Ask A Bastard!

NOTE: “Ask A Bastard” was originally created and written several years ago. Some of the topical references, therefore, will be out of date. Also, in a few places in the original “Ask A Bastard” columns, we poked relentless fun at a former friend who at one time was a rather emaciated looking fellow but who has, upon becoming famous and successful and rather a rat bastard in his later life, also put on so much weight he looks like a special effect in an Eddie Murphy movie about Nutty Professors. Having decided this sort of thing is small minded, we have retroactively changed all references to this particularly odious former compeer to some other public media figure with a great deal of excess flab instead.

The ASK A BASTARD column is produced in beautiful downtown Burbank, in a lovely corner office suite on the 14th floor of the historic, atmospheric Quasimodo Towers building, which really doesn't have anywhere near as many problems with rabid bat and/or demented hunchback infestations as you'd expect, given the name. The questions appearing in ASK A BASTARD each week are culled from the millions of cards, letters, emails, voicemail messages, hand delivered notes, letter bombs, and small cigar boxes full of toxic gas that pour in to our offices on a daily basis, and which we sort and sift and winnow and sieve through very carefully using a rigorously disciplined set of procedures that can best be summed up by the phrase 'throwing them all the hell right out the goddam window', because, as any toddler or autistic Serbo-Croatian house painter could tell you by now, we make up our own darned questions here, thank you VERY much.

With that firmly in mind, if you still, for some entirely insane reason, wish to voice your comments regarding this column, or even have a question you'd like to ASK A BASTARD, there's an email link at the bottom of the page.

Fresh from their appearance on the WB's often hilarious GROSS POINTE, the Insane Dancing Rabbis left a message on our voicemail asking "We clearly remember a regular Saturday Night Live sketch in which Gilbert Gottfried would play a convict who, in every sketch, would be horribly abused in some different way involving his anal orifice by either guards or inmates or both. The memorable tagline to the sketch was 'don't bend over to pick up the soap!', which, of course, Gilbert always failed to heed, with hilarious results. The strange thing is, no one else seems to remember this sketch, and we get the weirdest looks whenever we bring it up. Please confirm our sanity by giving us the times and dates that this sketch has aired, and some of the other stars who took part in it."

Well, first off, we here at Ask A Bastard are unanimous in our conviction that you Insane Dancing Rabbis are either inhabitants of a far, far better world than this, or, more likely given your antics on GROSS POINTE, badly in need of some sort of prescription medication. We ourselves recall no such sketch involving Gilbert Gottfried on Saturday Night Live, nor do we even believe Gilbert Gottfried has ever been an official member of the Not Ready For Prime Time Players. Nonetheless, having said all that, we must also admit that yours is a delusion we admire and yearn to share, as we can clearly see the potential for utter hilarity in the repeated forced sodomization of Gilbert Gottfried on live national television, and could only hope that such a sketch would be expanded to include various other comedians and media figures we long to see taking an unlubricated riot stick up their nether apertures, which would include but not be limited to, Jon Lovitz (who could doubtless cry out "He WANTS me!" as he was repeatedly violated), Dennis Rodman (as banged as we want him to be), Regis Philbin (yes, that's their final answer), both Ross and Joey from FRIENDS, several Supreme Court justices, at least one award winning comics writer of our acquaintance and several others we haven't actually met, and, of course, Ned Beatty. I mean, we really couldn't leave Ned out of any such sphincter-oriented shenanigans. It would hurt his feelings.

Sam Kinnison, whom we are not aware whether or not the witness knows is dead, Your Honor, somehow writes in anyway to sullenly demand, ”Say, where’s my ass?”

While we can’t be entirely certain, Mr. Kinnison, given that there was recently a total solar eclipse that lasted a good half hour or so over much of Earth’s Southern Hemisphere, we strongly suspect your missing fundament is to be found somewhere between our planetary orbit and the location of the sun. And we think you should get out there and look for it, too, because frankly, sir, just you being ambulatory several years after your death is freaking us out enough, without us having to reflect on the notion that somehow you have returned from the grave without your more than ample buttock region attached.

