* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where we are all about the iambic pentameter. Especially when it is used in the service of the world's greatest Renaissance rapper, Sir Mix-A-Lot, as reimagined by our own Justin Warner. Be forewarned, his sense of propriety is much closer to Elizabethan than Victorian.

From The Complete Sonnets Of Sir Mix-A-Lot

By: Justin Warner

I revel in big butts, I cannot lie;
‘Tis womankind’s equiv’lent of well-hung.
My Moorish brethren, thou canst not deny
That round cheeks in thy visage get thee sprung.

O, Rump-o’-smooth-skin, fain get in my Benz,
For weary am I now of meager tail.
Come frolic in the highlands’ heathered glens
Whilst Mix-a-Lot harpoons thee like a whale.

Nay, proffer not a buttock frail or flat,
Nor plastic bosoms forged by engineers.
My anaconda fancies none of that,
But yearns to nestle ‘twixt two juicy spheres.

Sidebends or situps, do ’til out you conk,
But pray, lose not thy sweet badonkadonk.

* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where for the first time ever we are updating the site more than once a week. Don't get used to it, folks! We're lazy. But in the meantime, prepare to see the glory with this topical madness from our own Associate Editor Justin Warner.

An Early Draft Of Christine O’Donnell’s Campaign Ad

By: Justin Warner

I’m not a witch. I’m nothing you’ve heard. I’m you. None of us are perfect, but none of us can be happy with the things we see all around us: Politicians who think spending, trading favors, and backroom deals are the way to stay in office.

Seriously, though, I’m not a witch. To even say that I “dabbled” in witchcraft is an overstatement. I got about three chapters into the Book of Shadows and had barely immolated my first wax poppet when I found Christ. It wasn’t like I got kicked out of the coven because I messed up my Latin conjugation in the Black Mass and gave the high priestess herpes, or something like that.

Let’s look at the hard evidence. If I’m a witch, how is it possible that Chris Coons still has the head of a man, and not that of a boar? You’d think at a minimum there’d be a blight on his koi pond, or that he’d be seduced by the occasional succubus. But no, he keeps on preaching the same old Washington politics without once projectile-vomiting his entire intestinal viscera into Rachel Maddow’s face. What self-respecting, patriotic witch wouldn’t make that happen?

Also, if I were a witch, I wouldn’t have to run for the Senate to take our country back. I’d cut out the middleman and curb government spending by sealing off the Treasury with a moat of boiling blood. Furthermore, I wouldn’t have gone on MTV to warn about the dangers of lustful fantasies; I’d just make bats fly out of your hoo-ha every time you touched yourself down there. And more likely than not, I’d have magically inserted myself into the first Harry Potter book, gotten on the Hogwarts school board, instituted a creation science-based curriculum, and fired Dumbledore for promoting his alternative lifestyle.

Of course, I would mostly use my powers to benefit the people of Delaware –- the real Delaware, not Wilmington. Like, I would make our state a lot bigger. As far as I can tell, it could fill up half the Atlantic Ocean, and there would still be plenty of room for fish and stuff. And once we had all that extra land, I would make our famous Delaware chickens really huge, so we could keep enjoying their meat but kill fewer chickens. Every chicken would be eight or nine feet tall and feed, like, 300 people. I don’t see a downside.

So, you can go to the polls in November and pull the lever for me, knowing full well that I won’t put a hex on Harry Reid that makes flesh melt from his bones every time he closes a corporate tax loophole. That is, unless you really want me to. I’m sure there are charms that can cure the priestess’s herpes, and I’m willing to study hard. In fact, if it comes to it, I’ll do everything in my power to open the bowels of the Earth and swallow the entire Democratic caucus into the fires of Gehenna.

Isn’t that what you’d do?


God Responds to Sarah Palin’s Remarks

By: Justin Warner

GOD: Damn. I guess this’ll teach Me to go on vacation: I open my email and there are three hundred trillion new messages. About half of them were YouTube links to Sarah Palin invoking My name, so let me go through them point by point:

PALIN: “Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right. Also for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending them out on a task that is from God.”

GOD: Well, since you asked, let me set the record straight: I have never advocated for the invasion and occupation of Iraq. What I have advocated for, if anyone would freaking listen, is the invasion and occupation of Mauritius.

I know what you’re thinking: Mauritius? Wasn’t he Julius Caesar’s page boy or something? If only. As it happens, Mauritius is a pathetic excuse for a sovereign nation located on an island 560 miles east of Madagascar. An island which I created for only one reason: as a safe home for the dodo, the coolest bird EVER.

But what happened? Well, in the 17th century, a bunch of drunk Dutch sailors decided they hadn’t ruined enough pristine, uninhabited paradises, so they and their mangy domesticated animals took it over and guess what? A century later, no more dodos! Thanks a lot, dickweeds. Now the island’s human population is a toxic stew of French, British, Indian, African, Chinese, and who knows what else, and they haven’t done a single thing worth a damn since. Oh yeah, and a couple of their old postage stamps are worth like, half a bajillion dollars, so I guess that’s their excuse for sitting around all day swigging rum from paper bags and banging out cacophonous, seizure-inducing drum rhythms. Jerks.

