blowing up Oslo"?

Jim: Yup. That's him.

Bob: Wasn't he saying something about how the killer could'a been stopped if Norway had stopped people at airports like we do?

Billy: Something like that. He said that Norway was too peaceful.

Joe: Didn't help out on the War on Terror.

Jim: But ain' t they in Afghanistan with us?

Bob: Only about 500 troops.

Billy: Yeah, but ain't that about 5% the population of Norway?

Joe: huh huh! good'un.

Jim: What gets me is this - the Bushie's logic is that the attack happened because they weren't prepared for terrorists, and now the psycho-killer's lawyer is saying that the guy is saying that he attacked and killed almost 100 children because Norway wasn't prepared for terrorists.

Bob: I see where you're going with this.

Billy: You're saying that the Bushie thinks like a psycho-killer.

Joe: That's the only conclusion that makes sense in this whole mess.

Jim: All I know is that any one with any "blame the victim" mentality is psycho. Full stop.

Bob: Amen.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Overheard at Booth 2: Norwegian Psycho-Killer

Sam: Did your hear about that guy who blew up the government building in Oslo last Saturday?

Keilah: Yeah, and then he swam out to some island and killed all those teenagers. Super creepy.

Delila: Huh! Wonder when they're gonna make a movie out of that!

Sam: Must've been freaky weird for thse kids, just hiding in the trees while kids are getting picked off all around them.

Delila: Pow! Pow! Pow! Falling like Death Walk 8 - man! Talk about adrenaline high. That's where I'm paying my tuition - Adrenaline High!

Keilah: You know, you're funny but you're also kinda creepin me out.

Delila: Why, you think I'm gonna become some sort of psycho-killer? Don't worry, sweetie, only right wing nut jobs actually GO out and kill people. I'm a liberal. We only dream about it!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Overread at Table 1: another 360


In my youth, my
far youth, I wrote in derisions of revisions
quite the contrary to Thomas Stearns,
whose illusions and contusions I fair discerned,

an ample bit of rhetoric soft-hidden in the
idolatry of ancient languages.Then

I found my beat in the heart of the beats and the
rhythm of the sand dunes outside of Sao Paolo and the jazz it was
playing like the waves dancing in from that ocean breeze, yeah and the
beat it was, the beat it was pounding pounding pounding and the boom boom
and the bop bop and we were beat man it was pounding, and that
was a

generation left behind/like
milksuit and the
postmodernistic blacklight
that tempered our backstreet bottles and
Jesus on the tellywine/aunt suzie on
some semaphore code/drunk
like lady days in winter/not




and finally reverted down the long
hallway of dreams and schemes
- like bees they dared to deceive me
with their beautiful buzz and eventual
just like mE to be Em -
Emily in the Blogosphere, but

finally there was a muse and what
a muse it was she was

pennystreet, all sun-dried and mussied-up.
there was )no code like
our/code, they say,

as i rode a streetcar with cummings
at the end of the

from 360.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Overheard at Booth 5: Ramblings of a Progressive Christian

. . . taint nobody list'nin tain't nobody unnnerstands is terrible y'knoo is terrible wha' be happn'in t'my country cain't stand it no sir cain't stand it no how, all this ramblin' and ranglin' over debt ceiling, don't none these voters unnerstan it ain't about no debt ceiling is all about how the rich folks gonna position themselves for next years elections?

and t'tell the truth if We th' People had any lick'a sense in our 300,000,000 collective brains, we'd tell those liars in Washington GET THE JOB DONE - NOW! or we'd walk there en masse and drag them out of their cushy little offices and toss 'em to the street like the rest of the trash, I'm talkin' ALL of them . . . b'cuz they ain't workin' for us they be workin' fer themselves and that's the God's honest truth

. . . and so help me, if one more of those Pharisees dat's right I call'em like I sees 'em all the politicians are modern day Pharisees so when I say Pharisee I'm meanin' politician, when one more says they they are a believer in Jesus Christ y'know that's a demon inside laughing them all the way to Hell, b'c you cain't be a follower of Christ and let people die in the streets with no food and no medicine, and Jesus never said blessed are the rich or blessed are those who allow corporations to run the people and God help us for not slicing right through the lie that by letting corps off the hook for paying their taxes that somehow they are gonna magically translate those savings into jobs for you and me, b'cuz it AIN'T TRUE!

