Tag Archive for weird

Novelty Snacks From Asian Markets

There is no greater faith than that of a man who trusts the packaged fish snacks of another culture.


My dad is a multi-cultural sportsman. That is, he loves to experiment in the sandboxes of other nationalities as a sport. He enjoys their movies, listens to their music, lights their incense, drinks their teas and partakes of their foodstuffs. It’s a loving sentimentality that I’m fundamentally interested in.


I inherited this trait from him, so it’s not uncommon for me to wander optimistically through the snack and dehydrated meats aisle of the local Asian grocery store, 99 Ranch Market, as though I don’t know any better, which I absolutely do. I totally know better than to blindly grab at imported Asian snacks. I don’t mean that in an ethnically insensitive way — I’ve always appreciated the integrity and style of my Asian friends, I just mean that due to lack of exposure over the years, I’m not very likely to palate many of their best fishy tidbits. But still I’ll poke through their grocery racks and look at all the goods and it’s not unusual for me to throw a few bags of weird stuff into my basket. I love the breath decimating Boy Bawang and some interesting peanut confections called Nagaraya that my Bebeboo has brought to my attention, but I’d say that 85% of the time, I’m completely disappointed and appalled by my selections. Pickled radish, Chinese beef jerky, dried pollock fish snack? What the living fuck am I thinking?


The snacks are often pretty funky tasting, laced with salt and MSG, potentially full of fat, cholesterol, lead, melamine, arsenic, mercury, human papilloma viruses and influenza. As an example of this, I was in LA’s Chinatown on Tuesday February 24th, dicking around in the Folksy Medicine section of a popular two-story red-colored Chinese supermarket on Broadway. There were NUMEROUS folksy remedies that were clearly (cough cough) labeled as dangerous, of course on the very bottom of the package with a irritating 2-inch sticker that was folded in half upon itself and could “just accidentally fall off” because it was adhered to the box by a 1/16″ sliver. This sticker, as difficult as it was to read, identified many products to contain, According to the State of California (flip the sticker over) cancer-causing poisons. The Sea Horse Genital Tonic Pills depicted here from my camera phone are exactly such a delicious cancer-causing medicine. Oh, I forgot to mention, The Sea Horse Genital Tonic listed as its first ingredient inexplicably contains LAND HORSE testicle bits. A savory thought, I know, considering the duplicitous ocean theme, but that’s wacky Asian snacks for you — uh, I mean folksy medicines. I will admit that most of the boxes I saw had the ubiquitous statements of not being endorsed by the FDA, etc. Though I don’t read Chinese and couldn’t tell you if the translations were honest to the English illiterate.


As you know, I have a morbid fear of shady Chinese restaurants. It is almost impossible to get me into a Chinese restaurant unless it has either “Panda” or “Express” in its name. I’m not sure exactly why that is, except that I went to a few of ’em here and there when I was a kid and they always kind of creeped me out. Roasted ducks hanging by the necks, dirty fish and lobster tanks crammed with someone’s meal-to-be. And of course television played a role; undercover consumer advocates would sometimes catch evil chefs doing horrible things in the kitchen, like smoking and dropping ashes into the bok choy. It’s obviously an irrational fear as there are thousands of very high quality Chinese restaurants out there in the world, but it’s a phobia of mine. So even I am at a loss for why I’ve been experimenting with shady Asian snack delicacies. I guess I genuinely like to be disappointed in life while spending money here and there on things that almost make me puke. Blecch! Who doesn’t?! But now perhaps it’s time to hang up my scholar’s cap and reach for the Doritos when I’m peckish. Or some Boy Bawang.



[c] 2009 Russ of America


North Korean Day Care Center

Last night I had a dream that my parents had enrolled me and Paris Hilton into a North Korean Day Care Center.


We had to sit around inside most of the day under the uncomfortable stares of the stern-looking North Korean husband-and-wife day care workers.


There was a jungle gym outside in the play area, but we weren’t allowed to play on it. We could look at it, but only for ten minutes each day.


Why the fuck was Paris Hilton trespassing in one of my dreams?



[c] 2009 Russ of America

How To Do Things Extra-Creepy

I was skulking in the dark on my enclosed patio when I saw a shadow walk past my patio door. I wondered how my neighbor would have felt if she knew that I was standing on the patio when she walked by, just sort of staring into the howly fog. “Arooooooooooo! Pretty creepy!” I mused. I thought about a few ways in which I could go about my life and really creep people out to the max at the same time. “It could be the new national pastime,” I suggested to whomever was listening. (Creepily, I was the only one listening.)

