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John Knewstub’s Hard, Cold, Spiritual Facts

August 11, 2015 Leave a comment
With John Knew

By John Knewstub

Sorry, shit for brains, but it ain’t that easy! Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking: I’m such a miserable bladder of ass, I’m such a pestilent hole piss-puffed with “life,” I feel so bad, so b—b—boo hoo. That’s right, you mask, you blood pad, boo fucking hoo! But damn it if you didn’t hit the nail on the head! Don’t ask me how, but you blathered and crawled your mucus-trailed way, and fell into a single correct apperception. Of course leave it to you to grasp this one true thought with your deformed, gnarled hand, and twist it into a signature of your disease; for no sooner do you recognize the hopeless abyss, you run for a rainbow-colored parachute. You think, “I’m of the race of men. Maybe Dr. Kevin Thurston can help me with my feelings.” You rolling log of shit! Dr. Thurston can’t help you! The man is about as spiritual as a pair of cow anuses –oh, I’m sorry, those are your puckered little eyes devoid of light –but I think you understand me, son –do you understand me?

Now you say, ‘But John, Dr. Kevin sold me a dozen cans of smoked oysters and a piano bench for $150 + s/h. And to that I say: shut it! Shut that herpes-studded mouth of yours. I didn’t say Dr. Thurston doesn’t offer tremendous discounts on merchandise. Why, just last month I bought a case of waterproof dog beds myself – came out under twenty a pop –top notch. But you think your feelings matter!? What do you think you are, a centipede pattering your thousand sensitive feet upon the filthy rug, sweeping your spelean antennae across its decomposing fibers, sliding in and out of shadow until your jaws possess your carnivorous feast? If that sounds like the way to enlightenment, then by all means sneak in through your grandmother’s window and pilfer her pathetic purse so you can slap a wad of blood-money into that charlatan’s palm. Go ahead! Steal from everyone you know so you can tithe that charlatan; in return, you’ll be led further along the brutal path of your narcissism and all-consuming obsession with your claustrophobic inner world.

Your problem, you rancid discharge, is the cosmic law and order which regulates and coordinates the harmonious operation of the universe and everything within it. Denial of the will? Eusebeia? What do they mean to you, you wannabe invertebrate? You’re too busy playing pocket pool with your emotions to cultivate a reverent attitude toward all life and uphold moral law. So do yourself and all of us a favor: next time you and Dr. Feelings commune over a cup of tea, peer through the steam and see in your wavering reflection the insubstantial nature of your existence, you leaking urethra, and admit that it’s not ephemeral enough, and ask that snake-oil salesman if he has any deals on a shot gun with a string tied to the trigger, or a goddam noose, and excuse yourself to the restroom to molt the last of your feelings like a leprous skin and be revealed, you pock, you bloated tick.

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Behind the Stats with Corn Kernels

August 10, 2015 Leave a comment
By Corn Kernels

By Corn Kernels

It’s that time of year again. Leaves are falling from the trees. An assortment of mums tucked inside pots that look like pumpkins are on sale everywhere for $24.99. Corn maze magnates are busy engineering not-everywhere-you-look kinds of pumpkins like pumpkins distinguished by their thick and sturdy stems, plus polar bears, crystal stars, and Island Cheese. And lucky children don shoulder pads or pom-poms, because Football season is in the air.

Billy begs dad to let him try out for the team. Corn stalks are $3.99 a bunch. Janey comes home after sorting out prepicked pumpkins, which, price-wise, look to be good this year, then locks herself in her décor chamber to work on her splits. Everybody is excited about next weekend’s big game. But what do we really know about football? I’m professional quarterback Corn Kernels, and I’m here to take you Behind the Stats.

