I finished my show at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta last night at 7, checked out of my hotel and got a flight back to Newark at 10 PM.

I know Delta Airlines is in Chapter 11, but you think they could afford to give me an extra bag of Sun Chips.

So I 'm back home now and I just got an email about a job I'm doing on Wednesday. Apparently I'm going to be interviewing a member of the U.S. Secret Service.

If I say anymore, the FBI will come to my house and confiscate my Powerbook.



I am straight. If you don't believe me, that's fine. I don't need to prove myself to you. Look, sometimes I wonder about it too. I find most hot girls to be annoying. I have a habit of developing crushes on boyish lesbians, which tends to be a waste of everyone's time.

I really did start to wonder about my sexual orientation recently. It's been a long time since I've been attracted to a girl.

But then I saw a copy of Maxim in the Russian barbershop where I get my head shaved. The cover girl was Kelly Monaco, star of "General Hospital" and that celebrity dance competition show on ABC.

They got me. Maxim, that stupid, piece of shit rag for beer-soaked Frat boys got me. They won. I lost. They put this picture of a sweaty Kelly Monaco on their cover and it was like I had been hypnotized. I just could not stop looking at this picture.

I refuse to link to Maxim's website, because I refuse to promote what they do. But you reallly should go look at those pictures.

As mentioned in a previous post, I am trapped in Atlanta with no porn. All I can say is, thank God for the Maxim website. I've been keeping company with Sweaty Kelly every night before bed, if you know what I mean. And if you don't know what I mean then you are a fucking moron.

Okay, here's the point: one of the many professional hats I wear is freelance field producer/reporter.

I cover news events with a camera crew, interview newsmakers and celebrities and then sit in an edit room with an editor and cut together what is commonly known as a "package."

That pacakage is then broadcast, via satellite, to every TV newsroom in America (and sometimes internationally), where broadcasters are free to use the content on their news programs.

These things are commonly known as Video News Releases (or VNRs). Technically they are not "news" because a client pays to have their name, or product, or service promoted. But they are often treated like news by TV stations, so I think of them as news. And I was a journalism minor at NYU, so I like to think of myself as one of the "ink-stained wretches."

Back in May I covered the New York City premiere of Star Wars: Episode III and I got to interview the cast. This was the flat out coolest job I have ever done. Someday I will tell you all about it.

After that I covered an "Apprentice" event at Dominos Pizza and interviewed the contestant that was voted off the night before.

Over the years, I 've done dozens of these jobs all across the country (and in the U.K. where I had an exclusive interview with Sylvester Stallone).

But today I got put on hold to cover The Glamour Awards on November 2. I really could care less about models and celebrities and all that nonsense BUT what if Kelly Monaco is there?

I think I might freeze up. Or get a spontaneous erection.

Thank you Kelly for reminding me that I'm straight. I'll see you on November 2.

I'll be the gay-looking bald dude with the inappropriate bulge in my pants...


"If you're going to capitalize 'Latino' and 'Asian' then you better capitalize 'Black.' I don't wanna be known as the guy who made 'black' lower case."

Proofing the slides for the Diversity & Inclusion meeting is a minefield of political correctness.


The son of former mob boss John Gotti has reportedly renounced his ties to organized crime.

Here's hoping the son of former president George H.W. Bush will renounce his ties to politics.

What better day than today?

Then W. and his good friend Tom Delay can sit around and smoke cigars and lament about being wrongly accused of misdeeds by "unabashed partisan zealots."

Appparently Hurricane Katrina was really just part of a vast left-wing conspiracy.


We did the event with the elephant this afternoon and I learned a few things.

First of all, elephants are not particularly easy to work with. Secondly, elephants really like to be with other elephants. So, even though we needed ONE elephant for this show, the trainer had to bring the entire elephant family. That's FOUR elephants - for a two-minute bit in a meeting of 3,500 accountants.

The "star" elephant (her name is Jumbo, or Stumbo or something elephant-y) brought along her three siblings, and her trainer.

But I also learned something else. Elephant trainers also don't like to travel alone.