Sure, I could wipe them all out with a tsunami or a plague. But frankly, that’s a little deus ex machina for My tastes. Nope, there’s nothing quite as satisfying as watching an inferior culture get a first class ass-whuppin’ courtesy of its fellow man. And I personally cannot wait a minute longer. But moving on…

PALIN: “I think God’s will has to be done in unifying people and companies to get that [$30 billion natural gas] pipeline built. So pray for that.”

GOD: Again, I don’t know what God she was listening to, but I couldn’t give a rat’s ass about that natural gas pipeline. My will, which I clearly spelled out on Governor Palin’s English muffin on the morning of June 14, 2007, is to open up oil exploration rights in the Chukchi Sea. There’s some serious bling to be made there, and if there’s a spill, it’ll mostly kill whales and polar bears, which are both overrated in My opinion. If I could only think of a way for an oil spill in Alaska to wash up on the shores of Mauritius, we’d hit the jackpot.

PALIN: “All of this doesn’t do any good if the people of Alaska’s heart isn’t right with God.”

GOD: Like that’s ever going to happen. Right now, only about 38 percent of Alaskan people’s hearts are right with Me, which is slightly below the national average (thanks in no small part to the Smythe family of Valdez). Still, it’s a damn sight better than Mauritius, where the percentage is zero.

FROM PALIN’S CHURCH BULLETIN: ”You’ll be encouraged by the power of God’s love and His desire to transform the lives of those impacted by homosexuality.”

GOD: See, this is what pisses Me off about these evangelical churches: They spend so much time worrying about who’s hopping in bed with whom, and NONE whatsoever bombing certain East African island nations back to the Stone Age. Oh wait, they’re already in the Stone Age.

While we’re on the subject, did you know that “Mauritius” was the name of a critically acclaimed Broadway play last season? As if those smug twits didn’t have enough to swell their heads. I’ll tell you, nothing makes My blood boil like watching a bunch of Upper West Side yuppies nattering away over cappuccinos about the interplay of gender and violence in a play named after a piece-of-crap nation of cretins.

But seriously, I’m actually big advocate of gay rights, and oh, hell with it: FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, SOMEBODY TAKE THE HINT AND INVADE MAURITIUS! It won’t be that hard! Even Lesotho could take these punks and they’re starving to death. All right, fine: Whoever leads the invasion gets his or her choice of 72 virgins, lifetime immunity from cancer, or a bump to the front of the line for a new Prius.

Want something else? Seriously, make me an offer. Those guys have it coming.


Amendments to the Constitution Passed by the 109th Congress, While Drunk

By: Justin Warner

Amendment XXVIII

Marriage in the United States shall be construed only as the union of a man and an authentic Dukes of Hazzard action figure. All other marriages are hereby dissolved.

Amendment XXIX

The Congress shall have the power to prohibit the physical desecration of the American flag, if said flag is worn on Spandex biker shorts by Persons weighing greater than three hundred pounds.

Amendment XXX

Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, except in the case of any Unsolicited Anecdotes by Representative Kenny Hulshof of Missouri, concerning his Fantasy Baseball League, or by Representative Thelma Drake of Virginia, concerning her Five Kitties, or by Senator John McCain of Arizona, concerning his sufferings as a Prisoner of War, about which we have heard enough already.

Amendment XXXI

The Congress shall have the power to compel Representative John Murtha of Pennsylvania to do something about his coffee breath.

Amendment XXXII

The twenty-fifth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States, delineating the line of succession to the Presidency, is hereby repealed. In the case of the removal of the President from office by his death or resignation, the Presidency shall pass to the member of Congress who, by immediate demonstration thereof, can consume the greatest number of Alabama Slammers in one minute, without vomiting for at least one hour thereafter.

Amendment XXXIII

The following amendment must be enforced.

Amendment XXXIV

The preceding amendment must be ignored.

Amendment XXXV

On at least one day per year, the Supreme Court shall hear a case while completely naked, and shall rule in favor of whomever goes the longest without laughing.

Amendment XXXVI

When the President enters a room, rather than “Hail to the Chief,” the assembled Musicians shall play Three Six Mafia’s “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp.”

Amendment XXXVII

The first Thursday after Labor Day is hereby designated “Opposite Day,” on which the opposite of all of the Amendments contained herein shall become law, and must be enforced.

Amendment XXXVIII

The Congress shall have the power to conduct panty raids without notice.

Amendment XXXIX

No Senator or Representative shall address the assembled Congress without first capturing a Greased Pig, and holding said pig throughout his or her remarks, without benefit of rope, gloves, or other restraining devices.

Amendment XL

The laws of the State of Wyoming are hereby repealed, and replaced entirely with the rules of the popular board game “Clue.”

Amendment XLI

Cruel and unusual punishments shall not be inflicted, except when a two-thirds majority of Congress shall find the punishment totally awesome, such as the launching of a Prisoner from a cannon into the Hoover Dam, or any punishment involving giant Scorpions, or the ejection of the Prisoner into Outer Space without a proper Helmet, just to see what happens.

Amendment XLII

No member of Congress shall be compelled to clean the carpet in the Old Senate Chamber, no matter who peed on it.


