Monday, November 30, 2009

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Best Theater Joke I Was Ever Told

Of this there can be no doubt. I have been keeping it close for about twenty-five years. It was told to me in confidence, a special gift from a transient mentor.

Now, please understand that the theater is full of transients and that nearly all of them are dim and pushy and annoying because of it. But there are a precious few who are so absolutely brilliant that being in their presence is to recall vividly all of the deeply sincere thoughts both innocent and honest that one had to forfeit in exchange for adulthood. At the same time, one is caused to feel a peculiar sense of shame for having ever been called upon to make the exchange in the first place. What if maybe I had cared more and worked harder? Is it that I am incapable of love?

Wait a minute. I seem to have drifted. Where was I? Ah, yes . . . the joke.

I pass it on to you now because I may very well die unexpectedly. It is as follows:

Techs are frustrated Designers.

Designers are frustrated Directors.

Directors are frustrated Producers.

Producers are frustrated Actors.

And Actors are frustrated people.

What? You didn’t think that was all that clever or funny? Well, maybe you had to be there.

Or not.

Oh, go to hell . . . and suck on this.

I Read the News Today, Oh Boy

Drawing by the great Lee Lorenz. See also Buddy Holly.


It has been recently observed that the internet interjection “heeeee” is gaining currency.

This must end. Fully grown adults do not laugh by saying “heeeee.” The most that can be said for this sound is that it is the noise a tiny infant makes upon seeing a puppy. Copious amounts of spit and dribble accompany the flow of air used to produce this sound. It is a squeal. Grown-ups do not squeal. They laugh. A laugh is the sound of delight made by humans with a fully-functioning brain who do not crap themselves.

It has been suggested that “heeeee” is a variant form of “tee hee.” If this were so, then any ordinarily intelligent person would, in fact, actually say “tee hee.” It is easy to do. But do not, under any circumstances, ever actually say “tee hee.” It is not permitted.

There is an exception to this general rule. You are permitted to say “tee hee” if you are a girl character in a comic book produced during the 1950s, or perhaps the 1960s so long as you are destined to become a square. Examples would be Lucy, Violet or Sally; maybe Marcy, but never Peppermint Patty. Both Veronica and Betty said “tee hee” so read into that what you will.

Let it be known henceforth that acceptable forms of internet laughter or similar expressions of internet delight are to be substantially as follows: LOL, LMAO, ROFL, Heh, Hah, and Ha. Exclamation points are within the exercise of sound discretion and preference should be given to punctuation that is, in and of itself, comical as self-mocking. The cat-eating, furry space alien named Alf sucked ben-wah balls but at least he was good for something.


Saturday, November 28, 2009


And do not click this music video. Do not watch. Do not listen. It is three minutes and thirteen seconds of cringing embarassment. Truly awful, it is nothing less than execrable.Plodding. Leaden. Lethargic. Lazy. It is the pop rock equivalent of Jacob Marley dragging yard after yard of heavy chain, cashboxes and ledgers, except nothing good will ever come of it, whatsoever.

This is the kind of musical performance that demonstrates in graphic detail exactly what too much cocaine did to you back in the early 1980s, even if you were young and in your prime. Kids, just say no.

And, truth be told, these guys didn't really get laid all that much. They were way too geeky and the slutty chicks were dumb but not so dumb that they didn't remember being in high school. What made the difference, of course, was lots and lots of cocaine. But these were the kind of guys who didn't share, the selfish bastards. Given the choice, they'd rather have the blow.

I will, however, say something in their defense. They were clean and they were well-groomed. At least that's something.

What NERDS!!1!!!!!

And you know what? Marshall Suck-My-Craw was so absolutely terrible, even his wikipedia entry is a pile of steaming crap.

And why the hell are you reading this, anyway? I told you not to, dammit. Now go away. That's right. Get the fuck out of here. NOW!!!

P.S. Marshall Crenshaw sings like a girl!1!!!!!1!!!!!!

