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Authors: Mykle Hansen,Ed Stastny,Kevin Kirkbride,Kevin Sampsell

Eyeheart Everything

BOOK: Eyeheart Everything
5.53Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
From: [email protected]
Subject: Foreword

Here’s a simple fact: The best stories are ones that speak right to you, that read like someone is talking to you. Humor is the same way. The best stuff talks to you, even if they ramble like a crazy person. Many humor writers lack this knowledge or gift. They often talk at you or lob their high-minded witticisms over your head.

Mykle Hansen is one of the good ones. He is your friend. He wants to make you laugh (about stuff like unfortunate UHF reception, Armenia, and weird dreams) and he wants to protect you (by telling you what big red buttons not to push and teaching you about mind control).

I was lucky enough to discover Hansen’s humor through this book when I was taking over the small press section at Powell’s way back in 1999. I appreciated the index of subject matter on the back and the impressive home printing and binding job. I thought to myself: this guy is really funny and ambitious! I gotta meet him. And I also gotta tell people about this book and sell a boatload of them.

So we met and became friends. We went to a laser light show together (Beastie Boys), did some readings together, and talked about boy stuff. I even borrowed money from him a few times.

One of the readings we did together was in the basement of a cafe on NE Alberta. It was called "Strip Poetry" and Mykle had created this roulette wheel with numbers on it. Before each person read, they had to spin the wheel and take off that many pieces of clothing. Everyone was wearing layer upon layer of clothing but I still ended up nearly naked. Just my boxers remained. I think Mykle was left wearing a sombrero, but I could be wrong. I have blocked it out probably.

I like Mykle because he does weird stuff like that. And since the release of Eyeheart Everything back in ’99, he has just gotten weirder. I mean, where do I begin? The pseudo-religious advice column or the book about a man being eaten by a bear?

But to tell you the truth, this book is still my favorite. It’s ridiculous, smart, and totally inventive. Open it up and let it start speaking to you, like a crazy naked person wearing a sombrero.

Kevin Sampsell

Fall 2010


There’s ten small men on poles next to the Theater Ideal, balancing on the ends of tall poles and upon themselves balancing more poles, and at the tops of those poles far overhead are precariously spinning plates, and on those plates are today’s special entrées. Meanwhile, deep within the earth’s crust, a team of tunnel-boring engineers are directing the forward movements of a modern tunnel-boring device, guided by readings taken from the cerebral cortex of an anaesthetized truffle-hunting laboratory pig, based on our infrared satellite predictions of a huge subterranean truffle network in the vicinity of St. Remy au Perdue. Their work continues apace, and may supply our second course. For our third course, staff acrobatic skydiving barbequeuists are even now packing their parachutes, preparing to rise 5000 meters above the western aviary preserve and then to dive. Their mission: to swoop silently down upon the high-altitude quail that have been observed there, hand-capturing, -executing, -cleaning, -seasoning, -stuffing and finally lighting ablaze said quail in free-fall, encasing them within special reinforced free-falling hibachii, before finally deploying their ’chutes at the last possible moment. It’s a risky job. The reinforced hibachii, upon re-entry, will be retrieved by gyrocopter and rushed to our special reconstructive facility, where the black-box recording devices will be analyzed for signs of charring, seepage, or dryness. Of the perhaps half-dozen retrieved candidates, only the finest will be brought to your table as tonight’s main course — the others will be sealed within drums of fast-drying cement, loaded aboard our submarine and propelled to the center of the Indian Ocean, where we will perhaps lose track of them. Only the best for our patrons. As a contrast, our fourth dish consists of bowls of fine potting soil which have been seeded with exotic fruit pits. A spoon is provided for the impatient. After the fruit plate, coffee or crack cocaine will be served, and then a desert of a light pâté of the noses of small, helpless, extremely friendly and fun-loving animals who depend on their sense of smell for survival.