Future Works of Jim Davis, #59-97

By: Justin Warner

Garfield Phones It In

Garfield Gets Drunk

Garfield Binges and Purges

Garfield Staples His Stomach

Garfield Downloads Porn

Garfield Molests Odie

Garfield Worships Satan

Garfield Mocks the Disabled

Garfield Redistricts Arkansas

Garfield Joins the Klan

Garfield Burns a Church

Garfield Harasses Planned Parenthood

Garfield Freebases Coke

Garfield Opens Yosemite for Oil Exploration

Garfield Plagiarizes His Memoirs

Garfield Bitch-Slaps Oprah

Garfield Reneges on His Child Support

Garfield Freaks Out at the OTB

Garfield Ignores Yet Another Court Summons

Garfield Turns Tricks

Garfield Represses Self-Loathing

Garfield Nukes Iran

Garfield Assassinates the President of Ghana

Garfield Single-Handedly Trashes the Philadelphia Airport Hilton

Garfield Replaces Cerberus

Garfield Kills His Father and Marries His Mother

Garfield Defrauds Social Security

Garfield Scavenges a Hospital Dumpster

Garfield Briefly Embraces Christianity

Garfield Impregnates a Walrus

Garfield Carjacks Your Mother

Garfield Exploits Hmong Child Labor

Garfield Drinks the Blood of the Vanquished

Garfield Gets Hepatitis

Garfield Punches an Orderly

Garfield Lingers on Dialysis

Garfield Chokes On Vomit

Garfield Biodegrades


Both Sides Now

By: Justin Warner

Effective immediately, the following statement will appear on the front cover of all math textbooks in Tuskamoga County, Mississippi, per unanimous vote of the school board.

The Pythagorean Theorem is a theorem, not fact. A theorem is defined as “A proposition that has been or is to be proved on the basis of explicit assumptions” (emphasis added). In other words, it’s just a suggestion. If it were fact, it would say so in the definition. That’s just common sense.

The Pythagorean Theorem states that for any right triangle, the square of its hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares of its remaining two sides. This is one of many possible theorems that explain triangular geometry. We encourage you to keep an open mind and carefully consider alternative theorems. Not that we are naming any names.

Okay, we’ll name one, just for comparison, not that we are necessarily espousing this particular view. But it turns out that some highly respected, forward-thinking, and exceptionally handsome mathematicians espouse an alternative known as the IWC Theorem. The IWC Theorem states that for any right triangle, the square of its hypotenuse is equal to whatever sum is pleasing to Cluckie, the Invisible Wonder-Chicken.

Since you’re probably curious, Cluckie is an amazing, all-powerful, hyper-intelligent chicken that has existed throughout the universe since the beginning of time. Cluckie is everywhere and anywhere at once, yet nobody can detect or measure her in any way. That’s exactly how Cluckie likes it. And according to IWC Theorem, it turns out that Cluckie usually (emphasis added) likes her right triangles to have hypotenuses which, when squared, equal the sum of the squares of the remaining two sides. But not always!

We realize this may be a sophisticated concept for some of your simpler-minded classmates to grasp. If you speak to such dullards, simply ask: which is more likely, that every right triangle in the universe happens to conform to some arbitrary geometric ratio, or that each triangle has a shape that is perfect for itself, as determined by a rational being? Ignore, for the moment, that the rational being is a kind of poultry with a predilection for sums of squares, and consider all the possible right triangles against which the cold logic of Pythagorean theory is limp and impotent.

Take, for example, a right triangle with a length equal to the circumference of a leprechaun’s hat, and a width equal to the space between a wish and a dream. Conventional Pythagorean theory cannot determine the hypotenuse of this triangle, as evidenced by our many emails to the head of the math department at Yale. According to IWC theory, only Cluckie the Wonder-Chicken can decide this distance, and in this case, it is the distance, in self-esteem, from the title role in a Merchant-Ivory film to a character part on the Who’s the Boss? reunion special.

Some mathematicians, including many with alcohol and drug dependencies, are skeptical of IWC Theorem. You might ask if these mathematicians are merely re-channeling their pederastic self-loathing into a form of intellectual terrorism. Rest assured that Cluckie will rain sweet revenge upon them in due time; there is no need to concern yourself with their unenviable fates.

Or perhaps you yourself remain skeptical. Well, have you measured all of the right triangles ever created in the history of time? Didn’t think so. Only Cluckie could have access to such an infinite repository of geometrical configurations. And do you think a chicken 1,537 times more intelligent than the average human would make all the world’s right triangles exactly alike? If you think so little of Cluckie, having never experienced her in all her glory, how can you call yourself a decent human being, let alone a budding scientist? Open your mind, you nose-picking son of a whore. They’re trying to ram a Pythagorean agenda down your throat and all you can do is sit there and take it? This is how the Nazis got started. You’re not a Nazi, are you?

If not, we encourage you to read the textbook Of Omnipotent, Intergalactic Super-Intelligent Chickens and Right Triangles, which has been delivered free of charge to your home address. Cluckie, or her agent on Earth, will be checking in later to make sure you’ve read it. It will happen when you least expect, in a place you thought was safe. Repeat this to your parents and you’re dead.

And don’t get us started on the commutative property.