B. Kliban Speaks

“There’s a lot of sham, pretense, greed, narrowness, and stupidity in the art business, probably as much as you’d find in medicine or insurance. A ‘legitimate’ painter who does something mildly amusing is suddenly a great humorist, like ‘serious’ novelists who cop an idea science fiction writers have been kicking around for years are suddenly startling visionaries.

“I consider myself a surrealist who happens to like the area of humor. If I didn’t, I’d probably do bizarre things that were deadly serious. I was a very serious painter. That was bullshit.

“Somehow, the idea of art and really funny stuff doesn’t fit. I’d love to see a fine painting by Titian or Leonardo that was really silly; a Venus with false nose and glasses and duck feet. Those esthetic assholes would be going crazy forever, wondering, is it art?

“Steinberg, the greatest cartoonist ever, had a big show at the Whitney Museum. Hilton Kramer, the art critic for the New York Times was wondering is it really art? And he’s one of these turkeys who will accept as art an Andy Warhol copy of a Brillo box that Andy Warhol never touched. And so what if he did, anyhow?

-- Jumping Up and Down on the Roof, Throwing Bags of Water on People, by Mark Jacobs, Doubleday & Co., Inc. (1980), pp. 57-58.

ADDED: For some strange reason, I recall this post at Althouse.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Bissage Achieves Greatness!!1!!!!!1!!!!!!!!!

I just did a Google search for "The Habanero Train Whistles."

Here's what I got: Results 1 - 2 of 2 for “The Habanero Train Whistles”. (0.18 seconds)

Both of those were returns to this post at Suddenly Bissage!!!

And to think my mother told me I was no good for anything but sex.

Oh, how wrong you can be!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Deeper Meanings # 11

You might think you have what it takes to draw a cartoon like this.

And you know what?

You are correct!!!

And yet you have never even so much as tried.

Now, why is that?

(Cartoon by the great Saul Steinberg.)

Words Fail, Buildings Tumble

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I Guess You Had to Be There # 5

(1) Shakira Ricketts;
(2) 186 lbs.;
(3) The ostinato riff from “Go to the Mirror";
(4) Portuguese Flannel Spaniel;
(5) “Closet Receptacles R Us”;
(6) Paw-paw new guinea hen;
(7) Beat me, daddy, eight to the Burberry trench coat;
(8) Ground, down, town, clown, frown;
(9) Burping-tupperware-taxicab-plane-fare-brandy-lamb; and
(10) “The Habanero Train Whistles.”

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Mrs. Bissage Has an Affair

My car is in the shop this morning. So I take Mrs. Bissage’s car to work.

And what do I find? Lipstick on her collar? A single, long blond hair?


I find something much, much worse. There they were. All loaded in the CD player. Laughing at me. Bobby Sherman. Donny Osmond! David Cassidy!! Andy Gibb!!! Leif Garrett!!1!!!!!!!1!!!!!

I sit there in stunned silence. My world comes crashing down around me. Short of breath. Head spinning. Heart pounding. Palms sweating. What to do? WHAT TO DO???

And then . . . I know what to do.

Pedal to the metal, off I go, driving like a maniac to the nearest Tower Records. I am in and out in an instant, and off I drive to a secluded spot where I can be alone, by myself.

I put my newest purchase in the CD player. And I climb into the back seat.

Katy Perry kissed a girl . . . and she liked it.

And so did I, my dear internet friends. So did I.

And now . . . and now . . . Mrs. Bissage and I . . . are . . . even.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Sincerest Form of Flattery

(Just not nearly as good!)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Cartoon by Bill Woodman


Saturday, November 21, 2009

It's a Mystery

Overnight, this blog's "link" and "visited link" colors seem to have changed themselves.

This defies reason.

I changed them back.

We'll see what happens.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Teh Sexxxy Kitty Katz!!!

Do any of my fellow Althousians remember this old comment?

Yes, this is the cat.

And remember, folks, it's not incest is you're from different species!