The trainer brought along his wife and their 18 year old daughter. That's four elephants, two adults and one teenage girl, all living in the parking lot of the Georgia World Congress Center here in Atlanta.

The Elephant Family is sleeping outside, au natural. The Trainer Family is sleeping in their customized RV, aka "The Elephant Mobile." I don't know if the 18 year old Trainer's Daughter sleeps in "the all-together" but I certainly hope so.

But here's the best part. Right before she was about to go on, our star elephant decided that she didn't feel like entertaining the accountants. So she refused to walk up the ramp to the convention center. So she was replaced at the last minute by her sister Louisa.

Apparently our hero elephant turned out to be something of a diva.

Four elephants, three humans, four trailers, a customized RV, and six cases of peanut M&Ms and the thing almost didn't happen.

Can you imagine explaining that to the client?

"Sorry, no elephant. She's just not really into it."

If I was in charge I would have just scared the elephant with a mouse. It always works in the cartoons.

I don't know how much we paid for the Elephant Menagerie, but I'm relatively sure it's more than I'm making.

I think maybe I should become an elephant. I'd make more money. And if I don't feel like working, I don't work.

Fuck all y'all bitches.



"Whatever you do, don't forget the turban!"

Right now, at this very moment, two accountants are doing a parody of the Carnac the Magnificent bit from the old "Tonight Show."

Who says accountants aren't funny?

I do.

I'm sorry Johnny.


"Let's have one more round of applause for our rappers!"

As mentioned previously, this is a meeting of accountants.

Later in the meeting, we're going to be handing out faux gold chains to all attendees. Our client is calling it "bling."

I am not kidding about any of this.



As previously mentioned, I'm on the road coordinating production of an event in Atlanta.

I'm working with a producer named Mickey Moskowitz and a Powerpoint artist named Donald Duckworth.

And don't forget the performing elephant.

There are also these seven guys who do all the labor on the convention floor. They're all really short. I think they may be Guatemalan.

One of the guys is named Dopey. At least that's what everyone calls him.

I smoked some primo weed with him last night. It made me feel really goofy.

So I called a cab and got a ride to this bar called Mr. Toad's, which was totally wild. I ended up having a couple drinks with a lady, who turned out to be kind of a tramp.

She wanted to come back to my room, but I said no. I really don't want to catch some kind of a love bug, like my buddy Herbie.

So I stumbled back to my hotel, and I noticed that there was a message on my voicemail. Turns out my next job is in Orlando, which is awesome because I have a lot of friends there.

Boy, it really is a small world, after all!



"What is the elephant's call time for tomorrow?

Yes, there is really a performing elephant on this show I'm working on in Atlanta.

It's a meeting of accountants!

What does an elephant have to do with accountants?!

Wait a minute. Accountants are rich. Rich people are Republicans. The mascot of the GOP is an elephant...

Now it all makes sense. It's an elaborate political statement.

I wonder if the elephant gets a per diem. $65 buys a lot of peanuts...



Greetings from Atlanta!

I am here for work, coordinating event production on a series of meetings for a mutinational professional services firm. If you don't really understand what that means, that's okay. Neither do I. All I know is they pay me a lot to do it.

The good news is, I get to stay at the beautiful Omni Hotel at CNN Center.

The bad news is, the beautiful Omni Hotel at CNN Center has no Hotel Room Porn.

I travel a lot for work, which I'm not thrilled about, but I always get to stay in really nice hotels. And I get a $65 per diem each day for meals, so I figure $9.99 of that for a little adult entertainment is not financially irresponsible.

If I added up all the money I've spent on Hotel Room Porn in the fifteen years that I have been traveling for work, I could probably put a kid through college. Which is ironic, since most of the movies I order have the word "college" in the title.

But on the positive side, the following channels ARE available here at the CNN Center Omni:

CNN Headline News
CNN On Demand
CNN en Espanol

CNN Real College Girls Confessions Channel

Somebody call Ted Turner! It's been a long time since I actually had to use my imagination...



