Heavenly Complaint

David had been in Heaven for a little bit now, and all in all, it was quite nice for him. With a place like heaven, how could it not be everything that you’d expect?

David was a good person. That’s how he got in to the pearly gates. He died young but it wasn’t anything crazy tragic. Of course dying young is a terrible thing to happen. Especially for your family. But David’s death was pretty great compared to most last-days-on-Earth. But David’s death was not important. Such a topic is taboo in Heaven. No, it’s what was sitting right in front of David that was the problem.

There was a fly in his soup.

David enjoyed the food in Heaven, very much. He would meet up with his friends and relatives that had passed and they would all have great conversation over food cooked by all of the greatest dead chefs. The food was always delicious and there was nothing to complain about.

Except this damn fly in David’s soup.

David wondered how the small creature even made it’s way into his broccoli and cheese soup. Was this a prank? Were there practical jokes in Heaven? David remembered that this was heaven and that there’s a reserved space in hell for people who play pranks.

David wondered if he should make a complaint.

But a complaint? In Heaven? It was unheard of. Literally unheard of because no one since the beginning of Heaven had made a complaint about the place.

David was hungry though. He thought about not finishing it and ordering something else. But ordering something else would be weird and he was still fairly new to Heaven and didn’t want to be that guy.

David was getting hungrier and hungrier.

The worse part about the fly was that it wasn’t completely dead. Nothing is dead in heaven so this bug was free to flop around in David’s dish, full of life. It’s almost as if the fly was in its own personal heaven. David thought about this for a second.

He didn’t want to be a murderer in Heaven.

Are bugs untouchable up here? David thought. He hadn’t really seen any type of bug since his time here but maybe they were all enjoying themselves out of sight and not having to deal with being squished by a human.

David decides to eat and work around the fly in his soup.

After more than a few attempts, David decides that this just isn’t worth it. He had lived a good life and shouldn’t have to deal with a fly in his soup. He decides that it would be a good idea to take it up with the “Big Guy.”

David left the table with the fly enjoying David’s meal more than he did.

David asked around to various friends about the best way to make a complaint. They all tried to shut him up because no one should complain in Heaven. “Just be glad you got in.” was the most popular response. “Maybe the fly would have tasted delicious?” was the least popular response.

David couldn’t stop thinking about the fly so he did his research and actually found a way to have a chat with his Creator, you know, without doing it the old fashioned way of praying. David wanted some face time with God.

After two weeks, his wish was granted by an Angel and he ordered to be available on Tuesday morning. The phone call he received was vague and when David asked where he should meet God, the Angel quickly responded, “He’ll meet you” and hung up the phone.

Tuesday came and sure enough, God was in David’s living room when he came downstairs to make his morning coffee. God was sitting on David’s couch, but it wasn’t quite sitting in the way you’d think.  It was almost like he was floating and relaxing at the same time.  God had reached true couch comfort and was ready for his meeting with David. 

“Sorry to show up like this, I am a morning person and I like to get my work done first thing.” Said God

Before David could respond, God spoke once more.

“You see David, I know all about you. I knew about your complaint before you made a complaint.”

David tried to respond.

“Hush please, I am God but I have little patience and a lot to do. Now, don’t you think that having a fly in your soup was a test? Surely you didn’t think that just making it into heaven meant that you wouldn’t be tested every now and again.”

David pondered this and started to realize what a fool he has been.

“Please don’t feel like a fool, this happens a lot. I am a forgiving omnipresent being and will let this one slide. You can still be here safely in the Kingdom of Heaven.”

David tried to thank God before he got up off the couch. In one quick maneuver God rose off the couch, he avoided the awkward grunt that most humans feel the need to let out when leaving any furniture.

“No need to thank me, It’s what I do. Just remember, next time you find something you want to complain about, just realize how much time you wasted to say it to someone who doesn’t really care.”

David changed his body language and was ready to speak.

“I do care about you, David. But it’s a universal fact that no one cares about people’s complaints. So please, unless you find out that a murderer made his or her way into Heaven, keep your complaints to yourself because now I have to think of a new way to test your patience with waiters.”

David looked down and realized that he had been short with waiters down on Earth and he should have been smart enough to realize this was a test. After all, he was in Heaven.

“Enjoy Heaven, David. We have a lot to offer here. Who knows, that fly could have tasted great?”

God exited David’s condo and left a cool breeze that only left David with uplifting spirits. David had been wrong to complain to management in Heaven and he was dedicated to live the rest of his time there with joy.

Meanwhile, God had to get on with his day and cross items off of his to-do list. His next stop would be the kitchen to fire the chef.