All This Useless Talent

So here’s what happened. This morning I’m all jubilant over last night’s blog entry and I throw caution to the wind and I decide to keep the party rolling. I get in the car and I’m driving to work and I put “Chicago IX - Chicago's Greatest Hits” in the CD player.


And what do I discover, completely unbeknownst to me?

That’s right. You guessed it.

With absolutely no musical training whatsoever, I can do every trumpet part from “25 or 6 to 4” all the way to “Saturday in the Park.” And when I say “do” I mean do perfectly, with an over-the-top, strident, blaring vocal falsetto that resonates with the door panels and rattles the moon roof!

I am so impressed with myself that I crank it to 11 and roll down all the windows. People at red lights are looking in their rear view mirrors for an ambulance. Dogs are barking at me. Several parked cars had their burglar alarms go off by accident.

What a buzz! I am a horn section GOD!1!!!!!!!!

Even if I’m really supposed to be playing flugelhorn, it makes no difference.

I am a middle-aged, completely ordinary guy overwhelmed by indifference and the promise of an early bed.

And I ROCK!!1!!!!!!1!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I Do Believe in You

And I know you believe in me.Oh, yeah!

Hey, come on now. I took that photo all by my little old self.

Is it really so very bad?

Well, no matter. Life is full of ups and downs. And if my tiny, little old life has taught me anything, it's taught me that there are few things better than feeling stronger every day!

Won't you join me?

COME ON!!11!!!1!!!!!


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Bissage Wrestles with Matters of Great Importance

Believe it or not, gentle blog reader, verily, as I type, some of my fellow Althousians have worked themselves into a froth and are insulting each other over matters collateral to duct tape and frostbite at the tail end of this comment thread. Such diversions are both highly amusing and highly satisfying, I should imagine.

Nevertheless, if you keep very still, and if you listen very carefully, you just might hear the soft voice of reason somewhere off in the vanishing distance.

Oh well. So it goes.

But enough of that!!! I have important work to do, seeing as how I am a very busy man.

Yes, my many astoundingly cultured internet friends, as in the olden days of yore, now is the time to take the music CDs from my car and put them back on the shelves WHERE THEY BELONG!!1!!!!1!!!!!!!

(1) The Who, “My Generation (Deluxe Edition)”;
(2) Elvis Costello, “The Best of Elvis Costello and the Attractions”;
(3) Eric Dolphy, “Out to Lunch!”;
(4) Elvis Costello, “Armed Forces”;
(5) Badfinger, “Straight Up”;
(6) Bill Evans, “Verve Jazz Masters 5”;
(7) Everclear, “The Vegas Years”;
(8) Julian Bream, “J.S. Bach: Chaconne, etc.”;
(9) The Strokes, “First Impressions of Earth”;
(10) The Smashing Pumpkins, “Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness”; and
(11) Green Day, “American Idiot”.

There you have it, folks, yet again!

And . . . finally . . . MY PENIS IS HUGE!1!!!!1!!!!!!!!!!!

Television Serials # 6

(1) In the Studio.

(2) On the Stage.

(3) We’ve been watching “The Prisoner” on AMC. Their website is obnoxious so I won’t link to it. WIN A SUBARU SWEEPSTAKES!!!1!!!!! And it posts spoilers which is dirty pool in my book.

But I can say this: Gandolf is evil. Jesus is kind of lame, which is to say ordinary. The doctor chick needs to have her eyebrows steam-pressed back to normal. Hayley Atwell plays Lucy/415 and she must be a great actress because she sure looks better-looking than she looks.

I’m reserving judgment on the show, itself, until I see the final two episodes which air tonight. But so far, so good. It’s not the original nor should it be. The underlying theme is what’s important and that’s fully intact, so good for them!

(4) Be seeing you.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Bissage Cringes, Part II

Way back in the 1970s, my father put a little black and white poster of Frank Sinatra on the wall of our rec room.

It was a photo of Mr. Sinatra, on stage, in front of the musicians, holding a glass of booze in one hand and a microphone in the other. He looked like a bloated corpse in a business suit.