We’ll start today by looking at the most misunderstood position in all football: quarterback. And here at Behind the Stats we don’t pull any punches, so let’s get right to it: contrary to popular belief, QB play is irrelevant to team success. Sound crazy? Drive to Ed and Millie Awald’s farm and take a gander at their all-white pumpkins (!) which are good for carving or for displaying on your front steps, and you tell me what’s really crazy. The hard truth is that quarterback play is negatively correlated to team success. Keep that in mind when tallying up your favorite team’s record over the last four seasons.

unnamedAn even greater misunderstanding arises around the role a quarterback’s father plays in team success. Football 101: it is the QB father’s duty to be in the stands, wearing his son’s jersey, showing all the love and support he withheld throughout his daily life. If a wide-open receiver is underthrown by 10 yards, look to the stands: where’s the quarterback’s father, ask yourself? What did he have to do that’s more important than watching his own flesh and blood on game day? Is he drunk? You bet he’s drunk, and making it rain with his son’s money, feeding the pumpkin catapult with whopper after whopper, five dollars a pop, all to impress the farm’s seasonably-employed females. “If only my son had an arm like that,” he’ll quip as the massive rig slings ten-pounders, “Oh now you wanna launch a white pumpkin?,” he’ll ask with a squint. Before they can respond, he’ll pull down his trousers and bend over “how’s this for a white pumpkin?” and he’ll laugh with his upside-down face between his legs like a grinning jack-o’-lantern while all the girls give a playful slap before taking him back behind the goat-mosh. You want to know why his son is just 3-for-11 with two interceptions in the first half? Go and see for yourself. And when you do, tell him all his son ever wanted was for his father to be proud of him. All he ever wanted was for dad to say, “Son, you played a heckuva game, let’s take that hayride you wanted,” and to give a boost and then sit beside him, put his arm around, and say, “Son, I know I don’t say it enough, and I know I’m a tough old bastard, but when I criticize you, or work you over, it’s because I care about you. It’s because I love you, son. And that’s never gonna change no matter what.”

And that’s this week’s X’s and O’s with Corn Kernels! Where we go Behind the Stats.

Pondicherry Yoga: Is it Safe?

July 7, 2015 Leave a comment
Mrs. Larry Temple

Mrs. Larry Temple

A PROBE

Pondicherry Yoga. It’s the latest fitness-spirituality craze for busy Lankvillians who don’t have time for separate fitness and spirituality crazes. But, what is it? And, more importantly, is it safe?

The popular yoga, which takes place in a rickety room of wildly fluctuating temperatures, has led some to question its healthfulness –in part because it teaches that a session isn’t over until the practitioner injures himself.

“It’s true,” claims middle-aged, middle class “Yogi” Gideon, “they don’t let you out until you hurt yourself. And no good faking –they know,” he paused before continuing proudly, “I’ve snapped every tendon in my body.”

Who exactly “they” may be is another subject up for debate. Pondicherry Yoga instructors are notoriously difficult to see for any length of time in suitable light. They spend a minimum amount of time in the practice room, perhaps, some suppose, because they can’t endure the temperatures, which swing between 150 and -50 degrees.

“Theys crank up the heat,” complains former Pondicherry yogi Sam Crumb, “so yous burn and you burn and you can twist into some kind of prtezel-like –and then vrwroop! they’s turn it freezing so yous just stick there. The sweat on all your body turns to little icee flakes. And you hair, it cracks off in pieces-like, and you eyes – they stick open, or closed, with the ice lids. And you body you think you stuck forever, and yous start crying-like, yous blubbering and you know is dying, and you dying, and sometimes yous die, and most the time you do dies.”

The rickety room (scale model).

The rickety room (scale model).

But is it safe? I asked Sam Crumb. “And they’s make you eat. The heat so yous think you gonna die, and they make yous eat the whole pie,” he claimed gasping and whimpering, “I ate the whole pie. I had to. But it too hot to eat the pie, but you eat. Big key lime pie. And they make you drink the whole two-liter. The cherry cola. The no-brand cherry cola. With the pie. And then the inverted series.”