. . . Jesus tells us that we will be known by our fruits, and that means that the truth about us ain't what we say it's what we do, and the fruits of the Holy Spirit is:

Galatians 5:
22b. . . . love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23a. gentleness and self-control.

. . . and lemme ask ya, my fellow Americans, who in Washington or even who WANTS to be in Washington has shown those fruits? Huh? Huh? When has Bachman ever shown kindness or gentleness, when has Boehner ever shown joy, peace, self-control, when has Obama ever shown faithfulness, when had Reid ever shown forbearance, and when has any Republican ever shown gentleness or goodness and when has any Democrat ever shown joy or faithfulness? and when has any politican ever shown love? that is, except to say, LOVE to the Money Machine that prostitutes them for Power?

Excuse me, sir?

. . . wha' wha' wha issit?

Mr Gherulous, sir?

. . . ya', yah? tell me, wot? Speak it out, girl?

I think you need to go home and go to bed now, you've been up two days straight watching CNN. It's not healthy for you.

. . . also, also, switching back'n'forth between the Devil (Fox News) and the Deep Blue Sea (MSNBC)!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Overheard at Table 3: Bachmann Debacle

No I don't think Bachman is scary, by the fact that she doesn't really scare me. People don't scare me. Now, movements - those scare the hell outta me. And that's the problem with her, she's trying to start this movement where there will be no government at all to protect us from clinic that brainwash people into "praying away the gay"!

Also, here's an interesting article:

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Overheard at Booth 3: Get Thee to a Punnery

Jim: Hey, the way the Apostles treated each other was just a-PAUL-ing!!

Tim: Man, do I hate when you try to make religious puns.

Jim: What? Are you jealous of the zealous?

Tim: . . . and your rhymes aren't much better!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Read at the Counter: News of the World


She was called Milly Dowler,
and she was a 13 year old schoolgirl from Surrey.

picked off and murdered at the start of this turgid century,

and she would have been nothing more but a name on a court
register, had not a slavering tabloid beast

gnawed at her dead bones, slack/hacking her voice mail,
deleting messages , so

insatiable their appetite for
the dark marrow of parents' grief.


no one could have conceived
that, in the death of
a 13 year-old schoolgirl from Surrey,

lay the seeds of the fate

of an emporer.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Overheard at Table 3: Second on the Fourth

What I learned at Second on the Fourth of July:

I learned that in 1783, Benjamin Franklin, as he was walking out of Constitution Hall, was approached by a woman who asked him, "What kind of government have you given us?" - to which he replied, "A republic, if we can keep it."

I learned that Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to the Danbury Baptists, referencing the flight from England and its state-run church.

I learned that John Quincy Adams, the 6th President of our country, said once that "the birth of our nation is linked to the birthday of our Saviour."

I was tricked by the question, which Founding Father said that we stand fast in the Liberty in the liberty when Christ set us free. This turned out to be a trick question: it wasn't posted by a Founding Father, but the Apostle Paul.

I learned that Patrick Henry stated that it "can't be said too strongly: our nation is founded on Christ."

I learned that John Jay also proclaimed us a Christian nation.

and that Noah Webster (of Webster's Dictionary) stated that the Bible is the source of all moral principles and that "all miseries arise from ignoring its precepts."

I forget exactly, but Alexander Hamilton also said something about "in Jesus"

I also learned that the other great revolution of the century, the French revolution, in contrast to our Christ-founded revolution, was a revolution based on humanity, and that the French paraded a streetwoman up through the Notre Dame cathedral and placed her on the altar and proclaimed her the Goddess of Reason. and the congregation cheered, so bathed we were in the knowledge that we are, because of our divine birth, are so much stronger and healthier and happier, and better, than those sad, sad Frenchies.