Dear New York Times:

Hello! How are you? I am fine!

Let me begin by saying how much I enjoy your fine newspaper offerings. I enjoy buying The New York Times each morning on my way to work. I enjoy paying four times as much as people pay for The New York Post, because I am four times smarter than people who read The New York Post!

Don’t get me wrong. I read The New York Post. But I read it with a great sense of irony. You might say I read it “with my tongue firmly eggplanted in my cheek.” Except for the Horoscope. Sally Brompton’s Daily Horoscope is always right and I am not kidding about that! I know you guys work for The New York Times, but you should really check it out.

Another thing that I like to read in The New York Post is Page 6. Have you ever read that Page? If you want to, don’t look for it on Page 6! Or even Page 7, or 8, or 9! Page 6 is actually on Page 10! I wonder if that is a mistake, or if they are just trying to be exclusive like fancy discoteques that have no sign over their door?

Anyway, Page 6 has many articles about famous people. Like did you know that the Super Model Kate Most has an addiction to cocaine?! Kate Most Likes Candy - Up Her Nose! Ha! That would be the type of headline they would put in/on the Page 6 (which, as stated earlier in this letter, is actually located on Page 10!)

But I digest. Today I am writing to you about the new section of The Sunday New York Times Magazine. The section is called “The Funny Pages.”

I think this section is not named well, or as well as it could/should be! For example, when I turn to the Funny Pages in The New York Post (which I read ironically) I enjoy a comic book called Garfield. Garfield is a comic book about a cat (named Garfield) who thinks many funny things in his head, because he cannot speak, because he is a cat! But he sure does love to eat lasagna, which is funny because I didn’t know cats liked Italian food! I once tried to feed my girlfriend’s cat Reggie Spaghettios, but he did not like them at all!

Anyway, I opened up to your new “Funny Pages” section and no Garfield! Not even “Cathy!” (She just got married, after all these years! Congratulations Cathy!)

Instead of those funny comic books, you have a comic book called “Building Stories.” “Building Stories” is a comic book about a building who thinks many funny things in his head, because he cannot speak, because he is a building. So in one sense it is like Garfield, in that sense of thinking funny things in his head (maybe not his head, because buildings don’t have a “head” unless you are like my Uncle George and you call the Boy’s Room “The Head!”)

But that is where the similarities end. I had problems reading “Building Stories” because it was kind of hard to think about a thinking building because I do not think a building actually thinks.

So, I asked somebody who I work with (his name is Douglas) about buildings thinking, and he said that the writer was “anthropomorphizing” the building.

Boy is Douglas smart – because he is from England! I never even heard about that word before Douglas said it to me in the Break Room on the third floor of the building we work in (which is definitely not a “thinking” building!). But I checked up on anthropomorphizing on dictionary.com and it is a true word which means “to instill human characteristics in non-human things.”

Now, hold the phone! That is exactly what they do in “Garfield!” So maybe next week you can run “Garfield” instead of “Building Stories.” If not, maybe you can just add a thinking cat who lives in the thinking building!

You know what I always say? “Double the anthropomorphizing, double the fun!”

See you in The Funny Pages!

William McKinley, Jr.
New York City



The company where I work freelance had a party on Friday night. It was the wrap party for a very intense project that had finished earlier that day. Everyone involved was working long hours and in need of letting off a little steam.

I broke my own "no party" rule as well as my "no alcohol" rule that night. But every time I am anywhere near alcohol, trouble is not far behind.

Two things of note happened at this party: One female co-worker told me that she "loved me." And another kissed me on the mouth.

The first one was married. The second one was gay.

I am just a black hole of awkwardness. I suck weird, uncomfortable situations toward me, until I am completely surrounded by them. And alcohol lubricates the machinery.

This is why I don't interact with people more than I do. More often than not, something bad will happen, booze or no. I'm not being negative or pessimistic. This is a fact.

I am the worst at maintaining friendships. I have these "situational friendships" that usually develop in stressful work situations. But once the project ends, the relationship recedes because there's nothing to talk about anymore. These are the most depressing kinds of relationships because they are frozen in time at a particular moment in your life. And when that moment ends, the relationship begins to slowly die.

