Touched by Anything but an Angel


This story begins innocently enough: My wife bought a cheap massage using Groupon. When she called to make a reservation, she was unsettled by the outgoing message on the masseuse’s voicemail. She didn’t explain exactly what “Creeped her out,” but told me I could have the massage for my birthday.

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On December 8th, 1980, I lived in Appleton, Wisconsin. I was eleven years old. I was most likely asleep when the everything happened, but I remember that on his broadcast the next day Walter Cronkite dedicated much, if not all, of the time-slot to the event.

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An Annual Rant

I am a comedian, and I talk about things that make me impassioned. Every so often during my act, a fetish of mine will connect with someone in the audience and that drunken patron will bellow out, “You should run for president!” Sometimes the audience will applaud, sometimes they laugh. No matter the reaction, I always smile.

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The Delicate Hands of Hawkeye Pierce

“I went to Toys R Us and walked down the baby doll aisle, and they’re getting fairly realistic. They have ‘baby throws up, baby take my temperature, change baby’s diaper, Jewish baby, it comes with a pair of scissors so you can snip the penis yourself… The reasoning is: the more lifelike the doll, the better prepared a girl is for motherhood. Fair enough, but considering the state society is in today, why don’t they make dolls really realistic? How about ‘Shake the Baby,’ it cries until you make its eyes roll back into its head. ‘Premature Crack Baby,’ born with the heart on the outside and incubator so you can watch it slowly… yeah. ‘Siamese Twin Baby,’ comes with a surgical kit, but only one battery, so you decide which half lives and which half…  ‘Dumpster Ready Baby;’ comes with its own Hefty Bag so you can get back to prom quickly…”

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“Just give them a good show, sweetie. You never know who’ll be in the audience.”

Those words are sounding inside me as I stare uncomfortably at the doe-eyed woman I have been conversing with. A petite 5-foot-nothing, she is charmingly pretty, and starting to tear up as she struggles to express herself. Unfortunately, everything has grown awkward quickly, mainly due to my inability to take a hint, be even marginally aware of my surroundings, or have any grace whatsoever when it comes to the verbal ballet necessary when emotions are involved.

I hate being so dense.

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What Else Should I Be? (All Apologies)

I think that the older I grow, the less honest I become. I don’t mean that I outwardly lie more frequently, it’s just that where I used to be an outspoken, belligerent prick, these days I’m silent more often than not. That statement is probably odd to those who look at me and wonder, “Christ, if he holds his tongue today, what must he have been like before?” An example will probably work better than a description.

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