MARCH 2016
Copyright 2016 Francis DiMenno


  2. Your pretty young wife hangs out with the Hell’s Angels.
    802. Someone’s paying big money to trash your reputation.
    803. Even the pimps all laugh at your garish wardrobe.
    804. Everyone makes mistakes–even God, when He made you.
    805. You’ll have to get back up and keep running–forever.
    806. That barfly’s hellbent on dragging you right down with her.
    807. You beat the murder rap, but everyone knows you’re guilty.
    808. Only a naive fool like you still believes in “Justice”.
    809. You even fear the members of your own ethnic group.
    810. Cops raid your teen’s loud party and find your meth lab.
    811. The shrink knows you’re sane but you won’t admit it.
    812. Your gun collection is stolen; you dare not report it.
    813. You have observed man’s wickedness and found it good.
    814. Your attempts to go legit are undone by sleek mobsters.
    815. Police award you a repeat customer cell in the drunk tank.
    816. Dump that movie star or you’ll lose your other eye.
    817. Whiskey, fast dame, faster car, school bus–tragedy.
    818. Bring-your-pet-to-work Day doesn’t mean “Pit Bull”.
    819. Your blackmailing therapist is an even bigger crook than you.
    820. You will be short-changed at the register–trust me.
    821. Don’t open that strange unmarked package on your doorstep.
    822. Mobsters are sickened by tainted hot dogs at your barbecue.
    823. You shouldn’t have tried to crash that roadblock in a Yaris.
    824. Morbid fear of guns will foil your fledgling holdup man career.
    825. You sold a bad batch of acid to a cop’s only daughter.
    826. The police have rented an apartment across the street from yours.
    827. Animal control will confiscate your pet lion.
    828. You have failed your test of loyalty to the Don.
    829. You will become a lowly geek in a carnival sideshow.
    830. You will be overcharged on the bill–trust me.
    831. Washing off all the bloodstains? You’re not even close.
    832. A man of your morbid disposition can never go straight.
    833. The bully of the town is out to get your family.
    834. Your friends know your war medals were bought in pawnshops.
    835. They can and will arrest your crooked great-grandfather.
    836. You were born and raised on the wrong side of Wrongtown.
    837. Don’t worry about your reunion–you’re a high school dropout.
    838. You’ll get stinking drunk and confide all to a hungry snitch.
    839. You three-card monte scam goes terribly, terribly wrong.
    840. You will be afflicted with heartburn tonight–trust me.
    841. Your Best Man runs off with bride and wedding ring.
    842. That prostitute your murdered was your long-lost sister.
    843. The cops will pin the inside job solely on you.
    844. Your bastard son will blackmail you for every penny.
    845. The Boss is sure you’ll crack under the Third Degree.
    846. Your family has zero influence with the District Attorney.
    847. Black gangsters now know you run a white power website.
    848. Your death by torture is the ailing Don’s last request.
    849. Prison tats clue the Abbot that his Monastary is your hideout.
    850. Soon you’ll get a splitting MSG headache–trust me.
    851. There’s no room to Rhumba in a Gas Chamber.
    852. Welcome to Hell. Is it hot enough for you?
    853. The hypes all call you “Too Much LSD Man”.
    854. You’re innocent but the cops have orders–Shoot to Kill.
    855. You denied a bathroom to the Don’s pregnant wife.
    856. Took the day off? The Boss will take your skin off.
    857. Your cellmate has a new name for you–“Ophelia”.
    858. Rumor has it you called the Don a Guinea Fuck.
    859. They WILL pry your gun from your cold, dead fingers.
    860. Your dogs won’t starve–they’ll feast on your bloated corpse.
    861. After they extract the bullets you’ll literally be half-assed.
    862. Even the Jukes and Kallikaks look down on your kinfolk.
    863. You’ll die in the gutter with only a lucky penny.
    864. Even Charlie Manson wants nothing to do with your problems.
    865. You’ll tell them you weren’t driving–Benny was at the wheel.
    866. You are destined to be doomed by your own mania.
    867. They will hunt you across the four corners of the earth.
    868. You are condemned–because even God hates a loser.
    869. Anger lasts a minute. Life imprisonment is forever.
    870. The universe is cold, random, and totally out to get you.
    871. Vodka, pipe bombs, bad bar coke–a cheap date.
    872. The hard cons will laugh and call you “Babycakes”.
    873. Your life is a dazzling black hole of failure.
    874. The hiring committee hated your bad attitude, so you killed them.
    875. You’ve vowed to kill all communists, starting with the Police Chief.
    876. Listen, Punchy–your entire life has been one long blood sport.
    877. Those aren’t hobos, they’re zombies–and you must die.
    878. Beg them on your knees and they still won’t respect you.
    879. They can always count on you–to play the fool.
    880. Like a broken computer they will system error delete you.
    881. The fix is in, only They forgot to tell you.
    882. You started out wrong and then you made some bad choices.
    883. You are King, but your Kingdom is The Land of Failure.
    884. Even rivers of booze won’t erase your terrible memories.
    885. You ask yourself, ‘Is it me?’ Yes. yes it is.
    886. Your life was a machine to make a psychopath.
    887. You are on the cutting edge of dysfunction.
    888. Your self-awareness condemns you to eternally apologize.
    889. Ultimately you have nothing. None of it belongs to you.
    890. All that remains for you is to live in the long-ago past.
    891. You are already beginning to pay for future mistakes.
    892. Shadows all around you, and shadows within the shadows.
    893. You’ve gone down way too far to come back up again.
    894. You thought you were going to set the world on fire.
    895. Whatever happened to the Good Old Days? Whatever happened to You?
    896. You will never rise above your station–don’t even try.
    897. You can’t rescue her–you can’t even save yourself.
    898. Your execution will give your family some much-needed closure.
    899. If only the traffic cop hadn’t spotted the loaded gun….
    900. You will never escape the Prison. The Prison is You.