I tell you, I was so proud! I mean, I've seen these people walking out during benediction and taking their seats for opening prayers, time after time for over a year, and on this day, when they were saying the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of the service, every man woman and child were at full attention on the flag. I mean, at the end of the service and suddenly seeing how much God gave us our country, I tell you I almost expected to see Jesus Christ Himself descending through the ceiling wrapped in a robe of the Red, White, and Blue!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Overheard at Table 2: The News of the World

I'm really not sad to see the News of the World shut down. Everyone knows it was a rag. The thing is, Murdoch owns also the Sun, the Times, and the Sunday Times, and the last two are quote-endquote "real news" while the News of the World and the Sun are tabloids. Guess which ones made money and which one's didn't?

The News and the Sun.

Dams'trait. Why do you think that is?

I dunno. Sensationalism? People like to fanatize more than they like to read real news.

I think that's around about it. It's us. We, the People, in order to satisfy our craving for the emotional high we get for living lives vicariously through the rich and famous and infamous and salacious, we demand more and more cotton candy vomit, rather than a real healthy meal of "hey, this is what's really going on in the world. I mean, if people would stop demanding stories of which movie stars are divorcing from rock stars and read a dose of cummings, or Hunter Thompson, or Ray Bradbury, then the people would have an appetite for real reporting, and they'd get real news.

So you're saying the fault lies not in the stars, but in ourselves.

Exactly! Of course Shakespeare was talking about fate when he said stars, so I like the subtle shift in meaning in today's context (you know, "stars" as in "movie stars")

Yeah yeah, I get that you get what I mean.

I just can't stand living in a world where we want our prestige newspapers to always be around, but we never want to read them. That's just having a culture for show.

But you forget one thing.

What's that?

Most people's lives are boring. Americans anyway. They have to have the stimulous of finding out that the latest teenage heiress is in rehab while giving birth to her out-of-wedlock child. If they don't they lead otherwise empty, passionless lives.

It's sugar high vs. exercise. Tabloids are instant stimulation, but journalism strengthens the mind.

You really should go into advertising.

I'd love to. But guess where my ads would sell!

Thursday, July 14, 2011


OK, listen up! says Verble to the entire cafe, maybe you guys weren't paying attention to the poll that's going on about "Who's your favourite philosopher?" - well, my Barista here tells me that maybe not everybody is totally familiar with the particular philosophies of these particular philosophers, so I'm gonna give it to you in a nutshell:

Rene Decartes: I think therefore I never vote Republican.
Frederich Nietzche: Nothing matters, and so what if it did?
David Hume: One Think Leads to Another (yes, you can hum that to the tune by The Fixx)
Homer Simpson: Beer - the cause of, and the answer to, all Life's problems!
Fortune Cookie: (on one side) You will make a large fortune (other side) Learn Chinese!
Giuseppe Salinghetti: Eschew Obsfucation!
Socrates: I drank what?

Now! says Verble - go VOTE!

Overlink: 2012/Debt Ceiling

Finally, some clarity:

Overheard at Booth 4

Seriously I don't understand my wife sometimes, it's seems like just because she created the kids, that they actually grew and were produced by her body, that she has some sort of divine "claim" over them. It's weird, you know, I love my kids to death, but I don't let them run all over me the way she does.

Sounds almost like God.

What? Her?

No. Both of you - there's an aspect of God that wants to take care of us and there's an aspect of God that wants us to grow up and fly away. Sounds to me like you two are doing just fine.

Shh-hardly! If both of us are playing God, which one of us will be more all-powerful than the other.