But the question remains: is it safe? I asked Sam Crumb about another of Pondicherry Yoga’s more controversial aspects: the much-ballyhooed “rickety room.” Sam struggled for breath as he spoke to me between sobs. “The floor, it slanted fun-house like. And the screws are sticking up, and they goes inside your feets, and you hands, and they goes inside your stomach when yous lying down –and then you moves and the boards give way, and you falls in the hole. I always fall in the hole. And yous cant get out, and then yous out, and the room it so hot, or so cold, and you can’t sees, and yous fall in again, and yous can’t see again, and yous can’t see even more, and you gets out, and yous fall in again. And again. With the screws in you, the cold and the hot, and the screwsm in all you body.”

The interview ended prematurely as Sam had to go off to his next class. And so for now the questions will remain: Pondicherry Yoga — is it safe? In the meantime, let us turn to another question in part two of our two-part series when we ask Lankville’s own John Knewstub: Pondicherry Yoga –is it spiritual?

John Knewstub’s Hard, Cold, Spiritual Facts

March 11, 2015 1 comment
With John Knew

With John Knewstub

Sorry, shit for brains, but it ain’t that easy! Now I know what you’re thinking. Of course you wish you’d never been born. Of course you want to rid the planet of every last trace of your worthless existence. But you’re such a miserable piece of shit you don’t have what it takes to murder your parents, much less rack up the body count necessary to ensure perfect extirpation of your memory. Let’s not kid ourselves here.

Now, hold on, okay, I hear what you’re saying. Or I at least smell what you’re saying, Christ Almighty, your mouth reeks like a miscarriage, your tongue’s a rank abortion, but okay, I hear you. Let’s just pretend for a moment you possessed enough energy to take out every member of your graduating class –you don’t have enough energy to wash your stinking behind, but let’s pretend. Let’s say you wiped out every relative, every co-worker, every neighbor, every celebrity unfortunate enough to receive one of your deranged letters. You think that would do it? No, of course not –you’re not capable of thinking with that puking shit-pile in your skull, but trust me when I tell you: you’d still be all too present.

But alright I’m a’give you the benefit of the doubt. Let’s say you mustered the ingenuity to erase your name from all public records –utility bills, library registers –you even manage to unlaminate your membership cards to all those sad little clubs you thought would provide you with meaning and community and shopping discounts. Well, even then, you’d still be as far from this goal as from all your others, you awful, agonizing misallocation of flesh.

What if one of your murdered acquaintances mentioned you to someone? You ever think of that, you pus-souled, fungus-tongued waste? What if you were held up as an emphatic example of cowardice and talentlessness and a luckless, loser life? What if the story of your cerebral and sexual futility passed mouth to mouth like some inverse fairy tale/respiratory disease?

Your problem, you stench, is the interconnectedness of life. You don’t get this whole thing is a tapestry whose intricacy dizzies even divinity. That’s right, you fecal ache, the very spiritual truth which you recognize on some primitive level because you recognize you are a contaminant whose pollution extends infinitely for eternity – this very spiritual truth means you are inextricable. You cannot be uprooted even as you rot the earth around you. You are destined to fester forever and to emit your foul air like an ever-blowing wind which curses the wasted places of this suffering planet. Suffering because of you, you eternal cancer.

John2

Sanduny Spa and Pharmacy

January 29, 2015 Leave a comment
By Eric "Desiree" Gelsinger

By Eric “Desiree” Gelsinger

The following is a paid advertisement.

There she was, ten feet tall above me, presiding over an enchanted window. Yea, from that day forward I lived in thrall to my local pharmacist’s charms.

She appeared and disappeared. She was a goddess. Or, was she something else? I remember the hammering of my heart as I stretched to hand her a script for my warts. She was so much more mysterious than my school nurse, so much more dangerous.

I had graduated.

My early education took place in the front of the store, where I was brutalized by wonders and joy. Candy, and balloons on sticks. Trying to fit the overfull balloon on the overlong stick into the station wagon, one would pop, the other would poke you in the eye, and you’d look down to find your palms ravaged by splinters. As for the candies, you couldn’t smash them apart with a heavy scotch tape dispenser, and forget about getting your mouth around that massive wad. My classmates dislocated jaws, broke teeth, or suffocated.