Mary Beans and her Amazing
Personal Organizer

Mary Beans and her amazing personal organizer cornered me at a work-party last week, the one held at the Swollen Vole. She said that three months earlier, on August 13th, I had “promised” to call her sometime “soon” and that she had at that point taken me to mean within that week, but had later extended that definition of “soon” to encompass a thirty-day period, in deference to my busy work schedule, and that upon the exhaustion of the thirty-day period of expectation she had decided that it would be wise to assume a final all-encompassing definition, a definition of “soon” any layman would consider clearly over-generous, of ninety days, and she showed me all of these dates and periods in her amazing personal organizer, and sure enough, it was November 14th and the ninety day period had elapsed by three more days. I told her I lost her number, and she pointed out that she had taken the twin precautions of both pinning a card with her home number written on it to the wall of my cubicle on Day Three of the ninety-day phone-watch, and also of mailing to me at my home address (she is friends with the Human Resources Lady and apparently has all the data on me that can be had) a similar card. Plus, she says, her number is listed in the telephone book under Beans, Mary. I told her I was too drunk to explain, and she turned to the page where she had been keeping track of my behavior since I arrived at the Swollen Vole. This was drawn as a time-line, extending left to right, bisecting the small beige note-page, starting on the left edge at 5:30pm, the official start-of-party. Above the line were indicated her own actions: arrival, 5:45 (fashionably late). At 5:54, a Manhattan was obtained, and this was finished at 6:01, after which there was a ten minute cooling-off period, during which time several other employees of our office arrived in a group. Screwdriver at 6:11, and my own arrival (indicated below the bisecting line) at 6:38 was two drinks after that, but, she showed me, I had had only one drink, what appeared to be a gin and tonic, at 6:39, and was clearly only half-way through drinking it at 6:41, the moment at which she approached me with her amazing personal organizer and began her remarkably well-documented tirade. I said that it appeared she was too drunk to listen to an explanation, and she asked me if I thought she was pretty, and I said sure she was, which was a lie, and she pointed out to me that she had asked me this same question, in order to confirm my position, no less than seven times in the course of day-to-day inter-employee fraternization. And I was certain that I had not told that uncomfortable lie seven whole times, but she had records, and what did I have besides my faulty memory? I began to try to tell her that she was acting strange, and was clearly distraught, and that it was maybe unfair of me not to have simply told her the truth: that I found her mousy, skinny, odd, that her way of looking at me made me want to leap out of my skin and run away, and that I was flattered in an abstract sense by her interests, whatever they were, I sort of assumed romantic-to-carnal, but that I was just a contractor, not interested in getting involved with my co-workers on this mangy three-month job. But of course I didn’t get that far. Instead, Mary Beans first struck me across the jaw with her amazingly hefty personal organizer, and then as I reeled back, demanded an appointment. A date, in other words, and she flipped through the pages sarcastically, poring through her upcoming social calendar. Evening of Monday the 21st? Open. Tuesday the 22nd? Open. Wednesday the 23rd there was an appointment to watch Ally McBeal, but that could be postponed. Thursday? Wide open! She waved the pages in my face.

My lip was split. I tasted blood with my next sip of gin and tonic. I held my glass to the light. There was a tiny red storm cloud slowly tumbling inside. I didn’t know what to say. Honestly, I am at the mercy of people like Mary Beans, who have schedules and are organized, and who make it so difficult for me to tell them the truth. She demanded a piece of my time, to compensate for the crime she felt I had committed. I had simply hoped that I would fail to call her and she would get the message, but no, Mary Beans only accepts messages in the format that her personal organizer can digest. And I tried to tell her that I had a girlfriend already, which would have been a lie if I’d been able to get it out, and I didn’t know any way to talk my way back to the truth from all the polite little lies she had wrung out of me so far.

So ... so Thursday at 6pm, a movie TBA, dinner, reserved unstructured time on into the evening thereafter. She wrote it down triumphantly in thick red felt pen, she made me sign it, and she tore out a meeting-reminder slip from the back of her little leatherette book and scribbled the appointment on it, wrote DON’T FORGET!!! and underlined it three times, then stuck it in my hand, squeezed that hand, and planted a little kiss on my cheek before turning towards the door and falling over halfway there.

Drunk people fall over in bars, certainly, and some of them hit their faces on small wooden tables as they fall, certainly, and some of those tables it must be said are unfortunately set with glasses and flatware, which those drunk people occasionally catch in the face. It’s rare, but it happened, and a bunch of us rode along with her to the emergency room, where she smiled coyly at me as the blood streamed from her face, and when they came to take her in for X-rays and stitches, an orderly tried to take from her her amazing personal organizer, but she screamed, cursed and held onto it with all her might, because she knew she had me trapped inside.

Return My Sweater Or Face Civil Action!

I will never again allow myself to be coated with oil, suspended by my ankles and slapped with sides of beef so that you may impress your thesis advisor with your outsider credentials. I have had enough. I will not shave, dye, pierce or tattoo myself, or any of my pets, for you ever again. I will not cut any more holes in the roof of your car. I will not resist arrest. I will not sit through any more drunken screenings of Pink Flamingos with your tittering, abrasive friends. I will not pretend to be your former employer when your future employer calls me at midnight, asking whether you are “a hottie” or “just a bitch.” Don’t ask me to, ever again.

You cannot store any more movie memorabilia at my mother’s house. You may not park your dead ‘68 Buick hearse, that leaks three kinds of fluids and rusts obnoxiously, and smells of death, in my brother’s driveway. You may not borrow my car battery any longer. I need it for my car. Please get your bicycle off of my fire escape, and take your carpet remnants too.

Please, please, take home your vast, tumorous, indolent, violent hairy cat. I cannot say what might happen if you don’t do this soon. I have stopped feeding it, I warn you. I am not going to say anything about the feelings I have for this animal, or what its living here has cost me, in dollars and in turmoil. Just take it — or else.

I have called all of your friends and told them what you are like.

I have called all your friends and informed them of my decision to sever all ties with them. I am returning the bottle of Spike your mother sent after our Thanksgiving dinner — I never opened it. I never used the cologne you gave me, you can have that back as well. And I no longer have any use for that thing in the basement. I have told the super about you, and posted a picture of you in the foyer where the neighbors can see it. None of them will let you in.

BOOK: Eyeheart Everything
5.53Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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