“Is this another one of your tests, Lord?” asked the faithful chef.

“Yeeessssss. As you know, I do like tests.” Replied The Almighty.

“Oh Master, I will keep my faith and follow you through adversity.” Cried the chef as he hung up his apron.

God rested his hand upon the chef’s shoulder and replied: 

“We’ve also had some complaints about the soup, so this is more of a judgment call.”

Advertisements

The Tale of the Flying Marlin

1958- The Flying Marlin was deep in the Atlantic Ocean, no one in history could quite say where- but it was deep in the swirling storms of the Atlantic. The beautiful Flying Marlin ship has begun to take on water and the crew wonders what to do next. What do you do when you’re working on the poop deck of a fishing boat and your Northern starboard begins to flood with water?

You speak with The Captain.

The Crew of the Flying Marlin raced to The Captain’s corridor and knocked hesitantly at the door.

“Sir. I uh, I mean Captain.” Said the First Mate; a bit quieter than he should have.

“What it is friends!?” The Captain replied with a jovial response.

You see, The Captain never liked a stern ship. He kept the Flying Marlin calm and efficient. The Crew took home a decent pay for fisherman in 1958 and risked their lives about once a month to a hairy situation. This was worse than hairy.

“The ship is sinking, Captain.” The First Mate formally informed The Captain.

The thick copper door swung open and the captain (not completely sober) addressed the crew.

“Alright men, the Flying Marlin is an ol’ gal but we better get her patched up soon or you’ll be delivering our latest bounty to the Devil at bottom of the Sea.

The Crew looked a little bit defeated already.

“Captain, it’s beyond repair. We need to take emergency precautions. I have a wife at home and I would like to see her and my son again.” The First Mate cried.

The Captain put his hand on the First Mate’s shoulder.

“Then let’s get you come, mate.”

The Captain ordered all of the crew to find the life rafts and take immediate (but efficient) choices in order to save the crew. When all of the rafts were set to be deployed one by one by a hoist, the crew got a bit happier and had some hope in their hearts.

The Captain had been looking upon his crew with joy as he smoked his pipe. The Captain wasn’t a big smoker, but he figured if there ever was a time to have a smoke-this was it.

The emergency life rafts were ready to go.

“All younger men first! Lets get these boys home to their family.” The First Mate shouted. Even though he was a young man himself, he knew he had obligations to The Captain.

The Crew followed orders and put the younger crew members on the life rafts. In Theory, this was a kind hearted gesture all thought up by The Captain. It wasn’t until the last life raft was out of site that everyone realized they had just saved their strongest men and The Flying Marlin was left with 16 old men.

These senior portions of The Crew were gentlemen who lived on the sea their whole life. They had been with The Flying Marlin since she first set sail and most of them lost some fingers in the process. Moral was low but no one was giving up.

The Last Minutes

Now, with a ship full of old men in galoshes aboard a vessel that is now taking on massive amounts of the salty sea… The Crew began to panic and the mood was sinking just as quickly as the ship. The Crew of the Flying Marlin began to fight the Atlantic with a bit of a chill down their spine.

“Captain! What now!?” Shouted the First mate from the Southern Side.

The Flying Marlin was in full Titanic Mode.

The Captain stopped puffing his pipe because by now it was raining and he found it annoying to light a match every 30 seconds, only to have it whiffed out by the surrounding elements.

The Captain responded just before the crew got anxious.

“We are going build our own life rafts, gentleman!” The captain informed everyone.

“Find whatever you can and make a life raft. We have some time and I know all of you are good with tools and creativity.”

 The Captain pointed to his First Mate.

“We used to install fencing around the old factory together.”

The Captain pointed to his Second Mate.

“We’ve known each other since Mrs. Goldman’s science class!”

The Captain pointed to his Third Mate.

“And we were on the same little league team!”

“Go Badgers!” They said in unison.

“Lets lay this bastard of a ship down and save our lives!” The Captain screamed. The Crew shouted with cheer and hope.

The Crew began to search for all the materials they could find in order to float and stay alive. The situation was the perfect blend of  every-man-for-himself- mixed with together-on-the-Flying-Marlin.

Doors. Furniture. Art Work.  The crew began using their best imagination and building their life rafts for the chance of surviving this daunting situation.

The Captain was happy and wished he was able to smoke his pipe again because he thought it would be the perfect time. But again, the surrounding conditions weren’t allowing it. The Captain crossed his arms and smiled.

You’d think with the very few skills that The Crew had, it would take some time to build a raft. You’d be surprised at how quick an Old Man can build a life raft when he is facing death at sea. A little over an hour, all of The Crew members had built their own rafts.