But I survived to walk deeper through the store. Beneath a burned-out tube of light I wandered between the haphazard racks of toys for poor/dumb kids, and the beach toys in the dead of winter.

Sanduny Spa and Pharmacy (photo by John Barlow)

Sanduny Spa and Pharmacy (photo by John Barlow)

The seasons changed, I grew older. I trespassed into The Periodicals. How many hours did I spend on rubber legs, paging through those magazines under fluorescent lights that seemed to leave me helplessly exposed? Each session would last until my queasy feeling gave way to confusion, bodily weakness, and an obscure feeling of injustice that even today constitutes the foundation of my morality.

At last I came of age, and now there I was: the very back of the store. I was afraid my sneakers would squeak, and held my breath as I approached, but I made it. I stood before the tabernacle of adulthood, the pharmacy counter. And there she was . . . .

In the months and years to follow, the sexpot pharmacist reigned over my fantasies, a drug-dispensing despot. She’d take me for a “consultation” and lay me down. One by one she’d place orange-flavored aspirin on my tongue until I couldn’t feel my “sprained wrist,” or anything but a sweet torment I didn’t know by name . Then she’d walk her fingers down her stockinged leg, and from her perfumed shoe insert produce my eczema crème. Her gaze trained upon my face, she’d crush the sweet metallic tube until every last ounce was surrendered like a charcoal snake to her milking fist.

And at last, the expert application. All over again, yet for the first time, I was faced with the problem of stuffing an over-inflated balloon and unmanageable stick into a confined space

What was she thinking during all this? It was impossible to say. She was so professional, so in control. I, needless to say, was not. I’d open my mouth to speak but she put a finger to my lips – a finger that glistened within a mitten of hydrocortisone crème which webbed her ministering digits with gunky clumps.

When I came to, it hit me. Just what Lankville needed. Yes, some say Lankville has it all, what with our Sanduny Spa and other things. But only now does Lankville truly have it all. Introducing THE SANDUNY SPA & PHARMACY featuring Lanvkille’s own TOPLESS PHARMACISTS! One hundred percent zero top on (make that, not on!) every pharmacist supplying you with fungal crèmes, rosacea treatments, scabies cures, foot-odor palliatives, obesity pills, impotence remedies, and all the rest of your pharmacy needs.

So come on down to the Sanduny Spa & Pharmacy. Tell them Desiree sent you. She always does.

True Tales of the Sanduny Spa

January 12, 2015 Leave a comment
Mrs.

Mrs. Mandy Koch

I was all cooped up doing housework when –Ding Dong –I got a surprise visit from the girls.

“We’re the girls,” lisped an unattractive man in a neon pink track suit. Three large men stood behind him, all dressed like the lisper. “You look stressed. You need to go to the spa.”

I didn’t think I had the time, but next thing I know I’m sitting in the back of a long black automobile, surrounded by my girlfriends. “We’re your girlfriends,” the man lisped, “and we’re taking you to the spa.”

“You deserve it,” added the husky voice of the behemoth (his track suit must have been custom made) next to him, “you’ve been working too hard.”

Well, I couldn’t argue with that! Nobody works harder than Mandy Koch! Whether it’s chopping wood for some mysterious eventual use, or teaching pets the truth about people, Mandy Koch is one busy gal.

But the weasly lisper took off his glove and slapped the husky fatman cross the face so hard my hoop earrings hummed like a tuning fork, and I got a great idea for a fun craft that anyone could enjoy.

Next, the lisper rapped on the partition and told the driver we had to make an unexpected stop. Two of the fat men kinda wheezed out a laugh, and squinted.

I never liked squinting, so I gave em the ol Mandy Koch cluck of disapproval and they unsquinted right fast. Next, the little ferret takes out a rather poorly embroidered handkerchief and asks me, “Doesn’t this smell nice?”

Next thing I know, we’re pulled up front of a couple of gas pumps in the middle of the desert. It’s not night, and it’s not day. Behind the gas pumps there’s a shack, and behind the shack, a rusty trailer, but other than that, na-da.