FBI special agent Clarice Starling takes a few minutes out from her busy schedule being drugged and brainwashed by an evil sociopath to ask "I keep tuning in to THE SIMPSONS to see their advertised special guest stars, but none of them ever appear. It's just a bunch of cartoon people. What's up with that?"

What's up indeed, Agent Starling. You had a perfectly good thang goin' on with that cross-eyed nerd from the Smithsonian, and then, 12 years later, we find you fallen under the psychochemical influence of the world's most evil fictional character. It's not a surprise to us that you can't tell animation from reality, since apparently, your creator and writer Thomas Harris can't tell moral fiction from stupid, intolerable, pretentious, toxically irresponsible literary garbage that sends a message to millions about how much fun it is to employ narco-hypnosis to transform beautiful women into one's sexual playtoys. Still, we always expect better of you, Clarice, even if you have strangely metamorphisized from looking rather like Jodie Foster to being a dead ringer for Julianne Moore. Shake it off, honeybuns. Shoot the good Doctor in the head and then go slap some sense into Will Graham, would you? That's a sequel we'd buy several copies of and pay good money to see Ridley Scott make a film out of, too.

Gavin McLeod of the Clan McLeod writes in to sneer derisively "I've read your columns for the last three weeks and I'm not impressed. Bestselling thrillers, pop-rock from the 70s and 80s, mainstream movies, and television, television, television... clearly, these things comprise your entire world and are all you have any knowledge of whatsoever. You're a truly pathetic man. Shouldn't you be out trying to get a life instead of throwing desperate, random, rambling pleas for attention onto a webpage no one important will ever read?"

Ha! While your scathing and depressingly insightful words wound us to the core, Skipper, we here at ASK A BASTARD will still have the last laugh, as we control the vertical, and we control the horizontal, and therefore, we are not going to publish your letter, or respond to it, or acknowledge it in any way, and thus, to all intents and purposes, it will never have existed. Ho! Take THAT to the Lido deck with you, O commanding officer of Gopher!

Um... say, wait...

Sweet Polly Purebred clacks her keyboard at us from, inquiring "Who is the final authority on wedding arrangements, the wedding planner, or the clergy whose church the wedding is taking place in?"

While our initial inclination is to say "Whichever one is bigger", we realize that's just the tequila talking, and anyway, while God may have created all people, it took Sam Colt to make them equal. After the head rush from all the testosterone released into our bloodstream by typing phrases like "whichever one is bigger", "tequila", and "Sam Colt" subsides, and we look at things more clearly, if blearily, we realize that the only valid answer has to actually be, "whichever one is female".

Now, my mother, bless her soul, took me to task vigorously for last week's 'female bashing' column, so far be it from me to repeat those offenses again here, but still, it should be noted that the sacred covenant of marriage and all its attendant, traditional, deeply reverent, emotionally significant, spiritually symbolic, stupidly demented and hellishly gruelling rituals, is clearly the domain of the feminine gender. I say this with no intention to be offensive, but simply out of service to the truth, which is ever my watchword, my guiding light, and, if you will, the fulcrum about which my entire life pivots as if on well-oiled and reasonably expensive East German ball bearings. If marriage were a guy thing, assuming we all, to a man, got really really drunk at some point and somehow allowed such an idiotic institution come into existence at all, it would take on a considerably different form and shape, in that that the female participant's ancient and rather boring, humdrum wedding vows would be revitalized and invigorated with wonderful, poetical, and sonorous phrases such as "I, the concubine", "what I don't know will not trouble me", "housework is a joyous, sacred task I embrace wholeheartedly", "there is absolutely nothing wrong with tight, skimpy clothing" and, that most thrilling phrase of all, "Yes, absolutely, any time, any place, any way he wants it". That last would be repeated probably 57 times in any female wedding vows spoken in any marriage ceremony in which any heterosexual male had any sort of final, binding authority.