There's only so many times you can talk about that crazy run to Kinko's at 3 a.m.

I don't have any guy friends. I've never had any guy friends. Not since 8th grade. Almost all of my friends for the last 25 years have been female. And almost all of those relationships have disintegrated because of some weirdness. Either I have a thing for her, or she has a thing for me, or we date, or we hook up, or I say something that offends her or I get tired of her. Honestly, I cannot keep track of all the reasons. All I know is - every day of the week - I have to navigate through this minefield of awkwardness with people at work or in my little world of amateur stand-up comedy,

There are even people at work that I don't speak to - and who don't speak to me - because we are "in a fight" for one reason or another. Same with the guy who lives below me in my building. I'm living like a Middle Schooler.

Not too long ago a younger, newer comedian told me that some comics consider me to be standoffish. I'm not standoffish. I'm just reticent to extend myself when so often it just results in trouble.

Maybe I should get a cat. Or start hanging out with guys.

Sometimes I wish I was gay. It would explain so much that I haven't been able to figure out yet. And I would get laid a lot more.

But then I see Kelly Monaco on the cover of Maxim. And I really, really want to be her friend.



The lead story on the news last night was the fact that President Bush’s approval rating has fallen to 40%, the lowest it has been in his five-year presidency.

The real news is that four out of every ten people in this country actually think that this man is doing a good job.

Who are these people? Where do they live?

They must not have children. How could a parent possibly approve of a man who is mortgaging their children’s financial future? $400 billion for the war in Iraq? Put it on the credit card. $400 billion for relief and rebuilding on the Gulf Coast? Put it on the credit card.

Let’s say you had a baby tomorrow. Then let’s say that I bought something and told you that your baby would have to pay for it – with interest – in thirty or forty years. Apparently four out of ten of you think that would be just fine.

Actually I don’t think those four-out-of-ten are reading my blog. I’m not sure that they’re reading anything. But that’s not the point.

I’m a Democrat. But I’m also a pragmatist. If John McCain wins the Republican nomination in 2008 I can’t promise that I won’t vote for him. The point is, I have always voted for the person I felt was best suited for the job (okay Michael Dukakis doesn’t count).

My father was raised to believe that you do not question authority. I honestly believe that there are many people in this country who still “approve” of George W. Bush because he is “our president.”

These are the same people who believe that questioning the war in Iraq somehow shows a lack of support for the faceless collective known as “the troops.” I want American military personnel currently stationed in Iraq to be spared from physical harm and the mental anguish of combat. I want them to come home to their families. I want them to see their children grow up. And I don’t want their children to be condemned to an uncertain financial future by a financially irresponsible administration.

That's how I support the troops.

Bush’s approval rating plummeted in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Since then he has visited the region five times, removed an under-qualified official and pledged generous financial support to the recovery.

What more will happen if his approval rating continues to fall?

Hurricane Katrina was a tragedy; of that there is no doubt. But what if the amount of money that the United States needs to spend because of Katrina helps to convince those still sitting on the fence that it’s time to stop throwing good money after bad in Iraq?

It is possible for some good to come of tragedy.

Keep watching those poll numbers. The lower they go, the better it will be for our kids fighting in Iraq – and their kids as yet unborn.



Okay I’m going to tell you this, but you have to promise me you’re not going to take it personally.

Everything is wrong with you. If I had a genie and a thousand wishes I wouldn’t even know where to start. I apologize if that sounds mean or hurtful. I’m just trying to be honest.

Your biggest problem is that you are clearly over-compensating for a deep-rooted lack of self-esteem. What are you trying to prove? And to whom are you trying to prove it?

Were you unloved as a child? Were you unpopular in high school? Is that why you asked me for a hug?

I just don’t understand how you get to be as old as you are and not feel a greater sense of self-worth. No one doubts that you deliver the goods. But the process kills you and everyone that you touch. You are like a communicable disease that infects all within your reach. You want so badly to be looked at as perfect, and strong and without fear. But in reality, you are weak and scared.