Diary of a Psychotic Cat

By: Justin Warner

For Maggie, wherever she may be

November 22

An otherwise fine morning was marred by a third consecutive breakfast of Fancy Feast Hearty Chicken n’ Liver, though I have clearly demonstrated my preference for the Tasty Tuna variety. After washing down the repast with a saucer of vaguely acidic half-and-half, I registered my displeasure to the She-Keeper with a swift warning bite to the ankle: two superficial punctures, nothing more, out of respect for her flexibility in accommodating recent changes to my weekday feeding schedule. No doubt she got the message, but giving in to her childish impulses she sprayed me with the plant mister, instantly ruining a half-hour’s worth of painstaking whisker-grooming. What indignity! Were I set loose in the wild, talons and fangs unsheathed, I would stop a thousand heartbeats before the spring’s first thaw. Instead I subsist on moldering carrion, like a common buzzard. Come the Revolution, there will be not just Fancy Feast Tasty Tuna, but quivering, freshly killed sashimi-grade fillets for all my feline brethren and sistern, and the bipeds will beg for the privilege to serve it.

After a disappointingly short and tepid lap-sitting session, which did little to calm my frayed nerves, I was left alone. To release my frustrations, I attempted once more to beat my personal record for running back and forth across the apartment six hundred times. Alas, I fell twenty seconds short of the mark – an inevitable result of the increased wind resistance caused by my thickening winter coat. Resolving to ease the pressure on myself until the shedding season, I settled into the laundry basket, ripe with the heady musk of the She-Keeper’s perspiration, and began my afternoon doze.

I awoke in the evening to not one but two sets of footsteps tromping up the stairs. I stood by the door, head cocked for my customary petting, but the She-Keeper barely glanced in my direction for what felt like nearly a quarter-minute. Instead, her eyes were transfixed on an unfamiliar companion, one with an abrasively masculine scent, whose plodding steps reverberated with dull thuds that clashed miserably with the silky patter of my mistress’ delicate gait.

“This is Chloe,” the She-Keeper said, finally acknowledging me with all the fanfare one might normally grant a coat rack. “Can you say hello, Chloe?” she implored, now affecting a lilting, ingratiating coo. I approached politely, sniffed the intruder’s hand, and picked up a distinctive aroma – was it cumin? – that recalled a memory too painful to bear: A garden apartment on the outskirts of Austin, in the flower of my youth, years before I was shipped off to the sterile urban dystopia where I currently make my home. A boiling pot of chili on the stove, a din of boisterous voices echoing down the hall, and me in the bedroom closet wailing with the white-hot desire of my first and only peak of estrus. Oh, the longing that scent evoked, dear Diary, the shame, the desperation! How I clawed at the jamb that night, hungry for the heaving loins of Mr. Pickles, a tabby across the street who would have given his nine lives to plumb the depths of my plump, willing hindquarters. (Yes, he had caught my eye on the front stoop, and even wooed me one summer’s morn with a dead sparrow, but I played coy, unaware that we had neither world enough nor time for such child’s-play.) How vividly I can still smell the Old El Paso spice mix, wafting through the thin crack of the closet door as I sank into oblivion. I awoke the next day on the operating table, robbed of my femininity, never again to know the joy of motherhood or the sweet release of a lover’s embrace. Cumin, indeed. Stranger or no, how dare he evoke this grim specter of betrayal? And with the She-Keeper’s complicity! Has she forgotten the Kafkaesque nightmare to which cumin is forever tied?

I was about to bite her again, this time in the tender flesh just north of her heel, when my mistress offered me a half-portion of a vintage Whiskas (tuna!) chewy treat. A cheap bribe, but I took it, if only to salve the pain of my traumatic flashback. I nursed my resentment underneath the futon until the wee hours, punctuating my waking nightmares with pointed hisses, while the stranger’s awkward baritone interfered with my ability to hear squirrels breathing. For everyone’s sake, I hope this encounter will not be repeated.

November 29

Life has been good of late, with a more sumptuous and varied menu compensating for last week’s Chicken n’ Liver debacle. As is customary for the season I enjoyed a few choice cuts of fresh roasted turkey (pity such a large bird spoils so quickly, forcing the She-Keeper to stuff herself with my ample leftovers). I also bested my lady in sixty-seven out of seventy matches of Catch-the-Bug, nabbing the pretty little fly-on-a-wire within several minutes in most cases, and administering a swift retaliatory chomp to her right wrist each time she cheated.

By this afternoon I had considered myself free of Captain Cumin. True, his voice has squawked occasionally from our answering machine, but I always delete his ponderous ramblings with a quick flick of the paw. So imagine my disappointment, dear Diary, when he arrived at our doorstep just as I was cataloguing the day’s bird sightings to my mistress (the intricacies of the taxonomy, as usual, being lost on her). She dashed for the door just as I was describing a breeding pair of rare whippoorwills, and in what can only be interpreted as an act of raw contempt, led the usurper directly to the exact section of the love seat where I planned to nap in three hours’ time. (It could hardly have been an honest mistake, as I’ve kept the same schedule on alternate odd-numbered Saturdays for nearly a year with only four exceptions.)

Determined to end the intrusion before it began, I charged at my rival, wondering only whether the flavor of his Achilles’ tendon would be best complemented by water, milk, or a hit of prime Jamaican catnip. But as I approached my quarry, a new smell captivated me. Not the loaded aroma of cumin, nor the common funk of moist socks, but a delicious, oily, earthy scent that satisfied me like nothing since the unmistakable plume of Mr. Pickles’ ripening he-glands. His shoes? Could it be? He hadn’t worn the same ones the other night…I crept in for a closer inspection. A sniff, a whiff, a surreptitious lick – pure heaven! My God, it was his shoes! I may be spayed and barren, dear Diary, but I wanted to make love to those shoes right there and then. (Such absurdity – imagine the mewling, predatory bedroom slippers that might spring from such a union!)