Oh, man - she will. Of course. No question.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Verble would like to take a poll to see


So, take a moment and click it, because as we believe in any healthy democracy, you should


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Overheard at Table 1: Brains vs Brawn

guy: My wife and I were having this discussion after we saw Thor.

his friend: How was it? I heard it was very cool.

guy: it was - very cool. First blockbuster of the summer. Rightly so. Just the right amount of superhero action, cool special effects, not overly deep on the character development, but it had some good lines back and forth . . .

his friend: witty repartee - always very cool.

guy: but the eye candy was only for the women. Don't really know what that was all about, but there was one scene where the guy was shirtless and I thought my wife was gonna bust right outta HERS, if you know whattImean . . .

his friend: six pack, huh? I hate guys like that.

guy: so yeah, and that's when we got into this discussion as we were leaving the theater about what women really want, and I was all talking about natural selection and about how much women may SAY they want a guy who understands and is considerate and remembers everything and all that, what they really want is some hot buff dude with a chiseled chest.

his friend: how'd she take that?

guy: well, she kept saying how that wasn't true, so I showed her this:

. . . and I said, "So tell me, babe, who would you rather procreate with: that guy - or THIS guy? :

his friend: bet she didn't have a good comeback for that one, did she?

guy: well, actually, that was when she said the coolest thing. She told me, and I don't think I'll ever forget this, she said, "Baby, you may not be as chiseled as Thor or as smart as Stephen Hawking, but you're the perfect blend of both of them for me!"

his friend: man! That's a keeper.

guy: no doubt!

Overheard at Table 3: Women Talking about Men Talking

. . . and after awhile it just got to me - really! i mean, listen, it's one thing to be out talking with your girlfriends, but this guy wanted to talk, i mean REALLY wanted to talk - i mean, like, ALL the time - about his FEELINGS!

- ohhh, no!

- you know how it is!

- i sure do.

- i mean, at first it seems like a really sweet idea, hey here's a guy who actually wants to talk about feelings, i mean, how cool is that? but after awhile, i mean, you just can NOT get turned on by a guy like that.

- yah - i don't want a guy who always wants to talk about his feelings. i want a guy who always wants to talk about mine!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Overheard at Table 4: On the Beach

Yeah, we like to drive down to the coast every weekend. let the kids play in the ocean, watch the sunset . . . you might say it's becoming ha-BEACH-ual.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Overheard at Booth 1: The Precision of the English Language

Lady #1: I was walking out of Target the other day, and I overheard this woman talking to the person behind the counter at the Customer Service, you know, returns and everything, and the clerk was saying, "Did you get that for this or did you get this for that?" and the woman said, "I got those for these."

Lady #2: English . . . it's such a precise language.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Overheard at Table 2: Putumayo Smooth Brazil

Tim: Ah man, I love this song! My wife's been checking out all these same CDs from the library, all these from Putumayo . . . my favorite are the Brazilian singers. Man, I love Portuguese! They could be singing "I need to get some lentils at the grocery store this afternoon" for all I know, but to me it sounds like they're saying, "Relax while I sponge you with coconut water and let you drink full from my honeyed lips!"

Roy: Dude! You been readin' some dirty porn on the side or somethin?

Tim: Nah, dude, I think it's from the Bible. Song of Solomon.

Friday, July 8, 2011

At the Counter: The Conspiracy to Kill the Middle Class

Niall Carter is saying to John Steppenwolf: they were talking about how in Damascus most of the people who get their infomration are still getting it on these ancient black-n-white tvs, and even though all of us think that every Arab's walking around with a cellphone Tweeting all about the revolution, really the only people who have access to that kind of technology are only in that slight sliver of what they might call the Middle Class . . . so I was thinking about that and I was thinking that the Middle Class is really what's dangerous, y'know, not the poor, because the poor can be oppressed, and most of the time they're too busy just scrambling for food to eat to form much of a danger to the ruling class. I mean, we may believe all those lies they tell us about the French Revolution and how the poor rose up against the rich, but it was really formed in the cafes - a lot like this one, by the way - and you tell me, who's got time to be sitting in cafes talking about revolution?

