To whom it may concern

I met him first on a lazy Sunday morning in the winter of 1966 a few miles out side of El Paso, Texas. I was just a wide-eyed adolescent, na├»ve of love or politics or anything that seems to stir this melting pot we live in, but eager to face the challenges of my next awkward faze. My Mother introduced us, and it was love at first sight…at least for me. He was quiet and confident, some might even say cocky, but I knew even before I felt the softness of his touch that he was made to grow old with me.
From then on we were with each other constantly. He’d watch me play in the back yard or we’d spend an evening trying to get the knots out of his hair. Sometimes we would just sit and stare blankly into each others eyes for hours, not speaking at all, but knowing exactly what was on our minds.
Tomorrow came and it had been 8 years. I loved him beyond words and I kept waiting for him to tell me he loved me…but he never did. He never said much at all, yet he seemed completely content with being by my side. At night he was my pillow, during the day he was my friend.
Before long my mother began to question our relationship. She wondered if we were starting to out-grow each other. Maybe she planted a seed of doubt in his head because I came home from school one day and he was missing. No note, no nothing, just gone. I cried for days wondering if I’d ever see him again. My mother insisted it was for the best, but I couldn’t let it go. I was completely heartbroken. I wouldn’t leave the house or even touch my food. I blamed my mom for everything and refused to speak with her.
This seemed to go on for weeks. I was getting weak from not eating and she was getting irate at the silent treatment.
…And then one night, she came to me with a letter. She told me he left it for me on that fateful day but she couldn’t bear to give it to me. There, in that familiar handwriting on the family stationary were the words that forever changed my life.

So what is a Texas Teddy Bear? It’s the Christmas present that left me for a 22-year-old ski instructor named Sven. Thanks a lot for bringing it up.


All Tomatoes Aside

Dear Fiasco Family,

My last post ("A Critique of Tomatoes", 4/20/06), in which I described one of my recent and many profound spiritual experiences, has caused unrest at the Peripheral Fiasco home office in Snowflake, Arizona. The executives have asked me to release a "more appropriate and less religious" post that "follows format, you know like Mr. Rogers".

My counterparts at the Fiasco! Factory have been silenced by our lawyers and are unable to publicly discuss this blatent act of censorship. At this morning's private teleconference we unanimously decided for the benefit of our younger fans it is best if I just comply. So, in the interest of the children I offer you this instead:

My agent thinks this poem is the most important politicol work I've ever done. She says it really tugs at the essence of the State of Michigan's swimmer's itch eradication program.

Fiasco Mash

Superduck, oh fowel from space
Project me to to a happy place
For a minute or two, reimbursed by you
For a missing disc of turkey

Superduck, oh wise and bright
Return me to a former night
Of nerds and words spelled with similar letters
Of tittilating avian bedtime stories

Superduck, the sky is yours
So migrate the day away
I won't disturb you, nay nay nay
Unless I feel the need to use the word "chum baron" in a sentence

Thomas Jefferson was a real chum baron
When he heard the news of George Washington
And his victory in the dollar bill face contest

Want to bring an end to the use of "chum baron" in sentences? Join the crusade at:


A Critique of Tomatoes

A man once sold me a piece of furniture. A table. The table where I sit to eat most every meal. Built by his hand. The design he stole from a monastery in British Columbia. His table would stand alone even amongst the droves of washed out and stained, dented and dinged, old or are they new tables in the streets of Taos.

He appears to me. Not as an apparition but as a frequent happenstance never coincidence in the streets of Taos. First, at the grocery store where he kindly reminds me I owe him the blanket I borrowed to transport the table. Now, at the corporate box store where he smiles as I interrupt his critique of this year's potted tomato plants.

The exchange of words today is the same as the day I met him befuddled and busy in his tiny workshop. There every workbench and every tool was covered in dust and the neighbor's dogs spyed feverishly from the windows of old junk cars. He said he had a bad run with booze and at 61 he was gonna beat it. And make a late return to the art, the color, the pleasures long since drowned. I said I had a bad run with trying. Trying to fly when I was better off walking.

With him it's easy to talk about the blessings in life, so today we do. Then about cell phones and head cancer, and the pros and cons of the wholesale furniture business. We shake hands the way monks would shake hands. Gentle and unknowing in the streets of Taos. We part ways and I sit on a cheap and uncomfortable bench waiting for a ride. Content as a magpie and not less colorful.