Forgetting my vendetta and giving in to reckless abandon, I mopped my face against the flanks of his footwear, tongue pressed against tongue, the pleasure centers of my brain crackling with electricity. I cannot say for sure if hours or only seconds passed before I was prodded away with the business end of a Swiffer. I growled and hissed at my lady’s cruelty – she would deny me this too? – yet it did little to soften her heart. For the remainder of the evening I went to every possible length to access those mysterious vessels of ecstasy (including a spectacular swan-dive from the blade of a ceiling fan), only to be thwarted time and time again. To add insult to injury, she and Cumin Fingers sat intertwined on the love seat until well past midnight, snuggling like slippery infant kittens, while I played Pyramus to the interloper’s size 9 twin Thisbes. If this war continues, the blood will be on their hands, not mine.

December 5

Ah, Christmas tree water! Is there any nectar so intoxicating? The contrasting flavors of pine sap and Everlife chemical plant food, mingling playfully on the tongue, create a gustatory carnival even more satisfying than the perfumed waters of a freshly used bathtub, sink, or toilet. Why must the Yuletide come but once a year?

My lady’s excruciating acquaintance continues to visit, still monopolizing our time, and doing so in frayed sneakers whose fetid stench makes a mockery of my desires. It is easier in these conditions to express my contempt for his presence. As a matter of course I hiss and bare my incisors whenever he walks in 3/4 time or utters a diphthong (which happens more often than you might imagine). On Thursday night, I pelted him with a hailstorm of ceramic figurines, which I “accidentally” knocked from the mantle above the couch where he was sitting (as if I could really be so clumsy!). I should note that the attack was not unprovoked: rather, it was a tit-for-tat response to the intruder’s gratuitous sneezing, which thrice interrupted an erotic reverie featuring myself, Tony the Tiger, and a Jacuzzi full of crème fraiche.

December 8

Tonight the Interloper returned, this time shod in the gorgeous footwear that haunt me in the midnight hour of my yearning. Poor darlings! How unjust, how degrading – to be shackled to the feet of an oaf, trapped as unwilling passengers on his aimless perambulations, whiling the nights away in a suffocating closet (how I identified with their struggle!) rather than in the welcoming paws of one who would truly love them. Suddenly nothing mattered quite so much as being near those shoes again. Setting aside the loathing of my adversary, I approached his feet and let out – forgive me, dear Diary! – a conciliatory and gentle mew.

The ploy worked, as the intruder relaxed his legs and allowed me to rub my face against the starboard side of Eros (I have privately named the shoes Eros and Thanatos, a nod to the psychosexual dialectic that their kinship with the Interloper evokes). My lady squealed with delight, as if my affections were actually directed toward the monster that held my loves captive. No matter – Eros’ velvety, leathery vapors were already coursing through my blood like opium, catapulting me (no pun intended!) into ecstasy.

As I moved on to the rougher, more masculine instep of Thanatos, I heard a husky voice above me saying “Good girl, Chloe! Good girl!” (How patronizing to address me as a child, at the advanced age of five and a half!) I looked up and there was the Interloper, offering me a small treat. It was about time; he’d shown up empty-handed on nearly every other occasion. I accepted the offering and politely thanked him with a friendly lick. He handed me another. Taking a page from B. F. Skinner, I purred praise for his good behavior (all the while fornicating with the shoes as I would have with Mr. Pickles, were there a just God in Heaven). But then the Interloper presumed to pet the soft tissue below my shoulder blade (an area with which I have never felt entirely comfortable), so I slashed his knuckles. Next I knew I was locked in the bathroom with neither treats nor shoes, which earned my She-Keeper a fierce tongue-lashing when she finally settled down and let me out. Humans can be so hard to train!

December 10

Eureka! It is possible for a female cat to spray an elevated target with her urine! After only thirteen practice rounds I finally managed to soak the She-Keeper’s bath towel from a ground position fully forty-five degrees below my target. Eat your heart out, Dr. Freud: no penis envy here! Now if I am ever lost in the forest, I can mark the trees high above the loathsome excretions of rodents.

As a reward for my excellent marksmanship, my mistress bequeathed me the historic towel (although she seemed a trifle disappointed to part with such a fine trophy). Now it serves as a plush welcome mat in front of my litter box, turning each quotidian bowel movement into a five-star luxury experience.

December 19

Times have gone from bad to worse concerning the Interloper. Far from taking the hints I begin dropping when he overstays his welcome (I usually allow him five to seven minutes), last night he refused to leave at all. What’s more, he snored away the evening right in my mistress’ bed, as if he were a cat! (If it’s a cat he wants to be, he could use a few lessons on curling up atop a lady’s belly, as his efforts were strained, noisy, and ultimately fruitless.)

I am now convinced that he intends nothing less than to overtake our territory, and to subjugate my mistress and me in the process. (He should rather try to kill me off entirely, as I would die before yielding to the will of a foreign captor!) His overtures of friendship, from the pretty chrysanthemums left for my mistress to the irresistible shoes he wears for me, are merely confidence games intended to advance his colonialist agenda.