However, as already noted, if the male gender had any sort of final, binding authority in the sphere of matrimony, the sphere of matrimony would be entirely non-existent, or, at the very least, would be legally required to expire in either 48 hours or whenever either partner actually next leaves the nudie bar, whichever comes first, so we must, then, re-iterate: Marriage is a chick thing. Therefore, in any tussle for control of anything to do with a wedding between a wedding planner and a clergy-person, the one who is female wins. If both are male, then, well, we think it's safe to assume that a male wedding planner is probably far more firmly in touch with his feminine side than a male clergyman, and if both are female, then we sincerely think they should jello-wrestle for it. drops us an email to wail "This guy at work keeps giving me these big cow eyes and he's fat and fifteen years older than me and doesn't even have a Porsche or make much money. Sure I wear tight skirts and plunging necklines but he should know without being told that I'm dressing that way for the cute lawyers two floors up not for him. Plus, I think he watches Star Trek. I mean, as if! How can I make him stop looking at me?"

After some considerable consultation on this issue, we here at Ask A Bastard are nearly unanimous in saying that the very best way to get this impertinent wretch to stop profaning your divine presence with his inappropriate and unworthy gaze is to burn out his interest in you with a visual and sensual surfeit of your astonishing feminine physique. Not only should you email him nude photos of yourself, perform private lingerie shows for him, and give him an extensive and intensive series of burlesque routines and lapdances in the privacy of his own home and/or the basement of his parent's house where he still lives, you should also date him exclusively for at least a month, wearing the poor guy out with endless bouts of wild monkey sex in any position he asks for or in any way indicates he has any interest at all in experimenting with. As, clearly, there is nothing about you that any person such as you describe could find remotely engaging or appealing beyond your doubtless shapely figure, all you need to do is suffocate him with a vast walloping overabundance of your physical and sexual charms and eventually he'll just leave you alone, or, maybe, die with a big stupid grin on his face, which is just as good from your point of view. Once he's had you in every conceivable way eight or nine times each... well... a dozen, maybe two dozen times each, max... he'll most likely be ready to go back to fantasizing about Counselor Troi or Seven of Nine, especially if you actually try to talk to him before, after, or during these wild, frenzied bouts of intercourse.

We should warn you, though, that while this technique is nearly universally effective for women such as yourself to eventually discourage the affectionate attentions of men such as you describe, it is not a permanent, long term solution, and you may have to repeat the course of treatment once or twice a year, especially around Valentine's Day. The best overall fix for this situation is to persuade some of your equally shapely girlfriends, any of whom will probably have personalities just as pleasant, interesting, and attractive as yours, to give you a hand keeping this fellow's libido oversaturated with aesthetically pleasing, vacuous playmates. It's, really, the best course of action all around.

Also, remember we said that we were 'nearly unanimous'. Our secretary Sue thinks you should just zotz the creep with an electric stungun six or seven times. But we're pretty sure she's a lesbian, anyway.

An email note we received from amused and disturbed us simultaneously. Reading: "In that one Van Halen song that starts out 'doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo', you know the one I mean, there's a part of the lyrics about 'blah blah blah my back against the wrecking machine/I ain't the worst that you've seen/oh can't you see what I mean?/might as well jump". I was wondering if you could tell me whether or not the band had ever been appropriately disciplined by the Performing Artist's Guild for their use of the word 'ain't', which of course, is never proper English."

It's funny you should ask that, FrenchFopp, because as it happens, Sammy Hagar just stopped by the Ask A Bastard offices last week for a quick bowl of Quisp and to go through our TV Guide back issues looking for an article about Star Trek Voyager's Seven of Nine with an accompanying picture of Jeri Ryan on a unicycle. (Don't ask.) While he was here, and after the entire editorial staff had gotten tired of kicking him repeatedly in the crotch (that took a while, though, as we all truly despise "Love Comes Walking In") we posed your query to him, and half an hour later, after he'd stopped cradling his testicles and making strange little breathless whimpering sounds as he rocked back and forth on our rather grungy tile floor, he told us that he had no idea, but he'd ask Valerie Bertinelli to give us a call and let us know. Then he hastily limped out, without even finishing his Quisp, which was all soggy by then, so we just threw it out. Unfortunately, Valerie hasn't called us yet, but we live in hope. And now, you can, too.