John Steppenwolf: [after a pause] You do?

Niall Carter: Exactly! Middle class! So, the most dangerous thing to the ruling class is the Middle Class - those with enough money to have their basic needs met, which gives them time to think about more, and more, and what's right and wrong, and what's fair or not. So, that brings us here, to America, with all the layoffs of teachers and police and fireman and other government workers, because they are what is left of the Middle Class. The united Workers used to be Middle Class, until Big Business killed that just by shipping all the jobs overseas, so they could fill up the lower class while sticking more giant thick wads of green into their own greasy pockets, and now they're well on their way to shredding what is left of the Middle Class here in America . . . why?

John Steppenwolf: Budget cuts?

Niall Carter: No! To protect themselves! Once there is no Middle Class, what's left will be below the poverty line, and too disenfranchised to ever make any sort of real opposition.

John Steppenwolf: You forget one thing, though.

Niall Carter: What's that?

John Steppenwolf: Our poor have cell phones. Our poor Tweet. Our poor Facebook. They'll never be some poor Damascus shopkeeper watching the government crack down on dissenting students on a black and white tv. Doesn't fit into your Conspiracy Theory.

Niall Carter: [after a thought] Oh well, Revolution is relative.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Overheard at Booth 1: Military Suicides

Roy: Heard that Obama's administration made it so that they would now send condolence letters to soldiers who commit suicide.

Tim: I thought they always did.

Roy: Apparently they did to those guys who kill themselves in an actual combat zone, but not to those guys who come home and blow themselves away.

Tim: That's cold.

Roy: Well, I've got an idea that'll stop soldiers from killing themselves at all . . . how about we STOP F[EXPLETIVE DELETED]G SENDING THEM OFF TO WAR!"

Overheard at Table 4: The English are Much Obliged

"I've been watching those BBC shows for the past month and they're frikkin fanTAStic! Bleak House, Northanger Abbey, Little Dorrit . . . man I love those Brits, especially how every little phrase takes on such intense meaning, like, you know, when they say:

"'I am much obliged to you.'

"That could mean either: 'Thank you so kindly for this lovely box of chocolates!'

"or! It could mean: 'Next time I see you I'm going to shove a hot poker in your eye!'

"See? Brilliant!"

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Overheard at Booth 5: Time Magazine April 2011 issue,9171,2065289,00.html

So, are you talking about the article about the guy who's saying there's no hell?
Well, if there's no hell, then why are the Christians trying to scare it out of all of us?
Do they just need this imaginary punishment to try to make us be "good" or their concept of good?

Hold on, I'll try to get to your questions . . .

Friday, July 1, 2011

Overheard at the Counter: Glenn Beck

John Steppenwolf: So I was listening to Glenn Beck on the radio coming back into town the other day.

The Barista: And just why were you listening to hate radio?

Steppenwolf: It was a boring drive. I was trying to stay awake. But anyway, it was aMAZing, how this guy could shove in 1) a rant against MSNBC, 2) a revisionist history of how the Founding Fathers were "actually abolitionists" 3) a misquote from the book of Isaiah "turning good for evil and evil for good" 4) using that as a sounding board to promote Israel, while 5) stating that the reason that America exists is to protect other people's right to exist (meaning, obviously, only so long as those other people are - Israel, 6) and somehow tie it all up with a slipped in advertisemtent for a company that sells investment commodities - apparently if you call them today and give them Glenn Beck's name you'll get a great deal in gold and silver. People laughed at Glenn last year when he said gold would go up by twenty and look who's laughing now! Call today!

Barista: Don't worry about it. Everyone knows he's psycho.

Steppenwolf: Yeah, but the truly sad thing is that we let this psycho rule the airwaves.

Barista: Free speech, dude.

Steppenwolf: In a country where we pride ourselves on letting everyone have a voice, we actually encourage some voices to scream louder than others, and believe me, when I think that THIS is what we support - enough to give him his OWN network! - really . . . what does that say about us?