* Welcome to The Big Jewel, which is like a finger painting about the art of laughter. This week we welcome our dear friend Phil Austin (yes, that Phil Austin, of the Firesign Theatre), who has an artsy piece all his own. The word picture he paints is not pretty, but then comedy never is.

Art Of The Insane

By: Phil Austin

Well, here you go and there you go. You’re back and I’m still here, week after blessed week. I’m Billy Flamnigan and I’m on TV and today if you’ll stick with me, we’ll find out how to achieve the kind of art on canvas that the truly insane seem to be able to paint with little or no effort or thought.

Haven’t you admired those loony-eyes-on-tramps or Jesus-riding-on-a-locomotive paintings that you used to be able to pick up for pennies but that now you can find selling for astronomically inflated prices in actual galleries in the big cities? Well, none of it is as hard as it seems. I’d like you to go along with me today and try this. Don’t be afraid. It’s just not as hard as it looks to achieve truly insane effects without going through the rigorous training that highly paid insane artists evidently have to pretend to suffer through.

I’m going to show you how to do it standing on your head, although don’t try that. It would be insane.

First, let’s take out a fresh canvas. One of my favorite techniques is to pee all over a new surface before painting on it. It yellows the background and gives the work a smell that will put you in the mood to create some Outsider Art. In fact, you’ll want to step outside every once in a while and perhaps open some windows in your studio. I’m just using my hair dryer on it here…There you go — the odor will put you smack dab in the attic or dungeon or wherever you like to imagine the mad artist painting and scraping and peeing. There, that’s just right.

Now, let’s take some paint…How about this color here? It doesn’t matter what actual color it is, they’re pretty much all the same. Let’s make a clown, everyone knows how to do that, and…let’s have him crying. We’ll use some other color for his tears — this one will probably do. You’ll notice I’m using a brush with a number on it. It really doesn’t matter what number it is, just as long as there is something written on the brush which will give you the authority to just paint away.

Now, I’ve pretty much made a reputation for not painting clowns, as I see those works coming from aging actresses or lounge singers who need desperately to get on midday TV shows, but we’re breaking all the rules today, because the Art of the Insane has its own set of rules. And one of those rules is that your painting should not be just cute or affecting. There’s nothing necessarily insane about a crying clown…unless he’s got a knife.

And speaking of getting on TV, well, take it from someone who already is on TV, it’s a tricky deal to be both insane and famous. Surely you’ve heard of Andy Warhol? That guy is more popular now that he’s dead than he was when he was alive, and people were hoping he would be dead so the prices of his work would be driven up and up. While Andy Warhol was not actually insane, he was so famous that people thought he was, and yet he could never realize the big profits he might have made had he painted Jesus on locomotives or clowns with knives. He wasted his time on detergent boxes and pictures of actors, things a truly insane artist would not look at twice.

Now, where were we? Ah, yes. Let’s have Clowny grasping a knife, kind of waving it around. There you go. And let’s just put a locomotive under him. Locomotives are dark and to achieve the effect, just mix a bunch of different paints together and, easy as pie, darkness is yours. Let’s put a pie in his other hand. You don’t want to put a Jesus and a clown in the same painting, because then you’re minimizing your potential profits. Spread your art out, don’t pile too much art in any one place.

Just wet the brush like this and roll it…There you go. I think they call this color orange, or something like that. Wipe off the brush on your pants, if you’re wearing pants, and if not, just wipe the brush between your legs, because we’re sure to find a clever use for it later on.

Now for some sky. I like sky because it signifies that we’re outdoors, but to the insane artist it has some deeper meaning that we can never know. Put it on with your trowel…Just kind of slap it back and forth. Let’s use some of these tubes of paint that haven’t been used yet. Let’s put a hat on the scarecrow…some death’s heads and a gardenia. I think that’s a gardenia, but who cares really. By the way, I don’t recommend peeing on the painting again at this point. Enough is enough.

And now, before you know it and coincidental with the end of this program, you’ve got something that will look real nice stacked up with a bunch of pictures of seagulls and sailboats at a yard sale, but will do even better at a fancy New York gallery filled with rich people who are convinced they are not insane and can therefore appreciate insanity from a respectable distance. And it will increase in value the more famous you get. So start dying your hair and getting shot by one of your girlfriends, or better yet, paint on one of your girlfriends in a bathtub as she shoots you and then duplicate everything hundreds of times and before long you’ll be the toast of Toast Island and just as unhappy as you can be, the subject of so much stultifying commentary that children of the future are preparing even now to be bored by you and your wacky antics.

I’ll see you next week, when we’ll discuss the kind of collectible Folk Art made of bottles and slag that you can turn into a drive-in chapel or grotto and sell postcards from and live like a prince in a small Airstream trailer on the grounds. This is Billy Flamnigan, for Art of the Insane.