TomArnold@billybeer.ns sent us a very nice note, asking "As the mayor of small town in Vermont, I've been trying to figure out exactly what would be the appropriate penalty for liberals in swing states who voted for Ralph Nader and thus, gave the election to George W. Bush. I'm thinking exposure in stocks for a weekend, but several of my Town Council members are holding out for public floggings, and one just says over and over again 'Hangin's too good for 'em, let's throw 'em all in the drainage pond'. What's your opinion?"

Our admiration for the depth and acuity of your question knows no bounds, Mayor Arnold, and it almost forestalls us from pointing out that as Vermont is not a swing state, and when last we looked, had no appreciable electoral votes, the time you and your Town Council are spending trying to decide this matter could be better spent on nearly any other activity, including but not limited to, giving each other frontal lobotomies with sharpened popsicle sticks, which we have to assume would only improve the level of governance available to your local citizenry.

However, addressing your question itself more directly, we find it imperative to advise you that slack jawed, slope browed, mouth breathing drool producers such as yourself, who rather vacuously proclaim that those who voted for the most clearly qualified and inarguably best candidate in the last Presidential election, instead of betraying their country with weaselly electoral vacillations in the name of so called pragmatism, in some way handed this country over to an inarticulate jackass who exults in the deaths of uneducated black women at the hands of his State's executioners (while clearly neither knowing the meaning of, nor being able to pronounce properly, the word 'exults') are, in fact, making a rather obvious mistake. Which is to say, said lackwits are mistaking the few million intelligent people who voted for Nader, for the 40 million or so idiots who voted for Bush. We hope we've cleared this up for you now, and won't have to go into further detail, in which it might be necessary for us to mention that, had Al Gore had a shred of conscience, ethics, integrity, or simply more concern for his fellow citizens and his nation than he has for his ego, he'd have withdrawn from the race and urged all his supporters to vote for Ralph Nader, which from what we hear, most of them would have preferred to do anyway.

Last but not least, we'd also like to point out that even with Ralph Nader acting as a 'spoiler', Al Gore did not lose the election, he won the election, and if you are as puzzled as we here at Ask A Bastard are as to how George W. Bush can, in conscience, assume the mantle of President of the greatest democracy in the history of humanity when he knows full well a majority of voters chose someone else for the job, well, that just makes you a rational human being, as opposed to, say, a Republican. writes in to ask "Is it true that Sarah Michelle Gellar is really a man?",

a question we simply had to publish regardless of its obvious stupidity, just so we could watch Marc Blucas and David Boreanaz blanche, make appalled gagging noises, and grab frantically for their mouthwash. However, having accomplished that laudable goal, we now hasten to add that we really doubt Sarah Michelle Gellar is anything but a totally hot babe, but if she is a man, then by God, she's OUR kind of man, and we'll share a hammock, sleeping bag, or suspended animation pod with him/her any day of the week and twice on Sundays. inquires, in a spritely, cheerful way, "If I'm wearing a lead lined jacket and someone fires a kevlar bullet at me, what will happen?"

Aard, this is one of those questions that seems to be the textual equivalent of a Lovecraftian nether deity, or one of those weird insoluble logic paradoxes that Captain Kirk and Harry Mudd use to paralyze the processing circuits of alien super computers. Every time we start to think about this situation, we find ourselves beginning to gibber, and the flecks of spittle start to accumulate in our goatees at an alarming rate.

Therefore, like Joss Whedon on the subject of vampire metabolism, how the soul actually functions metaphysically in the Buffy Meta-verse, or how in the name of God Warren can speed up Buffy’s perceptual entropic rate with something the size of a grain of rice, or even better, build a completely humanoid robot that apparently doesn’t weigh any more than an actual human being (we assume, since they don’t sink into the earth when battling Slayers on school playgrounds, or tilt buses over on their sides while riding in said mass transit vehicles), or nearly all conservatives on the topic of the legitimacy of Dubya’s Presidency, we’re just not going to think about it any more. However, we do note that the only real way to find out exactly what would happen is direct scientific experiment, and we hereby volunteer to a man to be the folks firing the kevlar bullets at you.