I’m not sure if he was holding a cigarette in the same hand as the booze, but he probably was. Such accomplished manual dexterity was considered an awesome mark of sophistication, back in the day.

IIRC, that poster had on it the words “Ole Blue Eyes is Back.”

I’m pretty sure you got that poster for free when you purchased the latest Sinatra album.

My father stuck it to the wall with thumbtacks.

Bissage Cringes, Part I

Last night we watched “Faces” by John Cassavetes, largely because of the great and powerful Althouse.

I found myself completely baffled.

I can’t even begin to explain "Faces" except to say that it’s about romantic relationships that are way effed-up and that old-timers back in the late 1960s sure couldn’t hold their liquor very well. Oh, and they sure smoked a lot of cigarettes.

Was Gena Rowlands a prostitute? Were the men all supposed to be outlier jerkoffs or was misogyny the order of the day? Hadn't anybody yet invented the concept of walking out of a fucked-up scene, populated by weirdos? Did everyone back in those days wear business suits all the time like a living, breathing New Yorker cartoon, set in a comfortable suburban psychiatric ward? What kind of man reads Playboy? Where’s Darrin Stephens when you need him?

That movie made me remember with a shudder what it was like to be a little kid back in the late-1960s wondering why the grown-ups were all acting like little kids. They told me at the time it was just my childish stupidity but now I’m not so sure about that.

Anyway, here’s something written by somebody smart to explain the movie much better than I can. LINK. Please note that I didn’t read it and that I recommend you don’t read it, either.

P.S. Wait! I can’t let this thing go without my standard-issue observation about how much of a super-misfit I was back in my half-assed theater days. “Faces” is chock-full of actors acting like they’re non-actors acting like actors. Singing songs. Impromptu dance numbers. Hokey histrionics. That stuff embarrasses the crap out of me.

BLEEECH!!! I think I watched half the movie peeking through the spaces between the fingers of my right hand. I was trying to protect myself from embarrassment by covering my face.

HEY, WAIT A MINUTE!!! Maybe that’s how they came up with the title of the film! You know . . . FACES!!! When you go to see it, everybody in the cinema will be covering their faces.

That’s the best explanation I’ve come up with so far.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Backyard Sightings # 15

This is Marvin.

He's a Northern Saw-whet owl.

He's claimed our Limber Pine for his own.

He doesn't ask for much.

Weezers beware.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Bissage Gets Cheated by Life

Last night I resolved to create a bloggable dream. Idiosyncratic sleep interruption is where it’s at, so I rigged up an elaborate contraption in the bedroom that would have made Rube Goldberg proud. It had a timer, and there were wires and pulleys and gears and levers all over the place.

At 1:00 AM, it pulled back the covers and smeared Vicks VapoRub on my genitals.

At 2:00 AM, it dumped a can of tuna on my forehead and then it let the cats into the bedroom wearing little pirate costumes.

At 3:00 AM, it let loose the robotic French waiter who recommended the pheasant à la Reine.

At 4:00 AM, it played a CD of studio sound effects, including, but not limited to, a steam locomotive, audience applause, a dentist’s drill and incestuous anteaters performing oral sex.

At 5:00 AM, it pantomimed Anne Hathaway, stuck in an elevator, trying to order Chinese take-out from a Spanish midget (don’t ask).

At 6:00 AM, it turned on the electrodes attached to the gerbil (look, I said don’t ask).

Okay. So what did I get for all my trouble?

Absolute squat!!! I had a lousy, fucking, crap-ass dream that I was shaving my face at a bathroom sink with an old-fashioned safety razor! And I always use kerosene and a propane torch!

WHAT A RIP-OFF, MAN!!1!!!!1!!!!!!!!!!

(Lucky I didn’t say anything about the dirty knife.)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Yank My Doodle, It's a Dandy

Lately, my rectum-fruit have become black, like sidewalk tar in summer, which is a development I’ve attributed largely to the recent up-tick in my morning input of horse-grade oatmeal. People, we’re talking 5 to 7 mini-loads a day; high pressure extrusion process.