Some of them had individual rafts with beautiful nautical furnishings and some men decide to work together and build a group raft to save each other’s lives. The men completed their projects just in time because the ship was sinking fast now and they were awaiting orders from The Captain.

“Captain! We have completed your orders to build ourselves a raft. To our own surprise, it worked out pretty well!” The First mate shouted.

“When shall we set sail!?” Cried the Second Mate.

“We shall set sail immediately! This old girl of a ship is about to guzzle all the water she can handle and I don’t want to be on board when she takes her last breath!” Proclaimed The Captain.

The Crew all looked puzzled at The Captain. The Crew knew why, but the Captain looked puzzled back because he had no idea what was happening.

“What in the hell are you looking at men!? Lets move!” Their Captain ordered.

The First mate removed his hat and brought it to his chest as if he was about to deliver bad news.

“Captain, while we were building our life rafts, we figured you were building one too. Did you not?” The First Mate replied.

“Are you fucking serious!?”

The Captain rarely cursed but he figured now was the perfect time.

The Second Mate took off his hat. The Captain had just seen this move from the First Mate so he braced himself for more bad news.

“Captain, we honestly thought you were going down with the ship once we noticed you just watching us and smiling. I mean, The Flying Marlin is your vessel and when you didn’t move a muscle to make a life raft, we wanted to honor your solitude because we figured you were about to die.” The Second Mate reported.

“I’m not suicidal! I want off of this drafty old ship! Please! One of you must have room for me!” The Captain cried out.

The Crew looked around at each other’s life rafts. Even though they all looked pretty solid, and were all floating quite well by this time- they had no room for a portly, old Captain. And The Captain knew this now.

The Captain removed his hat and placed it to his chest. The crew knew bad news was coming because it’s not like this was an original move or anything.

“My Crew, friends, and family, I wish you the best and hope you get back to land safely. Just be aware that there are quite a few sharks in these waters and that we are probably headed towards a recession of some kind, so maybe find a new profession when you hit dry land.”

Some of The Crew began to cry. At this point, The Captain was on the very last few feet of his ship and the rest of his crew was safely on their rickety rafts.  The Captain gave his official hat to his First Mate and saluted him.

“May you all always remember what happened here on The Flying Marlin.”

The Captain whipped out his tobacco pipe and puffed away as he descended into the ocean with The Flying Marlin.

After the last bubble from The Captain’s breathe came to the surface, The Crew took a moment of silence and wiped their tears.

“Men! Lets get to safety!” The First Mate (now Captain) shouted.

The Men began to row their makeshift raft army to shore. It turns out they were not far at all from a rescue ship that was signaled by the first wave of young crew member that left the Flying Marlin earlier. When everyone was rescued, they all realized that they had been selfish not helping The Captain. But it was too late for that because the ugly sea took him under and his body was probably being eaten by the aforementioned sharks.

Years Gone By

Whenever The Crew (especially The First and Second Mate) thought of The Captain they smiled and were inspired by the courage The Captain had. They all told the tale about The Flying Marlin, especially when in the company of The Crew.

Fortunately, most of The Crew took The Captain’s advice and began new careers in carpentry. They realized the craftsmanship of their rafts and saw that they were actually pretty good with tools and wood, especially under pressure. They began a Carpenter’s Union and to this day, The Crew and their next generation of kin still operates out of Maine.

Recently, the local Historic Society holds a day in The Captain’s honor. The town builds tiny creative rafts and sets them all out to sea to sink. It’s terrible for the environment but brings a lot of joy to locals and tourists who heard the Tale of the Flying Marlin.

As far as The Captain? Some say that on a calm, warm summer night, if you salute the Atlantic Sea- you’ll smell the rich tobacco that The Captain puffed with his last breathe.

Plastic Revolution

Matthew, a young, but clear faced teenaged is addressing his peers and standing on the bench of a local ice cream parlor.

OK guys, thanks for seeing me here. I know the Frosty Freeze isn’t the best place to meet but my Mom is doing holiday shopping next door and she’s my ride.

I know what you’re all thinking. We don’t need to do this. Well, we do. We are fifteen years old and the time has come for us to become men. 

No more playing with action figures. Yes, I know it will be tough but the rewards will be awesome. I mean, who wouldn’t want to trade their super-chopping action hero for a drivers license? Or pass on our warrior quest cards to our younger siblings for a date with Chelsea Quinn from homeroom! It’s time to start acting our age, friends.