Hot off the fax machine comes this novel query from someone calling themselves The Great Rotundo, who asks: "Is SUPERMAN IV: THE QUEST FOR PEACE simply the greatest movie of all time, or would you only put it in the top three? And if so, what would you list as the other two?"

While we must confess that we would actually honestly rather go camping in a piranha filled lagoon after rolling around naked for half an hour in a pit full of broken beer bottles than ever watch so much as five minutes of SUPERMAN IV: THE QUEST FOR PEACE again, we have to admit that in point of fact, we would list this film as being without a doubt the greatest movie of all time, if by 'greatest movie' you mean 'the one most likely to cause entire South Sea Island populations to commit mass suicide by choking themselves to death on uncooked popcorn kernels rather than watch this film for so much as another full minute'.

There is no doubt that it holds some sort of all time, universe wide, unchallengeable award for sheer unrelenting awfulness, and while we ourselves would be more inclined to describe that title with words like 'horrifying', 'mindwrenching', 'stench-laden', and/or 'OH FOR THE LOVE OF GOD SHUT IT OFF SHUT IT OFF YEEEAAAUUURRRRGHHHRRRR THE PAIN', still, if one wishes to insist on calling it 'the greatest movie of all time', we shall ungrudgingly accept that phrasing, provided, of course, that we acknowledge that what this film is actually great AT has far more to do with inducing explosive diarrhea and geysers of vomit than actual entertainment.

As for listing another two movies in remotely the same category of 'greatness' as SUPERMAN IV: THE QUEST FOR PEACE, frankly, we are humbled and stymied by the very concept, as even the most differently abled productions of Ed Wood, or anything with Rodney Dangerfield in it, fail to roughly approximate the 'greatness' of this particular piece of celluloid detritus. Badly dubbed Italian demigod flicks assume the stature of a Bergman masterpiece when stacked up next to SUPERMAN IV, while ten minute shorts filmed by 9 year olds with their uncle's stolen camcorder about baloney vampires fighting towel monsters in lightless hampers couldn't come close to stinking this badly. In short, SUPERMAN IV is indeed the greatest movie ever made, or that ever could possibly be made, although this isn't a type or level of greatness that any sane person would ever aspire to emulate.

Somebody whose name we can't recall, or even be bothered to make up at the moment, writes in to scold "I disagree with virtually every single word you have printed about the Presidential election, and you should be ashamed of yourself for sowing discord and divisiveness in a time when the nation needs to find its way to a healing consensus. Can't you find anything positive to say about the triumph of old fashioned decency and moral values represented by the Republican resurgence in national politics?"

We here at Ask A Bastard are rocked back on our heels by the notion that anyone could actually disagree with anything we have written about the Presidential election, since what we have written about the Presidential election are statements to the effect that the current 'President' of the greatest democracy in the history of humanity actually got fewer votes than his opponent, that his ending up in office is the result of a long, winding, torturous, nearly incomprehensible process in which very nearly every single involved authority figure was a member of his political party and behaved exactly as if they were at all times, and where such behavior did not merely restrict itself to actually legal, if insanely biased, actions, but that occasionally, if not frequently or often, ventured into strange areas not mandated by any ruling of actual law, such as when the obviously and avidly partisan Secretary of State certified election results long before any sort of full, fair count of all the votes had been completed, and an obviously and avidly partisan State Legislature declared that if some damned liberal Supreme Court somewhere had the temerity to mandate an actual full, fair vote count, it would ignore that mandate and any results deriving from it, and move quickly to send a slate of obviously, avidly partisan electors to Washington, D.C., regardless of any minor, trivial details like who actually won the election. These are not matters of opinion or conjecture, but are actually, what do you call those pesky things that occasionally interfere with our deeply held and passionately supported innermost convictions, oh yeah, FACTS, and how someone could disagree with them is honestly beyond us.