Truly immense quantities of nylon reinforced, industrial strength toilet paper and Comet® are now required to scour my balloon knot. And, from time to time, I’ve felt the urge to simply be done with it all and use the hand-held shower sprayer to administer the mother of all enemas. First, I’ll need to check my insurance.

On the plus side, my thoracic blood pump feels heart-smarter than ever and I can whistle “Yankee Doodle” using nothing but a fully loaded bladder and my prostate, which has become oddly prehensile in recent days. Mrs. Bissage now calls me fife dick.

All I need is an old guy and a young guy to play drums and I can take my show on the road. I already have a sucking head wound.

P.S. That guy in the lower right-hand corner wants to know if we take requests. The answer to that would be “Nope, not even for James Cagney.”

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Untitled Poem by Roberto Juarroz

I don't know how to make a man.
Maybe my hands make one while I am asleep
and when it's finished
they wake me up, completely,
and show it to me.

Relatório de Manhã

(1) Two weeks, three and one-half pounds, and counting.

(2) I loved this song way before I ever saw the film "Black Orpheus."I was disappointed to learn I got it all wrong. Speaking not a single word of Portuguese, I was going with the theory that the song expressed the bittersweet reflections of a man who got dumped by a girl the night before at carnaval and that he was also acceptingly wistful about the inevitability of death -- after the carnaval. Get it?

But I was wrong. There's no arguing with subtitles.

Some Things Ought Not Be Lost

This comment at Althouse reminded me of a poem I saw on a city bus way back when. I’ve been remembering it and forgetting it – off and on – for more than twenty years.
I don’t know how to make a man.
Maybe my hands make one while I'm asleep
And when it is finished
They wake me up completely
And show it to me.
I seriously doubt I’m remembering it exactly. I couldn’t find it on the internet. I believe the credited author was a man with an Hispanic name. I envy him.

ADDED: In the comments, the one and only Triangle Man identified the poet, Roberto Juarroz. I'm going to do another blog entry for the poem, to get it right. The bus poster I saw years ago was part of the Streetfare Journal Poetry Collection.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Canon PowerShot Readymade #13

Pretty Women Out Walking with Gorillas

Last night we watched Woody Allen’s “Take the Money and Run.” It co-stars Janet Margolin and I thought she was really great-looking so I looked for photos of her on the intertunnel.

I got to IMDb which described her as “pretty” and “demure-looking.” So I looked up the definition of “demure.” Merriam-Webster gives two contradictory definitions: (1) “reserved, modest” and (2) “affectedly modest, reserved, or serious : coy.” Of course, in the phony baloney world of show-biz, the difference hardly matters.

In the practice of civil law, a “demurrer” is a request made to the court to toss out an adversary's claim on the basis of “So what?”

That reminded me of this tasty tidbit from “A Streetcar Named Desire,” as follows:

BLANCHE: Oh, in my youth I excited some admiration. But look at me now. Would you think it possible that I was once considered to be attractive?

STANLEY: Your looks are okay.

BLANCHE: I was fishing for a compliment, Stanley.

STANLEY: I don't go in for that stuff.


STANLEY: Compliments to women about their looks. I never met a dame yet that didn't know if she was good-looking or not without being told. And some of them give themselves credit for more than they got. I once went out with a dame who told me, “I'm the glamorous type.” She says, “I am the glamorous type.” I say, “So what?”

BLANCHE: And what did she say then?

STANLEY: She didn't say nothing. That shut her up like a clam.

BLANCHE: Did it end the romance?

STANLEY: Well, it ended the conversation. That was all.
And that, gentle blog reader, pretty much sums up your humble blog correspondent's pre-marriage love life except that, with me, it always ended everything. But that’s okay. It really never, ever started to begin with. I don't go for the glamorous type.

Which is not to say that things are not substantially more complicated than that.

B.F. Skinner Meets the Free Market Economy

It's easier to read the message board if you click the image thus enabling maximum largification. I could simply tell you the punchline but you'll appreciate it more if you have to work for it.

