I’m Working Out More, and It’s Getting People’s Attention

I’ve been working out a lot lately.

And I don’t want to brag, but people around me are noticing.

I say that because I just got this email:

Hi theratandpig@aol.com,

Someone horny is waiting for you:

http://indigonavy.com/4xz0xtoocmjh4-a

-You must be 18 years of age or older to see who is waiting for you!



Making this even stranger, I think my new physique is particularly attractive
to Asian women.

I say that because shortly after getting that last email, I got this:

Dear theratandpig@aol.com,

Lonely Asian Women are waiting to meet you:
http://stirbeam.com/–u4dvgubeekmzq

Search thousands of Asian women profiles:
http://stirbeam.com/bmotiiba-x8ffeq



While I feel bad that so many Asian women are lonely, I’m married and can’t do anything about it.

I did, however, reply to their email.

Dear Lonely Asian Women,

I am so sorry to hear about your predicament. And I appreciate your appeal to me. I’ve been working out a lot lately, and it feels good to have someone else notice it. Unfortunately, I’m married.

P.S. Exactly how many of you are there?


Woe to the Telemarketer Who Has to Call Me

Just got a sales call from a magazine asking me to subscribe.

“Can’t,” I said.

“Why not?” he asked.

“I’m blind,” I said.

I could hear him searching through his sales call notebook.

“We have a special audio edition for the visually impaired.”

“Won’t do much good,” I said.

“Why not?” he asked.

“I’m deaf.”

I could hear him start to shuffle through his notebook again.  Then he got smart.

“Then how have you been hearing this conversation?” he asked.

“It comes and goes,” I said.

“I’ve never heard of deafness that comes and goes,” he said.

“WHAT?!” I shouted.

A Friend In Need is a Friend Indeed, Unless He Wants Brazilian Food

On Sunday I went to a place that serves Brazilian food.

The guy behind the counter said, “What can I get you, my friend?”

I asked what he recommended.

He said, “We have many good things, my friend.”

I asked what most people ordered.

He said, “The chicken and rice, my friend.”

I stared at him, wondering how we had grown so close so fast.

“I’ll take the chicken and rice,” I said.

He entered it in the register.

“That will be eight dollars, my friend.”

I started to take my wallet from my pocket but stopped.

“Eight dollars?” I asked.

“Yes,” he said, “Is that a problem?”

“Yes,” I said, staring him in the eye.  “I thought we were friends.”

He didn’t smile.  He didn’t react.

As I paid him, I felt compelled to add one more thing.

“You’ve put a great strain on our relationship.”

Let Saigons be Saigons

I don’t understand what the woman who cuts my hair is saying.

She’s very sweet, and she’s great at what she does, but her Vietnamese accent is so strong I have no idea what she’s talking about.

The only thing I can figure out is that the stories she’s telling are meant to be amusing.  I say this because she giggles at the end of them.  And some of them are apparently about her kids, something I know only because she once pointed to a framed photo of them.

When I first started going to her, I would just nod as she spoke, but it left such long silent gaps in the conversation that it became awkward.

So I soon began saying one of two things, “That’s great,” and “That’s funny.”  I alternate the two of those and throw in the occasional “Wow” and “Aren’t kids amazing.”

My problem is that one of these days she is not going to be telling an amusing anecdote.  And I’m going to have a conversation like this:

Her:  “My son stabbed the mailman.”

Me:  “That’s funny.”

Her:  “The poor guy died.”

Me:  “That’s great.”

Her:  “Now my son’s on death row awaiting lethal injection.”

Me:  “Aren’t kids amazing?”

Her:  “What should I do?”

Me:  “Wow.”

Perhaps I should go back to nodding.

Animated Stephan

You know your friends have too much time on their hands when they start making animated shows about you.

In this case, the friend is Mark Tatulli, creator of the comic strip “Lio.” And he has made me the star of my own animated series.

In less than one day, he has produced four separate installments.  At this rate, he’ll have 1,200 by year-end.

My character appears to have a singular obsession, which I’ll let you see for yourself.  I’d object, but it’s so accurate, I can only cry.

To see all four parts, click HERE.

By the way, he made the animations at this site that lets you create your own animated movies in a matter of minutes.  It’s www.xtranormal.com.  It’s very fun.  So if you want, please create your own movies about me and I will link to them here.   Extra points if you make fun of Mark or portray me in a more flattering light.

Letters, We Get Letters

I got this email recently. Well, I got it in December, but I’m just now getting to December’s email, so for me it’s recently.

Anyways, here’s what it said:

From: (Name deleted)
To: theratandpig@aol.com
Subject: Comics
Your comic strip stinks. Your characters are idiots and so are you.


I don’t know what it says about me, but I love these emails. Why? Because it gives me a chance to send this:

“Dear ________,
Thank you for your kind words about Pearls. Unfortunately, due to the overwhelming popularity of the strip, Stephan cannot respond to each email personally. But rest assured, your support of the strip is noted and your email address has been added to our fan list so that you can receive updates on the strip. Thanks again, _______, for your continued support.”


If the arrogant reference to the strip’s “overwhelming popularity” and form letter appearance are not enough (and I make sure to leave in the blanks where his/her name should go so they know it’s a form letter), the mention that they’re going to be put on an email list is always sure to put them over the edge.
Anyways, after sending this response to the email, the person wrote again.

From: (Name deleted)
To: theratandpig@aol.com
Subject: Re: Comics
I know that that’s an idiot form email you send to everyone. And I DO NOT have any kind words to say about the crap you write.


I was so excited to get this second email that I almost started jumping up and down. Why? Because it gives me one more chance to send this:

Dear ________,
Thank you for your kind words about Pearls. Unfortunately, due to the overwhelming popularity of the strip, Stephan cannot respond to each email personally. But rest assured, your support of the strip is noted and your email address has been added to our fan list, so that you can receive updates on the strip. Thanks again, _______, for your continued support.”


Sadly, he/she has not written back a third time. But believe me, I’m checking my email box every ten minutes to make sure.  With any luck, this cycle could last for years.

Man, I love my job.