We all get out of the car. The air isn’t warm but it’s not cold and it has a taste I remember from back in chemistry class. Over the horizon, a blue light flashes and I hear a moaning sound coming from all directions like a thousand hand vacuums running out of batteries.

Sanduny Sauna Spa (photo by John Barlow)

Sanduny Sauna Spa (photo by John Barlow)

The door of the trailer swings open, left to clap in the wind while a silhouette approaches. In the ghastly headbeams of the car, I see he wears a beard, sunglasses and an XXL athletic jersey that reaches down to his knees. A parcel’s tucked under his arm.

“You Mandy?” he addresses himself to me, “You look stressed. Underappreciated.” He opens the parcel, “You’re a queen, you know that? YOU’RE A QUEEN! About time you be treated like one.”

“What we have here is micromesh body buff, not exactly your typical exfoliator,” he exhibited jars one by one, “This here is for a luminous complexion. Now here we have a seven-step no-peel renewal system that will elmininate visible imperfections and dramatically improve skin tone, texture, and clarity. Main ingredient is argan oil, made from a single tree that grows atop a single mountain in the Isles.”

“Goats climb the trees to eat the berries,” the husky man chimed in, and again received a slap for this trouble. It set my earrings going again and I thought of a great weight loss tip for women who don’t have time to exercise.

One by one they loaded the beauty products into the car, and we were off. The driver turned on the radio, lights danced before my eyes, and next thing I know I’m staring at a chain-link fence protecting haphazard piles of broken furniture covered by snow, and a faded sign in an out-of-date font: THE SANDUNY SPA!

“Time to relax,” the weasel’s bloodshot eyes stared at me intensely and he threw open the sedan door. No sooner had I stepped out than the car peeled away, leaving me with a bag of assorted beauty products hanging from my arm.

The cold wind lashed me fiercely. The entrance to the spa was nearly impossible to find. The fences were locked and there were no directions whatsoever, and when I finally found it, I stood in line for 120 mins only to be eventually directed down a very long hallway to check in. I was a little surprised there was over a mile of walking just to get to the actual spa, but I’m sure they know what they’re doing. They must! Because then I spent another two and a half hours in line for the front desk. Almost there!

There was obviously something wrong with the person working the “front desk” (actually an aluminum table), but Mandy Koch was raised right and made sure to speak very slowly and keep her eyes averted. Across the dented tabletop, a liver-spotted hand slid me a key.

Next thing I knew, I was on my own front steps. My clothes seemed to have been meticulously laundered, but I was wearing two mismatched shoes on my feet, and two more mismatched shoes on my hands. I wasted some time trying to make a pair from the four, coming close only once. Then I gave up and went inside. But don’t worry, I didn’t care about the shoes. What does a woman need shoes for WHEN SHE’S WALKING ON AIR!

Thank you, Sanduny Spa! You’ve made cloud nine. . .  cloud mine.

The Sanduny Spa: Where Bliss is Only the Beginning

December 31, 2014 Leave a comment
By Eric Gelsinger

By Eric Gelsinger

Eric Gelsinger may or may not be the owner of the Sanduny Spa. This may or may not be a paid advertisement.

How do you feel RIGHT NOW!? Touch your spleen –is it turgid with bile? Palpate your gall bladder –is it angular? might you say even grinning? Do you feel that simply checking your truck-phone Prime Choice Singles Match inbox requires an exertion of heart and mind beyond your wildest imagination? Is your own name hateful to you, especially in the mouth of your insane landlord who has been vacuuming for 122 hours straight? Do you despise Time because it is the medium within which YOU –damn you!! – exist? Is the only thing stopping you from mercifully offing your miserable self the thought of all that effort? Well, it’s time to go to the Spa!!!!