If the process is fundamentally flawed, the result does not matter. Because – some day – the process will break down, and the result will be failure.

You made it this time, but just barely. You cried more than once. Other people cried, too. Because you made them cry.

Your fear of failure overcame you and became a stick with which you beat others. She (and you know who I mean) didn’t cry because she was scared. She cried because she was hurt. By you. Are you aware of that? How can you not be? And, more importantly, how can you possibly think that is a good way to motivate people? How can you possibly think that is a good way to treat a fellow human being?

You can motivate people through fear and panic, or you can inspire people to reach within themselves and do their very best.

I’m not saying that you should let people off easy. Sometimes people need their asses kicked. But, if you challenge someone to be the best that they can be - and you let them know that you are 100% behind them in their efforts - nine time out of ten you will get results. And the results will be better than if you threatened them, or made them feel panic or fear.

I know this because I used to do what you do. But I had an excuse. I was young. I was 24, 25 years old and put in a position of authority before I was emotionally ready. I had to prove myself every day, and I napalmed a lot of good people as I over-compensated for my own issues of self-worth.

I delivered the goods, but the process was fundamentally flawed. And one day the process broke down.

I almost died. Twice. And I didn’t work for almost a year.

When I did finally come back, I vowed that things would be different. And they were.

I vowed that I would be different. And I am.

I hope it doesn’t take the same thing to make you realize the error of your ways.

The phoenix can rise without first turning to ash. That’s not the way it happened for me, but it can be the way it happens for you.

Do it for the sake of that kind person trapped inside of you. Do it for the person who desperately wants to ask for help. Do it for the person who asked me for a hug.

She is worth it.

That’s all I have to say.



Remember Bigfoot? Whatever happened to him?

In the 70's, Bigfoot was all over the place. He was in all the papers. There was a movie about him. He even did a guest shot on "The Six Million Dollar Man."

I think Bigfoot needs a new publicist.

Bigfoot had very good representation back in the '70s. I think he was with William Morris at that time. He was so hot back then, they had to hire a second guy to play him in Canada. That guy's name was Sasquatch.

They did a similar thing with that comedian Gallagher. They brought in his brother to hit the watermelons with the sledgehammers.

I bet Bigfoot retired. All that running away from people with cameras - it really takes a toll.

I just hope there's a retirement home for Bigfoots.

Or is that Bigfeet?



I was struck by something that President Bush said last night in his relentlessly upbeat address to the nation:

"These trials have also reminded us that we are often stronger than we know -- with the help of grace and one another. They remind us of a hope beyond all pain and death -- a God who welcomes the lost to a house not made with hands."

When has this president ever sounded more like a member of the clergy?

Ironically, this blatant evangelicalism came one day after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools was unconstitutional because of the 1954 addition of the phrase "under God."

I suspect that the majority of the Americans affected by Hurricane Katrina were Christian. And I know that it is Christian tradition to explain the unexplainable as "God's will." And that the best way to console a Christian who has lost a loved one is with promises of an after-life.

But what about the non-believers who died unnecessarily in this preventable human tragedy? If we consider them for just a moment - and the loved ones that they left behind - we may prevent ourselves from being lulled into acceptance of the blatantly unacceptable.

The United States of America is not "one nation, under God." It is one nation founded on the notion of freedom, and the expectation that government will do everything within its power to protect its citizenry

Let the concept of a creator provide comfort to those who suffer, yet still believe. But do not let it be co-opted by politicians as yet another form of spin control.

Let us honor the memory of all those lost to - and displaced by - Hurricane Katrina with an independent investigation of what went wrong in the wake of this natural disaster.

But let us not dishonor their memory with hollow religious rhetoric from an administration that "finds religion" when it suits a political need.

Anything less would be un-American.



"You are being condescending and officious, and it's counter-productive."

Said by me, to my superior, in the presence of her superior.

It's this type of "plain speaking" that has occasionally gotten me into trouble in the workplace.