Let me tell you the good news though!  This is only temporary. We can collect our action figures and hero cards when we hit our mid life crisis. Men all over the world are doing it! Just the other day I saw a vintage pocket monster card on Ebidz.com so I know that we are not alone. YOU are not alone. Because anytime we feel the urge to buy the latest Spaceborg Power Blaster, just know how much cooler it will be to kiss Chelsea Quinn. By the way, I am only using her as an example for this scenario. We all know that she let me borrow a pencil last week so we are basically on the fast track to love.

So boys..ahem..MEN! Let’s drop our plastic toys and pick up our newfound freedom. Who’s with me!

(The crowd cheers)

Now, who can give me a ride home? My mom just texted me and said she’s gong to be running late and I don’t want to walk home alone, it’s scary.

I love you Marvin

Greetings earthlings!

When I was growing up I was greatly inspired by two Mels in my life. The first was, and still is- Mel Brooks. The second, and probably more influential was Mel Blanc- also known as “The man of a thousand voices.”

You may not know any of Mel Blanc’s work off the top of your head so let me make a quick list (just to name a few): Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Tweety, Sylvester, Speedy GonzalesYosemite Sam, Foghorn Leghorn, Wile E. Coyote, and most importantly…Marvin the Martian

That’s right, as a 32 year old man I can still happily say that any time I see or hear about Marvin the Martian that it brings me joy. I will tell you one thing (followed by another thing)…I can’t stand how Marvin the Martian got the reputation of being an angry Tune. Looney? Yes. Angry? Sometimes.

We’ve all seen Marvin the Martian shirts where he is grumpy and about to lose it. If not, here is a reference:

Exhibit A: See the look in his eyes.

I will tell you why I want to defend my out-of-this-world friend: Because he’s a loner looking for love and attention. So you can probably make the connection why I liked him so much at a young age..

You’re probably asking yourself “Mark, why do you care so much?” to which I would reply “Because friends stick up for friends.”

Bugs Bunny Ain’t Shit

That’s right. Bugs has been getting all the attention since the tunes hit the media. Case in point: He is the star player on the Tune Squad! Who was Marvin the Martian in Space Jam? The fuckin’ referee…he wasn’t even asked to play on either side- even when the opposing team was FROM SPACE!

Now, I have thought about this (mostly while awake and sleep training my daughter) The referee role perfectly sums up Marvin though. He just wants to keep things fair and balanced in a world that has been turned upside down and invaded.

Back to Bugs (aint funny) Bunny…Marvin spent his career exploring space and inventing new gadgets. Only to have them blown up in his face by Bugs Bunny! Did he try to destroy earth once or twice? Sure.. but who hasn’t!?

Given the choice: I would rather have Marvin the Martian babysit than Bugs Bunny.

Just look at that bad influence!


Man’s Best Friend

Marvin had to be a good Martian because he had a faithful martian dog appropriately named K-9.

Go team!

K-9 would always obey Marvin and they would go on adventures together that were often thwarted by Bugs Bunny or worse, Duck Dodgers…

The Real Enemy

Duck Dodgers was the space version of Daffy Duck and he was a jerk. He’s pretty much the “Duff Man” super hero in Looney Tunes that tried to destroy Marvin at all costs.

Such a bad leader…

Marvin would be minding his own business and exploring planets. Then, when he would successfully find new territory…and being the marketing genius he is- he would plant his flag into the ground.

Then Duck Dodgers would come along and zap him and take his land. WHAT AN ASS!

Who prevailed? Duck (dickhead) Dodgers. He even got his own spinoff tv series on Cartoon Network appropriately named: Duck Dodgers. At least he and Marvin teamed up a little on that show to fight evil.

Notice how Marvin looks scared.

A Martian in love

Marvin even had his space sites on an out-of-this world Queen named Queen Tyr’ahnee

Can you blame him?

Unfortunately Queen Tyr’ahnee only had eyes for Duck (douche) Dodgers:

It’s lonely out here in space..

Bring this back to earth

Ok, if you don’t see my passion for re-branding Marvin the Martian- that’s fine. But at least hear me out for one last thing (see I told you there would be more).

Marvin, although he is a Martian, was the most human tune on the show. He experienced every emotion love, hate, happiness, anger, joy, loss..he felt it all!

We haven’t seen much of Marvin lately for one good reason: He’s a papa to a baby girl.

Marvin and Marcia Martian

Another reason I will keep on claiming that Marvin the Martian was the greatest tune the screen has ever seen. Thank you for your time and remember to love like a martian.

