Story Ideas Of Mine That Didn’t Make It Past The Title Stage

  1. Dude, Where’s Your Tsar? (historical romp)
  2. Hello My Name is Lorne Ipsum
  3. Been Drunk in the Wheat So Long, It Looks like Chaff to Me
  4. Mister Perfectt
  5. Namaste, Bitches!
  6. The Dorothy Parker Character Assassination and Vinegar Pie Club Meets at The Broken Arrow Cafe
  7. Another Shit Day in Asstown
  8. This Metaphor is Condemned
  9. Dead Men Knit No Cardigans
  10. Michael Corleone-Type Metamorphosis from Unwilling Participant to Head of the Crime Family But With a Middle Eastern Setting (shelved after a certain FX show hit the air)
  11. From Hair to Eternity: My Battle with Male-Pattern Baldness and Terrible Puns
  12. Who Ate My Parachute?
  13. No Big Deal, But I Think The Work of Carlos Castaneda Is a Bunch of Hooey
  14. Sex Is a Four Letter Word If You Spell it With Two X’s
  15. White Privilege Doesn’t Exist: Dispatches from the Penthouse





Story Time: Einstein Failed Math

Einstein Failed Math

He did.

Well, he didn’t. But dropped out, which is kind of worse, but had to do it because his family moved, so that takes the sting out of it I suppose. He didn’t have terrific grades, though, and worked at a patent office while he worked on his Theory of Relativity. He was lousy at it and only got a job in academics when he was fired for letting two identical patents get past him.

I don’t think that’s true, either. But he was a smart guy and he didn’t enter the academic world through the standard channels and I told my dad that Einstein failed math and it was the only time he shut up about my poor life choices.

Such a brain, he says. You were so smart growing up, smarter than your teachers. They bored you which is why you got into trouble, but you also had a bit of your mother’s talent for misery so, you wound up humiliating your elders and always refused to apologize. I gave you the strap for it when you got home because that was my job as a father, but my heart wasn’t in it.

Tell that to my ass, I think. That’s my childhood, like Rashomon but with wide leather belts instead of Japanese ghosts.


So I was fourteen when I improved upon the accepted technique of Elastic Graph Bunch Masking. Way before 9/11, the North American pursuit of facial recognition software was little more than theoretical falderal, a wander through the daisies of algorithms and privacy invasion. I co-wrote a paper the next year with a fringe quantum theorist who dressed in monochromes and only ate starches. The paper resulted in little start-up money for my software company, a brief flirtation of interest from the Mitterand government, more interest from Reagan’s NSA, zero contracts from either the public or private sectors, and a paint-bombing of the family home from what I suspect was a radical wing of the ACLU.

Dad got the belt out for that one, too. But I’m sure he was just going through the motions.


Now I leer at women on the subway. I don’t date much because who wants to spend time with a short order cook? I mean, sure, they’re taken in by the prestige, but it’s the smell that keeps them away.

I run through algorithms in my head and put them through their paces. I’ve kept up on the advancements in 3D facial mapping and catalogue every shade of skin, every variety of nose, each shape of buttock. There isn’t a density or circumference of breast that has escaped my trained eyes and I’ve written long, delicate strands of equations to match every body type, from symmetrical perfection to small tits and apple bottoms, all in my head, never forgotten, ready for recall. It’s the closest I get to poetry.

I imagine that my rampaging erection dissuades those targets of my desire from assuming that I am gathering a head of steam for a lofty let alone literary goal. I haven’t moved into the realm of public masturbation but I reserve the right. I have no pleasure, put my body and soul through countless abuses at a job well beneath me, can’t find a woman who’d agree to fuck me on an even infrequent basis and, once home, can never find a suitable online whacking match for whatever pale-skinned Amazonian beauty or crepuscular, tangle-haired, I just-got-gang-banged-by-a-basketball-team-in-the-back-of-a-van mess that has captured my ardor that day. If I didn’t travel in rush hour traffic both ways I’d have figured out a way to rub one out mid-tunnel. In fact I have, provided I can control the seating arrangement of no more than thirteen passengers and occupy a seat in the most advantageous corner of the train.

Given the right distance between stops, I could do it twice. Believe me, I’ve done the long division on this one. And I’d bet Schrodinger’s cat that Einstein never worked on that kind of thought problem.


My doctor says the Zoloft will even me out, make me less anti-social and less likely to slash myself from elbow-crook to the middle of my palm, but I have my doubts. So far I haven’t experienced the benefits, only the side-effects, i.e. dry mouth, dizziness and a complete inability to ejaculate.

Sidebar: it wasn’t until my doctor started this pharmacological shopping spree that I discovered, due to the vanishing point list of the drug’s liabilities, that “hypomania” is, a) an actual word; b) an actual side-effect; and c) less severe than good old-fashioned, peanut-butter-and-jam “mania”. I assumed upon first blush that “hypo” meant I’d likely run down the street screaming at full volume while cutting off my own arm with a chainsaw but, instead, I might wind up a little extroverted. And experience a state of “hypersexuality”.

No such luck.

Also: “abnormal ejaculations” is a consideration when taking this particular brand of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. I’m not sure how that manifests (Directional confusion? Disobedience with regard to the laws of gravity? Emerging to the tune of “Hello, Dolly”?) but, at this point, I’d take congress in the form of a dribbly penile replication of the dancing waters outside the Vegas Bellagio versus what I have now. Which, thanks to the Zoloft, is zilch.


Stray thought: 3D facial recognition measures the geography of the face by using the rigid points as landmarks, signposts, the way the Germans used Big Ben when they bombed London. There’s no reason this can’t be applied to the body as a whole: the pelvic bone replaces the nose, the breast cavity replaces the eye sockets. Three dimensional mapping removes the pitfalls of shifting light patterns that cause mismatches.

The only problem I see is clothing.


Dad knows a guy who knows every kind of guy so when I suggest that I have a way to make money, he puts me into a room with Rico, who displays none of the genetic architecture of Hispanic facial patterns but has an office in the back of a cement bunker with a dusty set of long horns mounted on the wall behind his desk so when I tell him that I can write code for a proprietary search engine that will revolutionize pornography searches, I believe him when he says he’s so excited by this prospect that he will kill me with a machete if I don’t produce it for him.

I have a small twinge when I meet with the lawyer. Dad wants in on the action, wants to manage “our” end, but I am too old to fall for that shit and have been stung by him too many times. He gets a finder’s fee. I get a lump sum investment from Rico to start the software company and we split the royalties. Every time you use a service, I receive fifteen cents.


When the day comes that I have too much money to take lowly mass transit I still won’t stop. I won’t arrange my schedule to allow for off-hours travel that might best allow for public pleasuring. But I’ll still need to ride those packed cars to find the types that I need for when I get home.


A guy can jerk off so much that he winds up shooting nothing but air. Did you know that? It happened to Einstein. That’s how he arrived at his variation on the theory of critical opalescence.