The cartoon is by George Booth. He supposedly draws with an ordinary BIC ballpoint pen. I really don't know.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Apocalypto Now

Daylight come and me wan' go home.

Last night, Mrs. Bissage and I watched Mel Gibson’s “Apocalypto.” It was all right, I guess. It looked good. Lots of attention to detail.

But it amounted to little more than a chase movie. Think stone-age "Predator" without Carl Weathers but with a lot more body piercings and tattoos. If you're looking for a chase movie, then start at the beginning with “The Naked Prey.” Otherwise, give me a good, old-fashioned Road Runner cartoon.

Anyway, something was missing. The movie needed something. Maybe more testicle eating. Maybe more throat slitting. Maybe more Magua eating the heart of Monro. Maybe more Orcs, Goblins and Uruk-hai. Maybe more burning genitalia jokes. Something.

I will say this: It was kind of cool when the jaguar got that guy by the head and you could hear his skull cracking. Yeah, there was that.

Also on the up-side, there weren’t any dirty, rotten, stinking, no-good Jews in it, stealing U.S. military secrets, foreclosing on mortgages and murdering Christian babies to make their matzah. I guess that’s all part of Mr. Gibson’s creative vision, auteur that he is. But there was a Jesus, in dreadlocks, and he kicked some serious Pagan ass. And he loved his nascent family with a tenderness not seen since Mrs. Bissage jabbed a bunch of fork holes in my tube steak and rubbed in some Adolph’s® Meat Tenderizer, a half-teaspoon per pound.

One final thing. For some strange reason, the movie had a kookalamonza little orphan girl in it to deliver a spooky prophecy of doom -- the rapidly approaching Spanish Conquest -- as the One True God's punishment for the Mayan Wickedness®.

And that's enough reason for your humble (and generous) correspondent to give Mel Gibson's "Apocalypto" a halfway decent rating on his brand new, proprietary scale . . . two and a half "Deeps."

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Rosemary's Bissage

Last night Mrs. Bissage and I watched “Rosemary’s Baby.” We did this motivated largely by the recent controversy surrounding the arrest of internationally acclaimed movie director Roman Polanski.

Mrs. Bissage asked me why they had that bit in the movie about Rosemary cutting her hair.I gave a long-winded, rambling, pointless answer. That’s what I do.

But here’s the short version: Part of it was to capitalize on the “swinging London” phenomenon and appropriate it for New York City. Part of it was to turn the audience against her husband, Guy Woodhouse, because he sees the haircut for the first time and reacts like a true cad.

But mostly, cutting Mia Farrow’s hair made her look like a vulnerable little girl; a child, really, who would soon enough end up drugged and raped by no one less evil than your Dark Lord, and mine, Satan, himself.

Reality is the stuff of fiction, after all, no matter how grandiose it might seem.

Call it artistic license.

And this is how you can tell you are looking at a work of true genius, when you see one.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Sad, Sad, Sad, Sad, Why Must I Be Sad?

Halloween night went badly here in USDA zone 6b and I have to admit I’m feeling a little bit sad and lonely this morning.

You see, we wanted to do something extra-special for all the little trick-or-treaters. So I dressed up like Jacque Pepin and Mrs. Bissage dressed up like Julia Child and we had an omelet station set up on the driveway. Three cheeses, mushrooms, red peppers, green peppers, green onions, asparagus, bacon, ham and sausage. Melon slices and lots of different herbs. Lots of pleasant, witty banter -- or so I thought.

Not one kid showed up! Not one!!!

All we got were local cops. Several of them complained that our selection of exotic teas was naïve and one of them insulted me, saying his omelet lacked volume and was more suited to a field hand’s lunch than a Halloween treat.


The nerve!

Well, that's it. We're not dressing up and giving out treats for Halloween anymore. No more Mr. Nice Guy!!!


P.S. Full disclosure: I already posted this as a comment on this thread over at Althouse. I reproduce it here because I've shot my load this morning and I'm fully spent. No new ideas.

Well, maybe one: CLICK HERE.

See ya!