The other day I saw a what we used to call a “panhandler” on the corner of 14th Street and 5th Avenue. He was sitting against the wall of a flower shop with a sign that said the following:


I found his sign to be very witty. And I was not the only one. In the few minutes that I stood there waiting for a bus, I noticed a number of people stop, read the sign, laugh and drop dollar bills into this homeless comedian’s donation cup.

Here’s my question: where’s my $1? I write funny things every day. I don’t get paid. This guy writes one funny thing and he’s raking in the bucks. Where's the justice in that?

There are essays posted on this blog that I worked on for weeks. That guy probably took five minutes to come up with that line, and five more minutes to write out his sign.

I’m not begrudging a fellow funny person the opportunity to make an honest buck. I’m just saying, I could use $1.

I accept PayPal. So give ‘til it hurts, or you may find me on the corner sharing personal details about my life in return for donations.



Wherever you're going, it's not that important.



If I hear one more person say "I shit you not" I am going to lose it.

Stop saying that right now. You sound like an idiot.

And don't try to convince me that you're being ironic when you say it. Other people will hear you say it and not realize you are being ironic. Then they will say it, too.

We have to stop this before it gets any more out of hand.

In summation, you are no longer allowed to use the word "shit" as a verb.

You may continue to use "shit" as a noun, i.e. "The shit is bananas B-A-N-A-N-A-S!"


You look like Elaine from “Seinfeld” only older and less attractive.

You're pretty fat for a vegan.

You are so gay it makes my ass hurt.

You are the least sexy pregnant woman I've ever seen.

You must have been a good football player, because you're certainly not very intelligent.

I didn’t know white people ate at Popeye’s.

Did you plan that haircut?

Your girlfriend looks like my 8th grade gym teacher.

I have such a nice erection. It would be a shame to let it go to waste.

You smell like my grandmother’s bathroom.



I'm freelance, so the Labor Day holiday weekend is meaningless to me.

I worked until 11 pm on Friday night, all day Saturday, all day today and I'm probably working on Labor Day itself.

I think that laboring on Labor Day may be illegal, but I'm not sure. I should call my union rep. But first I will have to join a union.

Anyway, we just ordered dinner. And the food arrived and I dumped out the bag on the table and a big cockroach scurried out! This was gross for me, but kind of cool for the cockroach.

It's sort of like in old movies, when a prisoner would hide in the laundry truck in order to escape from jail.

This plucky little cockroach escaped from his prison (also known as The Cedar Tavern on University Place in New York City) and made it all the way to my office in Union Square.

Then I killed him.

And I brought his squashed remains to the kitchen at the Cedar Tavern and I yelled at the top of my lungs "Listen up, you mugs. Your buddy is dead, see? So the next time you try to bust out of this joint, think about what's waiting for you on the other side. No more funny business, or somebody else is gonna get his."



When was the last time you said “thanks” to the guy who fixes the copy machine at work? Everybody likes a little positive reinforcement.

Not to be mean but, he probably didn’t dream of being a Copy Machine Repair Guy when he was a little boy. Maybe a baseball player, or an astronaut, or a secret agent but probably not a Copy Machine Repair Guy.

There’s a guy wearing a Xerox polo shirt fixing the copier right next to my desk. I’m going to ask him his name right now, and say "thanks" for everyone here on the 9th floor.

I’ll be right back…

Okay, the Copy Machine Repair Guy has a little bit of attitude.

He’s eating a package of Yodels while he fixes the copier. That’s gotta be against company policy. And not to be mean, but he really does not look like he needs to eat any more Yodels.

The Copy Machine Repair Guy told me his name was “Dick.” I think he’s having a laugh at my expense. Everybody knows that “Dick” is a bad word for the male genitalia, not the name of a Copy Machine Repair Guy who likes Yodels.

So the next time you see a guy fixing the copy machine at work, leave him alone. He might not want to be friends.

And watch out for Yodel on your copies.



My psychiatrist told me that I have a condition called "Bipolar Mania.”

It’s not Bipolar Disorder, but an incredible simulation.