I was married for eighteen years. My wife–you know what I say? If you want a friend, get a dog. 

You know, when we first started out, it was touch and go. Ours is a rather unique service. But word of mouth soon spread.

I’ll tell you a secret–I first got the idea for this service when I went to an antiques store in South Street Lakeport. They had a magnificent collie in the vestibule, just sitting there, with his dish, and his bed, and a big-ass bone. It was then that i realized that a beautiful dog adds a certain “tone” to any establishment. God damn it, I said to myself, I want that dog. So I asked the owner about him. Nicely, of course.

He was a bit of an antique himself. A real nervous old coot. Flat head, buzz cut, queer-looking porkpie hat that he twisted around in his hands, faded blue suit with wide lapels. Of course, he said the dog was not for sale. Actually, he was so old, he sort of croaked it out. He was quite vehement on the subject. He said, in a high, whiny voice, that he would just as soon sell one of his own grandchildren. I mean, I understood. I got it. 

I mean, it’s like all of a sudden a giant light bulb went off over my head, you know? I said to myself, I’ll bet there’s a lot of people who would pay to spend the afternoon with a beautiful dog. All the benefits and none of the bother, you know what I’m saying? Because we all know, keeping a big dog in the city is a nuisance. There’s the license, the visits to the vet, the twice-daily walks. It takes a lot of walking to tire out a big dog. And they need a lot of attention. A lot. That’s where our service comes in. The beauty of it is, we make money at both ends. You see, people leave their dogs with us in the morning. A sort of Doggie Day Care, y’know?. And then all the other people come in and rent a room and spend the afternoon with a beautiful dog. 

There’s a lot more complications to this business than you might imagine, though. The insurance is ridiculously expensive. Plus, we had to develop a method to weed out the obvious fruitcakes. You know the kind of people I mean. People who want to do improper things with the beautiful dogs. Nuts. But that’s not what these dogs are for. First and foremost, these animals like to be petted. They need human contact. And, you’d be surprised, but there’s a lot of people out there who need to spend the afternoon with a beautiful dog. More than you’d think.

We’ve had some unfortunate “incidents”. There was one fellow who was using his time with the dog to shoot heroin. That sort of thing is not what we had in mind when we started this service. I suppose we should be glad that the dog was in no way injured. The only way we found out was that the man overdosed on drugs. We had to call an ambulance; the police had a lot of questions. They wanted to know just what kind of service we were running here.The thing is, it didn’t take much convincing. You might not know this, but most cops are dog people. They can appreciate the appeal of spending an afternoon with a beautiful dog.

We’ve had to raise our prices recently. Part of it had to do with the fact that we need to get referrals from other customers in order to take on new clients. No more sketchy characters walking in from off the street, demanding to spend the afternoon with a Collie, or, God forbid, a Great Dane. We mostly trade in big dogs. Little dogs tend to be fragile. There’s also liability issues which I won’t go into here. 

Our customers aren’t pathetic nobodies who long for some form of contact with another living being. I mean, maybe a few of them are, but, for the most part, our clients are connoisseurs of fine animal flesh. We were thinking of adding cats, but I don’t know. cats are too unpredictable. I don’t trust cats. They hiss. What kind of animal hisses? And they tend to be too independent. Plus, they are prone to be moody. You know what I mean? Dogs are always the same. Loyal. Incurable optimists. Friendly animals. But cats aren’t really very friendly at all. As for loyalty? Forget it. The whole house can be burning down, and the dog will bark to wake you at the risk of his own life, but the cat will only save herself. But what else can you expect, from a creature with a brain the size of a walnut?