*Welcome to The Big Jewel, where your anonymity is guaranteed. Unless you apply for a job with a certain group that shall remain nameless.

Application For Hacker Group Anonymous

By: David Beitzel

Step 1: General Info

Name: (Trick question)

Address: (Again, trick question)

Social Security #: (Seriously, we want that one)

E-mail: (jk; we got it when you e-mailed this)

Online handles: (Xbox LIVE gamertags are acceptable; AIM screen names are not)

Previous experience: (Please exclude successful rickrolls)

Education: (Note: online universities are not the “iVies”)


___ Asian

___ Other


Step 2: Questionnaire*

*In answers, omit as few vowels as possible and refrain from substituting numbers for letters. Only n00bs do tht. XP

Have you ever been convicted of a felony? (If less than 17 times, please explain)

Can you keep a secret? (If “No,” skip to Step 3)

# of times friends have referenced Hackers movie after finding out what you do: (If more than 0, please explain)

If you could hack into any desert island, what would it be?

Name three pieces of hacker pop-culture that do not contain Keanu Reeves.

How much does your grandmother brag about your “computer job?”

Have you seen The IT Crowd?

What are the three worst things about Internet Explorer? (Everyone seems to hate it, so we just play along and use Google Chrome, but we really don’t know why.)

Speaking of, can you help me Google directions to the nearest The Wall? I have a lifetime guarantee on some CDs I need to exchange.

Do you remember Bing?

Man, you’ve got to see The IT Crowd. Are they bringing that to America?

You work on computers, right? Could you take a look at my PC? I feel like it’s been really slow lately.

How many dozens of anti-virus programs is too many?

We need to know how much you know about how the Internet works. So hypothetically, say someone looked at YouPorn and then cleared his browser history. His wife wouldn’t be able to find it, would she? I mean, I’m cool, right?

Sooooo, would you happen to know where one could see those Scarlett Johansson pics?

Also there’s a gentlewoman whose name the fellas have been bandying about, a Kate Upton, I do believe. She seems like a real class act. Is there somewhere on this “Internet” where one might read more about her background, perchance?

And you said that that person from the previous question is cool, right? Like, even if they’re viewing some slightly “advanced” material?

Why do I keep getting all these e-mails for Viagra and something called Rod Rocket™?

Wait, are you going through my browser history right now? But I cleared that — I thought I was cool!

What do you mean that act is illegal in 47 states!?

Oh my God, you won’t tell my wife about this, will you? It’ll destroy my family. I can’t go to jail.

Okay, get it together, man. We can figure this out.

Seriously, you can keep a secret, can’t you? Don’t narc me out, bro. I know where you live. Wait, no I don’t! GO BACK AND FILL OUT YOUR ADDRESS SO I KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE!!!


Step 3: Please submit completed application to director@fbi.gov.


* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where we are always ready to fight for truth, justice and the American way. Just don't make us fight in a hole. Especially the hole where Matt Rowan is hiding.

Fight In A Hole

By: Matt Rowan

Hey you — you wanna talk all big, guy? I’m right here. Right down here in this hole.

See me now? Down here? Over here? No, down over here.

Yeah, that’s it.

So like I say, come on down. Fight me. Any time, anywhere in this hole.

Do you see me down here? No, not do you see “the hole.” We already went over that. Of course you can see the hole. Can you see me inside of the hole? Ha! Not really, probably? It’s probably not very easy, guy! I’m really concealed down here, in this hole.

What if, inside this hole, I am a little to your left? Or I’m a little to your right? With a radius of roughly two and a half feet, these things matter. Come down here and find out exactly how much. I’m prepared to be kicked in the face as you climb in. Are you prepared for me to gnaw on your boot with my pretty strong teeth and mandible?

Because you’d better be.

C’mon! Come down here and fight like a man in a hole. Oh what? You’re too “honorable” to fight in a hole like a man who’s so much of a “coward” he has to fight in a hole, using the weapons he keeps in his hole for protection against capable fighters?

You’re not better than me, man; you don’t have your own hole to fight in. My hole heightens my own natural fighting abilities to such an extent that I would literally put myself at a disadvantage were I to fight outside of my hole. For example, there are things I can’t do outside of my hole that, for one reason or another, are entirely within my means down here: biting, clawing at and gouging eyes, tearing scrotums, and spitting in faces, all while screaming. You don’t know what fighting method I will choose! You cannot make me feel shame for my ways as has happened so many times in the light of day, outside the advantage of my hole!

The anonymity you learn in a hole is what makes fighting me in this hole so dangerous. As I’ve said, am I to your left or to your right? Am I extremely tall or portly and dumpy-looking? You can’t know for certain.