We also wish to humbly point out at this juncture that it is an equally undisputed fact that the Republican party was fully prepared and eminently ready, in the event that their candidate had won the popular vote but lost the electoral college, to drag the election into the courts themselves, appealing the results using such grandiloquent and resonant phrases as "the will of the people must be paramount" and "true democracy must prevail", while almost inevitably referring to the Electoral College system with words and phrases like 'obsolete', 'archaic', and 'actively obstructive to the democratic process'. Given this undisputed fact, it seems to us here at this column that any party or President which would then abandon these righteous, patriotic, fundamental principles and enthusiastically embrace their exact philosophical opposites the instant it became expedient for them to do so is, at the very least, inconsistent, dishonorable, unethical, immoral, and, not, in any real, true, valid sense of the word, 'Presidential'.

However, as to your challenge to find something positive to say about the late election and its clearly ludicrous, dishonest, fraudulent, and chicanerous results, well, the best we can do is to congratulate the Republicans on remaining so consistently faithful to the basic tenets of their party philosophy, and to sincerely wish every single one of them involved in politics above the level of registered voter in Hell, where we suspect they'll not only feel right at home, but will quickly end up running the place.

Award winning songwriter and one-man parade float David Crosby drops us a line to inquire "Whatever happened to the Moody Blues, the Electric Light Orchestra, and Procul Harem?"

Judging from the pictures we've seen of you on the web, Mr. Crosby, we suspect you ate them. However, we admit we have no direct evidence to support that hypothesis, and suppose it's possible that in fact, they're simply warily keeping their distance from you for fear the superbar at Sizzler's might unexpectedly close and leave you peckish some night when they're either sleeping off a binge on a nearby park bench or just too damned wasted on goofballs to quickly pop a Virginia ham out of its can and hurl it at your feet like an offering sent bouncing and spinning onto the altar of some vast, thundering pagan deity, thus distracting your voracious appetites long enough for them to hastily take shelter in some heavily reinforced building or SUV.

Noted televangelist Billy Bob Buttress wants to know "Isn't NASCAR the greatest spectator sport of all time?", to which we can only respond that while the spectacle of several hundred garishly painted mid sized sedans driving in circles for hours while hordes of slopebrowed, slackjawed, mouth-breathing fans watch with avid, greedy, jackal-like eyes in the hopes that some one of those speeding vehicles will suddenly explode into flames (an occasion we ourselves feel happens far, far too intermittently, and the vicarious thrill of which would be greatly enhanced if various sections of the grandstands were secretly wired to spontaneously combust in sympathetic response when it did finally occur) we must confess to being of the opinion that there have been even more interesting spectator sports than this in the history of man, such as the ancient proto-Aryan tribal competition known as veng ko vengadis, which roughly translates as 'eat all the wheat'.

In a veng ko vengadis match, opposing teams would start at either side of a large grain field and start grazing their way towards each other on hands and knees, with the winner being whoever managed to clear the most square yardage of arable land through sheer masticatory prowess.

Of course, few professional sports promoters these days would be willing to try to revive this ancient test of ruminatory athleticism, but we feel a less short sighted industry would realize that if corporate sponsors were to offer big money prizes and commercial endorsements to attract top flight and only slightly ugly contenders, and wiley promoters were to combine the Sport Of Grazers with an altruistic international effort to clear open, overgrown green spaces in Africa, Asia, and Europe of unexploded land mines, we could have a billion dollar franchise on our hands.

Honestly, you don't want to write us. If you really just have to make yourself an abuse target, though, double click on the email link just below. And until next time, remember, even with Ralph Nader running as a spoiler and an entrenched Republican power structure yanking every string they could get their grubby little hands on, our current "President" STILL couldn't get elected... and while I know damned near everything, one thing I make no claim to understanding is what that idiot is doing in Al Gore's office. I mean, isn't it illegal? Don't we have POLICE?

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