Furthermore, you ever notice how cats are kind of depressing? If the truth be known. Cats can be all lovey-dovey one minute, and out with the claws the next. I’ve seen it too many times. God help us if a customer got scratched as a result of improperly handling an angry feline. If only dogs could purr; then we’d have it made. Of course, some dogs do in fact do that thing where they slink around your legs and rub themselves up against you. We have a few of those kinds of dogs; they are highly prized. Some customers ask for them by name. 

This whole cult of the cat I find very harmful. Dog-lovers don’t need to be defensive. They’re everywhere. Show me a man who doesn’t love to pet a dog and I’ll show you–well, I’ll show you a crumb.

Sure, we have video monitoring in the rooms. It’s an unhappy necessity. As I said, some of our customers get a little carried away. Plus, if one of the dogs should snap–God forbid–we’d have a lawsuit. But at least we’d have film proving that the animal might have been provoked. Dogs hate it when you handle their muzzles. It’s a show of dominance, I suppose. They’d much rather be petted on their lower backs, rather than their heads. Behind the ears is fine. They have trouble reaching back there.

We’re doing pretty well for an operation that started on a shoestring. Once we got a call from The Process Church of the Final Judgment. They had some German Shepherds that they wanted us to take off their hands. Beautiful dogs. I had to tell them thanks, but no thanks. We try to avoid controversy. We try not to be political. Democrats and Republicans can agree on one thing–that’s it’s fun to spend the afternoon with a beautiful dog. More than that–it’s like nature’s own Valium. Spending the afternoon with a beautiful dog is much better for you than going out and getting drunk. I think we can both agree on that. The expense, the brutal hangovers–why not spend the afternoon with a beautiful dog, instead?

No, we haven’t any plans to expand our base of operations. Not yet. I realize that currently we operate out of a pretty sketchy neighborhood. That’s why the police were so suspicious. But the rent is cheap. And most of our clients don’t seem to mind. The only thing I worry about is gentrification. 

I don’t put too much stock in people who wear their religion on their sleeve. But I can’t help but think that, actually, we’re doing God’s own work here. Uniting happy dogs with lonesome people. I feel that, if there is a God, He’s a loving and merciful God, you know? And He put dogs on this earth for a reason. Otherwise, how else can you account for them? I know I’m getting a little sentimental here. But let’s be real. Dogs serve no real purpose on this earth, other than to love and be loved. Obviously, I’m not talking about service dogs. they’re the exception. 

Dogs are one whole hell of a lot easier to get along with than some women I could name. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. With a woman–well, women are insecure. You have to wine her, and dine her, and exchange all kinds of inane compliments. With a dog, you don’t even have to talk, although, obviously the dog would like it very much if you did. Most dogs find a human voice soothing, and they thrive on a little attention. Like watering a plant. Women tend to be moody. But a dog is only snappish when he’s sick, and we make sure that all our dogs are healthy and ready and willing to serve. That’s why we don’t never get no complaints.I guess that dogs understand me because they know I am their friend.

Our customers are loyal. Almost frighteningly loyal. You should read what they have to say on social media. They say that if we went out of business, they wouldn’t know what to do. I guess if that day finally comes–well, I guess I wouldn’t know what to do either. Building this business has been my whole life. I suppose I could always start some other dog-related enterprise. But it wouldn’t be the same. Because there’s nothing like spending the afternoon with a beautiful dog.


Evil won again today, leaving Good only five matches ahead for
domination of the universe.

Maan, like, The Lord really sucks, man!

I used to think Jhwh was schmart, but now I think he’s schtupid.

I used to think J. Edgar Jehovah was watching me from heaven.

I used to say ‘Yahweh or the Highway’.

I used to say, “You’d better show respect to Jehovah’s Fist/ Or he’ll
burn your messianic ass to a crisp.”

But, once again, my favorite God has let me down.

Douche-God has fucked up again.

I can’t believe I used to pray to that Guy.

I mean really–what has He done for us, lately?

Except coast for the last 1,980 years?

I can’t believe I give $500 a year to that Guy!

And to think that at one time I ate of His bread and drank of His wine!

I was even married in His church!

Well, I’m sick of being a sap.

I’m going to throw away all of my God memorabilia, including my poster
of World Championship Lions v. Christians from 70 A.D.