Of course this isn’t exactly a hole. I’ve actually burrowed into the side of a hill. It’s really a kind of half hole / half dirt cave sort of thing. I get a lot of dirt in my mouth. But as far as fighting goes, I’m tough to beat. Now, sure, I have been beaten. I don’t pretend to be invincible in my hole, just very threatening and dirty. And I’m close to invincible.

I lose maybe half the time, tops.

Besides, most often I’m fighting my greatest enemy, which is the hole itself. It collapses a lot because I initially neglected to determine the integrity of the soil I’ve dug myself into. I’ve since added load-bearing buttresses that work very well except on those occasions when I knock them out of position and have to dig myself out of my greatest enemy, the enemy within, that I’m within. The hole itself, remember?

Yes, the hole continues to cave in, often smothering me while I sleep. But I’m a feisty digger, which is one among other things that makes me too threatening for non-hole-dwelling society. It’s a large part of why I’ve come to reside here, down here, in here.

So go ahead and try it, buddy. Start something you can’t finish. One man, one hole, one boy not prepared to deal with one man in one hole, that’s what you’ll get in here. And yes, I referred to you as a boy. You can only do something about it down here, so c’mon.

Oh, what’s that you’ve got there? Cute. A “weapon?” I’ve got way better weapons than that down here, than that flimsy old stick. Oh and what are you doing now? You’re sharpening an end of it? What, you think that stick’s even going to fit down here? This hole is maybe, tops, six feet deep. It won’t do you any good down here, but hop down and see. Give it a try. I think you’ll find I’ve learned a thing or two since the last time I was bested by a man wielding a much too long tree branch.

Wait, no, quit stabbing at me from a safe distance outside of the hole. No, come in here and try stabbing! Come fight in the hole! Stop stabbing to the left. I’m to the right. I swear. I wouldn’t lie to you. Don’t be misled by that flesh-puncturing sound!

Ahhhhhhhhhh, my super strong mandible!


* Welcome to The Big Jewel, home of the classic hits, as well as the best of the eighties, nineties and today! And then there's Rick Springfield. His story is so dark and twisted that it takes a dark and twisted guy like Dan Rozier to tell it.

This Diary Is Property Of: JeSsIe’s GuRL!

By: Dan Rozier


Dear Diary,

It happened!! Jessie and I are officially going steady. He asked me at Dairy Queen on Friday — talk about summer loving! His best friend Rick Springfield met us there and bought us celebratory Dilly Bars — he even knew to get me strawberry! It’s just like they say: the best is yet to come!


Dear Diary,

Jessie, Rick and I went to the movies. He goes on most of our dates. We’re like the three musketeers except Rick is the only one with a mustache.


Dear Diary,

Jessie and I had our first real kiss on Saturday at Luke Wimmer’s party! It came out of nowhere! Spontaneous and romantic = total package. Rick was drunk and cornered me. He said something about teaching himself guitar and then stumbled away. Today he told everyone that he hooked up with Tracey Meyer in the bed of his truck, but there’s a rumor it was a bag of yard waste. Tracey didn’t come to school today.


Dear Diary,

Rick keeps winking at me. When I told Jessie about it he just laughed and said not to worry, Rick has a nervous tick, especially around pretty girls.


Dear Diary,

Today has been one of those days that makes me really want to graduate so I can do my own thing. Jessie says he wants to go to college, but I’m still on the fence about it. Rick must want to go to architecture school because he has tons of blueprints in his locker.


Dear Diary,

Today we went to the park and Jessie told me he loved me. I can’t even describe how happy I am right now. My hands are shaking so much I can barely write! I know I’m only a senior, but I think he’s the one. I love Jessie so much. Rick was there, too. He doesn’t know we saw him and what he was doing, but we did.


Dear Diary,

We’re engaged! Jessie got down on one knee and everything. I’m going to have to get used to being called a “fiancée” — so fancy! We decided we want a summer wedding and I already asked Liz to be my maid of honor. Rick is Jessie’s best man and he was so excited that he immediately started crying uncontrollably!


Dear Diary,

Sorry it’s been so long! I’ve been so busy GETTING MARRIED! The wedding was beautiful! I can’t believe it’s already over. Jessie even cried a little — he’s such a softy! Rick gave a toast and said something about my eyes and loving Jessie with my body. He needs to find a nice girl, settle down and stop smelling my hair.


Dear Diary,

Married life is great. Jessie and I are saving for a house so I’m still living with my parents for now. They’re in Florida for the summer but Jessie’s always over. Last night we had a quiet dinner at home, but Rick’s food got cold because he spent the entire night measuring the doorframes and whispering “perfect” to himself.


Dear Diary,

I think I’m in the trunk of a car.


Dear Diary,

Still in the basement. I don’t know how I got down here, but I do know Tracey Meyer won’t stop talking and she smells like dad after he cuts the grass.


Dear Diary,

Whoever’s upstairs is really good at guitar!