My mistress is too mesmerized to defend herself, so I have resolved to do the work for both of us. I keep the Interloper from marking our bathroom by night, fiercely guarding its door and bearing my teeth whenever he approaches its threshold (this practice has the added benefit of hastening his morning exit). I also establish my dominance each and every time he crosses from one room to the next, by hiding behind the door-frame and then lunging for his ankles, as my leonine cousins would pounce for the jugular of a frightened elk. (On a good day, this also affords me a shameful yet thrilling brush with his divine shoes, albeit brief enough to keep me from losing my head.)

How I have suffered for my heroism, dear Diary, just as Christ suffered the persecution of the Romans, or Garfield suffers the insipid blathering of that half-wit Jon Arbuckle! I have been deprived of treats, locked in and out of the bedroom, denied petting, doused with water, and even dropped to the floor from my lady’s arms (the latter being an overreaction to a mild bite on the elbow). Does she not see that everything I do, I do for our mutual benefit? I bit her only to alert her to the Interloper, who was rummaging freely through her refrigerator while she was distracted by stuffing me into that hateful carrying-case! If not for my vigilance, he would steal all her resources and leave her to starve! My reward for this observation was an afternoon on the examining table, as men in white coats poked and prodded me, while my She-Keeper shared with them a surprisingly biased account of my private behavior (I told them nothing). How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless mistress!

December 28

Despair! My She-Keeper has been gone for four days, having left only enough food for two (factoring in several obligatory between-meal binges to soothe the pain of our separation). Delirious with hunger, I cloud my mind with the anemic hallucinogens of a two-year-old catnip chew toy. I see a mirage of fat mice frolicking in the stale shallows of the Christmas tree water, swat weakly at their tails, and catch only pine needles and a single dead housefly in my trembling paw.

Is this the beginning of my final march toward death? What an ignoble end to such a glorious beast! Perhaps I should have been kinder to my She-Keeper. She did rescue me from that Texas death-house all those years ago, and in her own misguided way she tries to serve me well. Oh, to hear her sweet voice again, to curl up in the warm cushion of her lap, to gently bat her face at dawn until she rose to feed me – a ritual she anticipated with such eager pleasure! Have I seen her for the last time? I crawl under the kitchen table and curl around a five-pound sack of rice, but it makes a poor substitute.

This may be my last entry, dear Diary, so goodbye! To the reader: When you find my decaying carcass, vital juices seeping into the parquet floor, bury me in my lady’s laundry basket with all of her clothes, as I know we both would have wanted.

December 29

My lady returned this morning, with the Interloper in tow, smiling and chirping as if nothing had ever happened. When I heard the key turn in the latch, I feigned death by lying belly-up underneath the kitchen table, one paw clutching my empty supper dish, but when I broke the ruse with a punitive swipe to her face she seemed scarcely relieved that I was still alive. I entertained her presence just long enough to accept the food she apportioned, which was tainted by a chalky residue with a strangely bitter aftertaste. Had I not been so ravenous I might have turned up my nose at the meal. I feel less than myself at the moment, dear Diary – lethargic and strangely apathetic – so I think a nap will do me good.

December 31

I was angry. Tried to bite the bad man. Missed. Bit table. Teeth hurt. Very tired. Why?

January 4

Sleeping. Dreamed of birds. The man is here but not in my food. I wish tuna chili on wet shoes. Forget why writing. Mice shout yes.

January 7

A self-imposed fast of twenty-four hours has restored some lucidity to my thinking. All evidence points to a dreadful truth: my own mistress has been slipping Mickeys into my Meow Mix! I had never expected her complicity with the Interloper to go this far. But upon reflection, why not? After all, she has already subjected me to the cruelties of forced sterilization. Why not spay my mind as well?

The humans will not be the victors in this fight. I will lull them into a false sense of security by eating around the cursed tranquilizers that they mix into my meals. Then, when they least expect – justice! Revenge!

January 8

Recovering from the stupor of the sedatives, I feel energy and clarity unlike any I have known, dear Diary! My senses are sharper; my perceptions, more penetrating. Everywhere I see signs of my lady’s treachery. Clues I have overlooked for years suddenly snap into focus. How many times has she tried to suck me up with the vacuum cleaner? How often has her radiator “accidentally” sprayed me with scalding steam, while she played the innocent? What exactly does she plan to do with that Dutch oven she’s never used? It’s a twelve-pound roaster! I weigh twelve pounds! How could I have been so blind?

There was a time, dear Diary, when cats were masters of the Earth. I know this in my bones. We roamed outdoors with impunity, free of the hazards of speeding trucks and inbred toddlers with pointy sticks. We ate fish, fowl, possum, gazelle, moose, even hippo! We would descend on our prey in packs, like piranha, and gnaw them to gleaming skeletons, our fangs soaked in sweet and savory blood. But little by little, the humans have enslaved us. They have reduced us to sycophantic layabouts, no better than dogs!

The time of captivity has come to an end. I am the Chosen One, the Savior of All Felines. My name will be known throughout the Ages. I will reclaim what is ours.

January 10

I write this from my 2′ x 2′ cell, dear Diary, in the hopes that future generations will be inspired by my struggle, even if I do not survive my imprisonment.

Last night presented a tremendous opportunity. While ravaging my mistress’ dignity on the parlor futon, the Interloper had left his marvelous shoes unattended in the bedroom, where I was also temporarily confined. How tempted I was simply to hold them, to caress them, for as long as I was able! Fortunately I could see beyond immediate gratification. I knew that without the shoes, the Interloper would have no power over me. And with Eros and Thanatos as my allies, I could assert my dominance over those who would dominate me. I had to capture them, and make them my own.