How do I know? Because I’ve been, there, Lankville. I know what it’s like when your every thought is an atrocity against the laws of man and nature, and you’ve eaten all the caramel and cheddar popcorn, and you’ve run at the mirror with that ladder your raving lunatic neighbor gifted you for “Occultation Eve,” and you’ve donned iron boots to walk upon its fragments, and in the silver nitrate dust run again at the unfaded vestige on the wallpaper, until the floral print has torn asunder and the nightmarishly pink insulation has spilled out the plaster and yet the eidola of your image remains, so panting for breath you charge again. I know, Lankville. But I also know what it’s like to feel like this! WHOOPIEWHOOPWHOOPWOOPOOOOOOWHOOPWHOOPWHOOPIEDOOOO!!!

Sanduny Sauna Spa (photo by John Barlow)

Sanduny Sauna Spa (photo by John Barlow)

What’s the difference between obsessive ramrodding self-hate, and vacant happiness? One trip to the Sanduny Spa!

Come to the Sanduny Spa, and feel the maniacal grin melt right off your bruised face as you enjoy a healthy steam. In the Foreign Area bath, sink into the pleasure as your self-inflicted wounds throb with hedonistic abandon. Treat yourself to a full-body massage –you’ll feel like your bipedal form is a bulbous balloon-animal twisting and squeaking in the hands of THE HAPPIEST CLOWN IN THE UNIVERSE. You bet your bippy, a day at the Sanduny Spa is like sitting spread legged in the tool shed with a shogun barrel in your mouth, only these shells are loaded with 100% LEADEN ECSTASY! Ch-ch-BANG! Ch-ch-BANG! Ch-ch-BANG! BANG! BANG! Can you feel it? Can you feel the long-awaited joy detonating in every concussed cavity of your living corpse? Well wait until you try “The Gimlet.”

So when you want it all to end, drive blindly and wildly all the way to the Sanduny Spa, where bliss is only the beginning, and everything in between, and more, and then some, and there’s no such thing as a little to much or a lot.

LUXURY: Sanduny Sauna Spa by Eric Gelsinger

December 23, 2014 Leave a comment
Eric Gelsinger

Eric Gelsinger

Eric Gelsinger is Lankville’s premier authority on luxury spas.

Don’t tell anyone I told you, but Sanduny Sauna Spa may be Lankville’s best kept secret. Here and only here can you can get pampered the way you deserve providing you keep your pretty mouth shut.

Your journey to perfect peace begins when you confront the gray, squat, soot-stained structure of Great Clips Business Plaza and squeeze through the service alley behind El Arroyo Bank of Del Lankville to follow the thin strip of dead grass round the back.

Discarded boxes of Eastern Lankville beauty products pop beneath your feet as you approach the pointed black iron fence, and calm descends upon you. Of course you’ve heard that two out of three people who enter Sanduny Sauna Spa never “come out,” of course you’ve heard it’s best to stay away if you wear jewelry or have a new haircut, but these thoughts only deepen the relaxation taking hold of your tense, overworked body.

You trip over some roots, twigs snap, a tire rolls, and the entrance rears into view. You glance to the side and think: Hail Peter Paul Joseph & Mary if that’s the furniture they’re throwing away into the muddy snow behind a chain-link fence, imagine the furniture inside!

Sanduny Sauna Spa (photo by John Barlow)

Sanduny Sauna Spa (photo by John Barlow)

And imagine you must, because once you enter you’re not going to be hearing a peep out of your five senses again. No amount of stress can withstand the bliss that presses relentlessly down with every application of peppermint oil and textured mud. Before you know it, your worries are obliterated, your beliefs negated, and your marriage is revealed to be an irrelevant tribal relic. The relaxation you deserve at last entombs you in lavender and eucalyptus scented mind-melting heat and steam and annihilates the barrier between waking and dream, reality and fantasy, machine and vegetable. Up and down and future and past all collapse. You lose control of your bowels. In a passion of glossolalia you shout out your social security number, ATM password, and credit card info. A tattooed man in black latex takes your hand and leads you to a table. Nothing is as it was or will be ever again.

When you’re done, a wheat-grass shot is a must, and if no one’s looking, why not a smoothie? Tell ‘em throw in every goddam fruit on god’s green earth. Remember: you earned it.