Don't Knock It

I’ve never tried eating pickles and peanut-butter, or jumping from a three story building into a glass filled dumpster, or even speeding through a red light with my hands over my eyes. But I know with almost complete certainty that I won’t like doing them. I say “almost” because the speeding through the red light thing could really get the heart racing, and sometimes I can use a shot of adrenaline like that to wake me from this mundane existence I call a life...but anyhoo, I digress.
My point is the phrase “don’t knock it ‘til you try it” should really be reserved for those things in life that are universally considered pleasures…like sunlight. There are a good many things I can freely knock in this world without trying…like the Bee Gees for example, or trying to eat the cream part of an Oreo last. Some things you just look at and say “man, that’s stupid,” like the Church of Scientology or the George W. administration. Not everyone has a taste for being blindly led into the nearest apocalypse.
So in the future, I implore you, when someone says “don’t knock it ‘til you try it,” remove their tongue with the nearest set of vise grips and soak it in water for thirty to forty minutes.


A Peel to the Masses

It has come to my attention by way of telepathic door-knocking that in order to acheive the slippery insertion of Fiasco! doctorine into the vagina of nerd culture we must encourage public participation. The logic is as follows:

1. Would the baseball player have baseballed had he/she not been invited to join the team?
2. Would the janitor have janitored had his friend not beckoned him one day to "look at that big piece of shit floating in there"?
3. Would the world's number one ranked boxing poet have changed the lyrics of John Lennon's Imagine where "Imagine all the people/Living life in peace", became "Imagine all the peepholes/In Elton John's house" had he not been exposed to mind altering chemicals and group-oriented tomfoolery?

So I invite you the reader, be you friend or foe, to join us.

Your assignment:
- Describe a character (fictional or real, no ligers please).
- Explain how that character would respond when asked, "What is a Texas Teddy Bear?"

And the world will live as one.


Letters: Lunchables

To whom it may concern,

Today I purchased a turkey and cheese lunchable from the vending machine at my workplace. I was hoping to consider it lunchable enough to qualify as lunch. Much to my dismay when I got down to the last cracker-cheese product-turkey combo, I was one turkey circle short. I was thrown for a loop.

"Do they expect me to eat just a cracker-cheese product combo?", I thought.

The triple threat of cracker, cheese product and turkey is so enormously good. It hurt me to finish my lunch on such a sour note. Here it is 2 hours later and I am still not over it.

Now you the good people of Kraft foods have been good to me in the past. I have enjoyed your cheese slices since my youth. (By the way, I think it is pure genius how you have put arrows on the clear packaging allowing the cheese eater to open the cheese with minimal effort.) This is why I alert you to this oversight. I am sure that on a whole your lunchables are quite well proportioned, but this particular one was not, and I thought that since you care you would want to know. After all what is a lunchable if not totally lunchable?

Thank you for your time and keep up the good work.

W. J. DeBalt


Response from the good people at Kraft foods:

Thank you for visiting http://www.kraftfoods.com/.

I'm sorry for your experience with OSCAR MAYER LUNCHABLES 97% Fat Free Lunch Combination. The problem you described sounds like there was a possible mechanical failure at our facility. I am sending you reimbursement via first class mail, which you should receive within 7-10 business days.

We value the quality of the products that leave our facility. We give careful attention to each step of our manufacturing process. Samples from each production run are evaluated before we ship them, in an effort to prevent any unsatisfactory products from entering distribution.

Mistakes can sometimes occur on our production lines. We try to prevent this by stationing inspectors at various points along the production lines, and their duties include watching for malfunctions. Also, our quality control staff makes regular rounds throughout the production area during the day in order to ensure that production equipment is functioning properly.

I hope this information is helpful, and again, I apologize for this experience.

Kim McMiller
Assoc Director, Consumer Relations


When I am rich

When I am rich I am going to have a bathroom with a toilet that has a mechanism that randomly adjusts the height to be different every time you use it. Not by much only a couple of inches. I am not sure how the whole thing will work, but I will be rich so I will pay someone to figure that out. I think that when you are about to sit on the toilet you are pretty much as vulnerable as you are going to get. So when you go to sit down and the toilet is about 1.57 inches lower than you expect it to be, that is funny to me. And it should be funny to you too, because if you can't laugh at yourself and your toilet misjudgings, than you really have some growing to do. Hopefully my sneaky toilet will help you with that.

I also want secret passages in my house. Nothing funny about that.