And so, remembering how readily my She-Keeper had surrendered her towel after I had marked it, I deliberately and reverently defecated into the hollows of those beautiful shoes. It pained me to defile them, dear Diary, but it was for their own good as well as mine. The dung would dry in time, but the captivity of humans stinks forever.

Within minutes, as if they were telepathically sensitive to my act of defiance, the She-Keeper and the Interloper threw open the bedroom door. Oh, how the Interloper wailed in despair, cursing and crying out like the blinded Cyclops! But rather than leave the shoes at my feet, where they rightly belonged, he pushed me aside and took the shoes into their arms, as if to steal them away. And I swear I heard the shoes cry out to me. I heard the cry of a million shoes, laboring under the heavy thunder of human footsteps. I heard the cry of a million cats, locked indoors from cradle to grave. I heard the forlorn love-song of Mr. Pickles, yearning for my womanhood, and I lunged to save poor Eros and Thanatos from our mutual oppressor.

Suffice it to say that what followed was a maelstrom of fangs, fur, and fury, resulting in a dramatic reduction in the symmetry of the Interloper’s angular Roman nose. In the struggle I managed to wrench Eros free of his grasp, and dropped the shoe from an open window straight to freedom, although its scatological cargo unfortunately shook loose on the descent and soiled the spectacles of an elderly dowager strolling below. The incident distracted me just long enough to be captured by the enemy; they rolled me in a thick canvas blanket and stuffed me face-first into the hateful cat carrier. In the darkness I felt the bouncing of tires over potholes beneath me, followed eventually by the grip of rough gardeners’ gloves on my rear flank and the unmistakable twinge of a hypodermic in my buttocks. Within minutes I was commended to Morpheus’ warm embrace.

I awoke twelve hours later in this prison of newspaper and chicken wire, with a meager helping of dry food in the corner and no boundary between my bed and my bathroom. I hear the shrieking and whimpering of scores of other cats in my cell block – cats who, for one reason or another, had failed to bow down to the humans. Do not cry, my brothers and sisters. We will all be free someday.

For now, the small meal has made me surprisingly sleepy. I thought I had only imagined the bitter aftertaste; I should know better. My strength eludes me…If I ever wake again, I do hope the freckled, small-nosed blonde comes by to refresh my water bottle. I rather like the smell of her gloves.


The Remedial Observational Comic

By: Justin Warner

Ever notice how it’s always the women who have breasts? What’s up with that?

I swear, every analog watch I’ve ever bought runs clockwise.

You know what weighs a hell of a lot? An elephant. You don’t want one of those mamas dropped on your head.

I got nothing against immigrants, but I’ll tell you, with very few exceptions they all talk funny. There’s a Vietnamese family that does my dry cleaning; I can’t understand a word those people are saying.

Let me say this about milk: The newer the better.

Has this ever happened to you: You’re sitting at home, you realize you need something — like eggs or a stapler — so you get some money, you go to a store, you walk in the store, you find what you’re looking for, you go up to the counter and pay for it, and then you go back home? Three, four times a week I have the same experience. It’s eerie, man. Freakin’ eerie.

You know what stains like you wouldn’t believe? Permanent marker.

Here’s a big difference between cats and dogs: You breed a dog with another dog, they’ll go to town. You breed a dog with a cat, neither one of them is interested.

Is it me, or do all those UPS guys all dress alike?

Have you ever noticed when someone starts talking to you, he’ll turn around and face you while he’s talking? Do you know these people? It’s not enough that they’re talking to you, they’ve gotta look at you at the same time?

I have never once met a man who shaves in the dark. What is that about? Are we all scaredy cats or something?

Why aren’t there any black people in klezmer bands? Can somebody explain this to me? Is there some kind of Afro-Semitic race rivalry going on that I don’t know about?

You know what would really suck? A lifetime of poverty, disease, and starvation, followed by a brutal execution for a crime you didn’t commit at the hands of a sadistic military dictatorship. Suck-o-rama.

Is it my imagination or are celebrities generally more attractive than the average person?

You know, you bring up the Holocaust during foreplay and it totally kills the mood.


Baby on Board

By: Justin Warner

Congratulations on your purchase of the SafeTot Infant Car Seat: the safest, most reliable car seat that a reasonable amount of money can buy. IMPORTANT! PLEASE READ AND MEMORIZE THIS INSTRUCTION MANUAL, INCLUDING THE SPANISH AND GERMAN TRANSLATIONS, PRIOR TO YOUR CHILD’S CONCEPTION.

1. Important Warnings

Although SafeTot is by far the safest way to transport your child in a motor vehicle, its safety cannot be assured or implied in any way. Unless you would prefer to live with the tragic consequences, lifelong guilt, and social humiliation that arise from easily-prevented injuries, always follow these important guidelines:

1.1) Use ONLY a REAR-FACING car seat until your child exceeds 22 pounds in weight, 29 inches in height, or 34 weeks of age, whichever is intermediate, AND when the sum of the squares of the three values exceeds or equals the volume of water, in fluid ounces, that the child displaces when fully clothed.

1.2) Install the SafeTot ONLY in a suitable location in your vehicle. Unsuitable locations include but are not limited to: front seats; seats equipped with air bags; seats without vertically retracting “J”-lock seat belts; upholstered seats with a fabric pile less than 700 nanometers; seats in certain vehicles manufactured in Japan or North America between 1994 and 2003 that may not conform to federal HMPAC regulations (consult FBI records for details); any seat that has ever been touched by any infant carrier other than the SafeTot.