My Apologies

 

Dear Trailblazerblogger43,

I’m sorry- but I’m the guy that walked through your picture. I didn’t mean to, I swear. But we both know it happened and I am pretty sure you’re upset because if you tried to upload your photo to your travel blog, you saw a photo with a pale, white man in a business shirt that was in a hurry to catch his train- obviously not the type of photo that would get a lot of interest on your amateur content site.

Look, again, I’m sorry. You probably spent a lot of money traveling to New York City but you’ve got to understand, people live here and have places to go. We aren’t all tourist.

I don’t say that in a mean way, I am just trying to defend myself a little bit. Let me paint a picture of reality…I live here and I probably end up in hundreds, if not thousands of pictures a year- especially since I commonly use Grand Central Terminal as a way to see my folks in Poughkeepsie.

If I were to jump and sway my myself out of every camera pointed at me, I would be volunteering for a task that I do not want to do. My time is limited as it is and even if I was dedicated to this task, I would probably only avoid thirty percent of the photos…a failing rate.

Thank you for your understanding. Hope you enjoyed your vacation in the greatest city in the world. NYC. The Big Apple, baby.

P.S- you were facing the sun. When I took a photography class in college, the professor told us to always have the sun behind us to accent your focal point.

So, to be honest- your picture was probably ruined from the start.

Safe travels home.

Life Cycle

As you may have noticed from scrolling through the pages of this here website, I don’t exactly have consistency with the type of content that I post. If I was still a “professional” blog writer, my editor and SEO marketing manager would tell me to fix that so I can maintain my minimum wage job status while struggling through cancer recovery..(breathe).

Sorry- did I get off on a tangent?

Anyway, happy to report that I no longer take orders from a blog manager, influencer, SEO commander, or whatever-the-hell they are calling themselves. Don’t get me wrong, there jobs aren’t easy, but that life isn’t for me. (He said while he continued to write his personal blog for free).

Look, I didn’t really plan on posting that much on here. But my ego got super boosted when I saw that a lot of people seemed to have been responding to what I post. So I did what any good American would do and decided to feed me ego and get ta writin’ sum more.

Side note: In my opinion, ego isn’t bad. It’s just the way you execute it…Kanye, A-Rod, and (probably) Leonardo DiCaprio would say it’s confidence and not ego that drives them. Personally, I think confidence is ego with Ray Ban sunglasses on. Neither are bad, but too much of the other will probably leave you crying in the shower…or as I call it “Tuesday.”

Man, did I get off topic. Bare with me, kinda free flowing all of this because I have been so backed up with words for so long…(ahem).

Life: what is it? why are we here? And what is better than a good turkey sandwich?

I ask these important questions because my good friends at Facebook like to have “memories” and that is what sparked this post..

I don’t have to tell you that life is weird and can’t be explained by anyone. If someone tells you they have the secret to life- ask them how much it costs and then report them to the Better Business Bureau.

Heres how Facebook wanted to let me know that life’s content isn’t consistent:

4 Years ago: I was in chemo therapy at Sloan Kettering receiving treatment and being delivered amazing banana bread (s/o to Sofiya Alexandra) totally fogged and detached. Although I think I did some writing..

8 years ago: I was working in Los Angeles and performing at iO West theatre (RIP). Our group “First World Problems” was on a long run of successful shows, depending on who you ask.

9 Years ago today, I got in my car and moved to Los Angeles. Slept on couches (s/o to Phil Tipping) until I landed in a sweet house in Eagle Rock, CA on an air mattress that had just sprung a leak…I then called my Mom to tell her how well I was doing.

10 years ago today: I boasted about making a great Turkey Sandwich.

Your biggest Influencer you follow on Instagram doesn’t need to tell you that life has ups and downs. I just told you that, so like, don’t read their post..just scroll past it; please keep reading this one though because I promise I am almost done.

(clears throat and straightens clip on tie)

I will never forget an episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine when Detective Jake Perelta (Andy Samberg) misses out on a date with Lt. Amy Santiago ( Melissa Fumero) to a well respected and super-star colleague: Detective Dave Majors (Garret Dillahunt).

SPOILER ALERT!

The episode ends with Amy not having a great time with Dave on a date they had, mostly because she had eyes for someone else in the precinct… Jake runs into him and says “you must be pretty bummed you two didn’t hit it off.”

Dave simply replies with: “Not really, I can’t wait to see what happens to me next” and walks off.

THAT is the line that I always remember when the world is upside-down because to Dave Majors, there was no up or down..there just was- and he couldn’t wait to see what life is.

I’m going to post this on Facebook so I get a memory of memories that I shared because I want to remember how happy I am today. (S/O to my amazing wife Jade and our “sweet pea”).

 

*S/O to the writers of Season 2 Epsisode 21