I guess I should have paid closer attention to the disclaimer on the
crucifix: “Belief in the Divinity of Christ does not automatically
entitle user to experience eternal bliss in Heaven.”


Comrade and Citizen are super-retro, Tovarich and Effendi are too darn
foreign and subversive, and Bra and Bro and their variants are rapidly
getting old, so I modestly propose that we fellers call each other
insulting nicknames modified by titles of respect.


Sir Douchebag.
Mister Dog.
President Mutt.
Gold Tooth Fatty.
Admiral Asshole.
Scumbag, Esquire.
General Fuckwit.
Master Chief Assholio.
Doctor Shithead.
Ass Master.
Lord Gomer.
Superindentant Retardo.
Most High Handkerchief-Head.
Great Pukebucket.
Chief Shinebox.


The circularity of the sitcom plot, in which nothing ever changes, is
both one of its timeless strengths, yet, ultimately, also the fatal
flaw which dooms the form to an artistic ghetto.

The same circularity was evident in radio sitcoms as well.

In fact, many of the present-day sitcom concentions come from radio,
and, prior to that, the stage and even serialized novels.

The applause when a “guest star” enters the room. The entrance-exit
lines. The tradition of changing the subject with “never mind that”
(which actually dates from the 1820s or earlier).

The prevalent art form of a given era says a great deal about the
temper​a​ment of the people for whom it was devised to entertain. We wax
nostalgic about the grand old movies of the 30s and 40s, though only
the good ones have risen to the top. A good 90% of those movies were
b-flicks or worse, and devised only to fill the bottom half of a
double feature.

Thus, with television. There is so much time to fill that it is nearly
impossible to devise enough original programming to fill it all. So if
TV is our thing, we are forced to entertain ourselves with the output
of overworked insiders who hand us machine-written plots and cliched

“There’s only one natural death, and even that’s Bedcide.”–Edward Dorn

Under the Federal Poetry Products Inspection Act, The Federal Poetry Inspection Agency (FPIA) inspects all poetry published in interstate and foreign commerce, including imported products. The Agency monitors poetry products after they reach print.

The FPIS also designates seven distinct grades of poetry.

Prime grade is produced from old, well-practiced poets of known accomplishment. It has abundant imagery and is marbled with philosophic insight and is generally published in both popular paperback editions and by reputable academic presses which provide scholarly annotations and variorum texts. Prime poetry is considered excellent for adaptation into other media (painting; graphic arts; references in literary works and films).

Choice grade is high quality poetry, but is often more idiosyncratic than Prime. Choice poems are often adjudged “difficult” or “complex,” and some poetry lovers profess to actually prefer them to Prime. These grades are nearly always the product of small university presses whose parent institutions offer the MFA degree.

Select grade is very uniform in quality and normally less verbose and ponderous than the higher grades. It is fairly easy to understand, but, because it has far less genuine philosophic content, it may lack some of the resonance and quotability of the higher grades. University Press chapbooks are one source of select grade.You will sometimes find poems of this grade reproduced on posters with appropriate imagery, e.g., a dive with an olive branch or a beautiful sunset.
Standard grade is frequently produced by poets of tender years whose verbal extravagances frequently serve to conceal a serious lack of gravitas. University press chapbooks and small, quasi-vanity presses are a frequent source for standard grade product.

Commercial grade poetry is frequently produced by pretentious songwriters, occasional poets, and scholarly amateurs. Very few people other than serious acolytes profess any interest in these frequently self-published “vanity” projects. You might also find commercial grade poetry in the pages of college literary and limited-run “little” magazines.

Utility grade poems are often written by authors of popular fictional works, superannuated actors, wives of eminent men, and former politicians. These verse collections are frequently found in the remainder bins of stores which do not specialize in books.

Cutter grade poetry is seldom, if ever, sold at retail but is used instead to make filler for newspaper columns, particularly advice columns in which the reader wishes to share “a lovely poem” with the interlocutor. It seldom, if ever scans, and offers up only the most banal of sentiments. It is very difficullt to differentiate from bad prose.

Canner grade poetry is execrable verse, which, in the vast majority of cases, is self-published, either by a vanity press, or, far more frequently, in the obituary and in memoriam columns of newspapers. High school literay magazines often publish a not inconsiderable amount of this grade.

The requirements in the “Doggerel Reduction; Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) Systems” final rule are designed to minimize the likelihood of harmful doggerel being published as poetry products. However, some doggerel could be present and might become a problem if poetry is not published judiciously. To assist versifiers, the FPIA requires that versification guidelines be published on all chapbooks and other not fully refined works of poetry.


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