    * Grow a beard. My beard is creepy. I scare children with my beard. Never let the fibers all be aligned in a single direction. I’m like Santa Claus when he was just an at-risk juvenile being sentenced to perpetual community service at Guantana-Norte Pole. Ta-daa! Hail Santa!
    * When opening doors, open them just a crack. Look out with one eyeball for a few minutes to make sure the coast is clear. Once you’re reasonably sure the coast is clear, stick your head out and look back and forth, then back again, then forth, to ensure nobody’s there. If somebody is there, say “oh, excuse me!” and close and lock the door. Then open it back up a crack immediately and stare out with one eye. That’s entry-level creepy.
    * While shopping at the supermarket, pick a thin, waifish white woman and follow her through the store. You’re not really doing anything wrong — you’re just picking up and investigating legitimate groceries that you might find in each of those aisles. But make sure that you walk down every aisle she does, and make sure you pick something off of the rack. If she looks at you, smile awkwardly until she looks away. That’s creepy.
    * Whatever it is that you’re doing, do it extra slowly. Channel Jeff Goldblum in your endeavors. Do it with bugeyes and with slow, deliberate, oozy motions.
    * If you’re pouring yourself a drink at a party, pick up the container, look at it, pick up your glass, look at it, pour the drink very slowly, look at it, measure it, look at it, comment on it, look at it, pour some more, look at it and measure it. Wipe the bottle with your finger, look at it, and then suck tenderly on your finger. And look at it.
    * If you get caught looking at someone, look at them much harder, with a big sweetieboy smile on your face. Make the girl or boy think for sure that you were looking at them and only them. Point if you have to. That’s deliciously creepy.
    * Before you say anything to anybody, smile at them for four seconds. One-two-three-four-now-talk-but-do-it-slowly-and-deliberately.
    * If you have a cubicle, make sure to play a lot of 1970s porno-style music. Gyrate your hips whenever your victim walks by. Wink and say “Yes, it is.” That should confuse them.
    * Before you leave the elevator, position yourself right against the crack of the door so those rude people who think they can get on before anybody else can leave, are met with a face-full of your face. Don’t be afraid to lick them, because they are your bitches.
    * When meeting someone for the first time, it is okay to pretend to be a rabid dog-man and to nip at their heels.
    * Listen to The Brady Kids’ top four or five hits all the time. Jan will take you to her sugar shoppe and you will say yes. That’s creepy.
    * Eat marijuana candy for breakfast so that by lunch you are a jumbled mess of smiley, drooly, effusive goodness.
    * Wear a cape, but also wear short pants. Spandex bicycle shorts are preferable. Ooze…
    * When someone is talking to you, lick your lips a lot.
    * Wink your eye at people a lot. Open your mouth slightly when you do.
    * In public, suck on your index finger. Up to the third knuckle. Make eye contact with someone close by.
    * When meeting a fair maiden, don’t kiss her hand, suck on her fingers for thirty seconds. Show her that you have no gag reflex.
    * If you are a man, wear a sports bra. Whether you need one or not, that’s pretty creepy.
    * Create your own sign language and use it during board meetings.
    * Any time someone finishes a sentence you should pretend to shoot a pistol at them, and make a Kch! sound from the side of your mouth.
    * Wear a necklace reminiscent of a voodoo pouch. The more feathers that stick out of it, the better.

There are definitely other things you will need to do to be extra-creepy and I will keep you apprised as my list grows.



[c] 2009 Russ of America

Venice Beach Guy

Someday I’m going to become one of those wacky character performance art guys at Venice Beach.


Why the fuck not?


What, I gotta go to grad school for that too?


Looks like a lot of fun!


“Hey, it’s Rollerskate Guitar Man!”


Everybody knows him. Everybody likes him. Who doesn’t like him?


Or “Guy Who Walks On Broken Glass.”


“Oh yeah! I saw him once!”


But me, I’ll take a different approach. I’m gonna be that wacky character performance art guys at Venice Beach who wants to make a difference in the world. I’m the wacky character performance art guy at Venice Beach who loves to make a difference in the world and take on social issues.


There’s no fucking doubt about it. I can’t wait.


The wacky character performance art guy at Venice Beach who loves to make a difference in the world and take on social issues because if I don’t, then the whole world is fucked!


I’m going to be one of those guys, I just know it!


I’ll finally let loose and unbridle the beasts of condescension; stake out a nice little area to accost people and inflict my sharp, comedic pain as I peel back the cheap veneer of their particle-board furniture lives.


The really hip kids will give me a few bucks and the rest of the dickheads can GO GET FUCKED!!.


: D



[c] 2006 Russ of America