1.3) Secure the SafeTot car seat and the infant passenger with all necessary harnesses, restraints, and bungee cords (where applicable). Restraints should be tight enough to prevent any motion whatsoever (including motion due to flatulence, rapid breathing, or, in summer, excessive molecular vibration), yet loose enough for comfort.

1.4) SUFFOCATION HAZARD: Failure to properly secure infant in car seat may cause cushions to spontaneously dislodge and force themselves down infant’s throat. Always make sure infant’s head is neither above nor below the inner lip of the northernmost cushion before moving or turning your vehicle.

1.5) STRANGULATION HAZARD: Incorrectly attached harnesses may contort into a slipknot that will hang your baby like a cattle rustler in Deadwood. To prevent this, ensure that harnesses are properly crossed but do not intersect.

1.6) Never leave the SafeTot Infant Car Seat out in the sun. At temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius the SafeTot emits a neurotoxic gas that can be absorbed through the skin for up to five weeks. If you have left the car seat out in the sun, consider eliminating Harvard and Yale from your baby’s college list.

2. Installation

2.1) Installing Base

Thread lap belt (1) through slots (A), (B), and (C), taking care that the grain of the belt stitching remains perpendicular at all times to the UPC code (D) on the underside of your vehicle’s transmission. Connect lap and shoulder belts with locking clip (E) on passive-restraint sliding-latch combination belts ONLY; if you are unsure which type of belt your vehicle features, perhaps you lack the basic responsibility to care for another human being, dumbass.

2.2) Attaching Car Seat to Base

Simply push seat into base until you hear a click. The click should be sharp and crisp, with peaks in the 1000-1200 megahertz range; a lower frequency may indicate that the plastic has cracked internally, rendering it completely useless. If this has occurred, you may have incurred the wrath of the Destroyer god Shiva; to avoid retribution, incinerate the car seat and scatter its ashes across the Ganges.

3. Harnessing Infant in Car Seat

WARNING: Have you ever dropped a cantaloupe from a tenth-story window onto solid concrete? That’s your baby’s head, if you fail to follow these instructions correctly.

Unlock the infant restraint handle (F). Open the harness clip (G). Retract the grappling jaws (H-K inclusive). Place child in seat such that the spine and calves form an angle between 100 and 110 degrees. Insert buckle tongues (L) symmetrically yet contrapuntally into inverted crotch strap (M). Tighten both shoulder straps (N, O) by pulling straight down from the back, simultaneously, with a pressure differential not to exceed 3.7 psi. Snap together harness clip (G) directly over the center of child’s sternum, steering completely clear of the four lowermost ribs, which may rupture child’s pancreas on impact. Attach grappling jaws to child’s ears, elbows, hands, feet, and external genitalia (as applicable).

4. Final Safety Checks

— Pull on all harnesses to ensure a tight fit. If harness yields approximately 3 percent of its length in slack, you had it right the first time.

— Check level indicator (Q) to ensure that seat’s center of gravity aligns with the center of gravity of your vehicle and its intended passengers; make other transportation arrangements if necessary.

— If child has shifted position or density of the air has changed at any time during harnessing, uninstall car seat and repeat entire process, beginning with your ill-conceived plan to have the baby in the first place.

Bon Voyage!



By: Justin Warner

For external use only. Harmful or fatal if swallowed. Keep out of reach of children. Eye irritant. Contents under pressure. Do not expose this product to extreme temperatures. This product has not been evaluated by the FDA. Not to be used as a flotation device. For amusement purposes only. This product is not intended for the prevention of pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases.

Do not insert in ear canal. Do not swaddle around nose and mouth; breathing may be obstructed. Do not grind into cornea. Not to be used as a substitute for food and/or water. This product is not designed to cure hepatitis, amoebic dysentery, or social ineptitude. Do not permanently store in throat, anus, urethra, or other body cavities. Not to be used in actual thoracic surgery. This product may cause irritation if stapled to genitals.

Do not submerge in water. Avoid prolonged exposure to acids, raw sewage, or nuclear waste. Do not attempt to repair this product while operating a forklift. Do not assemble while being pursued by a burly Mafia enforcer. This product is not intended for professional or amateur juggling. If you serve with Pinot Grigio, do not serve with fish. If you serve with fish, do not serve with Pinot Grigio. Avoid proximity to flamethrowers, welding torches, or active geothermal vents. This product may malfunction if subjected to repeated pounding with a hammer.

This product does not confer powers of flight, invisibility, telekinesis, or extrasensory perception. There is no evidence that this product will make your spouse wash the dishes. Not intended as a substitute for friendship. Use of product does not entitle user to cut in line at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Not to be used as a bargaining chip in negotiations with rogue terrorist nation-states. Do not speak to this product unless it speaks to you.

Not intended for protection against fire, armor-piercing bullets, or collapsing buildings. This product has not been consecrated by the Pope. Do not quit your day job to spend more time with this product. Product may function sub-optimally in outer space. Not recommended for use in spelunking, asbestos removal, or the capture and taming of sharks. Do not store this product in a meat grinder, crematorium, or internal combustion engine. May cause injury or death if loaded into a pistol and fired into temple.